Emotional intelligence is a very complex construct which looks very easy on the surface, but it's not easy to deeply understand and not easy to develop.
Two American psychologists from Yale University, John D Meyer and Peter Salovey first defined the phrase "emotional intelligence" in the academic literature in the 1980s.
Daniel Goleman, another American psychologist, later built on their work and published his well-known books on the subject in the 1990s.
He also produced a framework for emotional intelligence which makes it a lot easier to understand.
This framework consists of five elements.
Motivation is the drive to work and the drive to succeed. Motivation will differ from person to person. Most people are not necessarily motivated by money, but it can become more important for some people than others.
There are other motivating factors and these can include security, doing things to the best of one's ability, recognition and fear of failure.
Self-awareness is an understanding about your strengths and your limitations, and how these affect your performance and the way in which you interact with other people.
Self regulation, or emotional regulation, looks at understanding managing and controlling emotions. It's all about willpower. It's about how you can regulate your impulses to make good decisions.
Empathy is about understanding things from other people's perspectives and how they view situations in a different way to you.
Social skills are all about influencing and persuading others leading and managing through collaboration and resolving conflict, whether you're working with people on a one to one basis, in small groups or in large teams.
Your emotional intelligence encompasses what goes on in your world.
The inner world is what goes on inside your head. It involves self-awareness that leads to how you control yourself and your emotions.
Self-awareness is about how aware you are of your strengths and your limitations, and the impact that these can have and that you can have on other people. Self-regulation is about how you control yourself.
How you control your emotions and the ability that you have to think before you act. These impact on how you behave in the outer world, influencing how you empathise with other people and how you use social skills. This is what people see. This is what people experience. This is what people know about you and your emotional intelligence.
The outer world of empathy is all about how well you understand other people and their perspectives; how well you can see things from their viewpoint.
Empathy then drives your social skills and these involve how well you communicate and interact with others on a one to one basis or when you're working in teams.
So your awareness of yourself and your awareness of others leads to the actions and behaviours around your emotional management and how you interact with other people.
Emotional intelligence is about awareness - awareness of your self and awareness of others - through self understanding and empathy.
Emotional intelligence is also about action and behaviour - controlling yourself, regulating your emotions so that you can relate to others better and build healthy, effective relationships.
None of this will work, of course, without the right attitude, the right drive and motivation. Motivation is about how you motivate yourself and how you motivate other people.
There are other models of emotional intelligence there are other frameworks, but they all follow a very similar framework to this one.
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