Communication Skills

A Simple Guide To Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence

A full man does not understand a hungry man.

- Anon


1. What is emotional intelligence?

Emotional intelligence (EI) is the ability to identify, assess, and control the emotions of oneself, of others, and of groups.


People with high EI go easily through life.

- They aren't easily angered or upset

- They make others feel good


This is basically all you need about emotional intelligence.

Common sense.

Rest is all theory anyway.


2. Daniel Goleman's EI model

Daniel Goleman gave the concept of emotional intelligence in a book with the same name.


Self-awareness: The ability to know one's emotions, strengths, weaknesses, drives, values and goals and recognize their impact on others while using gut feelings to guide decisions.

Self-regulation: Controlling or redirecting one's disruptive emotions and impulses and adapting to changing circumstances.

Social skills: Managing relationships to move people in the desired direction

Empathy: Considering other people's feelings especially when making decisions and

Motivation: Being driven to achieve for the sake of achievement.


3. The ability-based model

This is a variation on Goleman's EI model and says that EI includes four types of abilities:


Perceiving emotions: The ability to detect and decipher emotions in faces, pictures, voices, and cultural artifacts—including the ability to identify one's own emotions. Perceiving emotions represents a basic aspect of emotional intelligence, as it makes all other processing of emotional information possible.

Using emotions: The ability to harness emotions to facilitate various cognitive activities, such as thinking and problem solving. The emotionally intelligent person can capitalize fully upon his or her changing moods in order to best fit the task at hand.

Understanding emotions: The ability to comprehend emotion language and to appreciate complicated relationships among emotions. For example, understanding emotions encompasses the ability to be sensitive to slight variations between emotions, and the ability to recognize and describe how emotions evolve over time.

Managing emotions: The ability to regulate emotions in both ourselves and in others. Therefore, the emotionally intelligent person can harness emotions, even negative ones, and manage them to achieve intended goals.


However, this ability-based EI model hasn't been proven conclusively in the workplace.


4. Developing emotional intelligence through five key skills

Emotional intelligence consists of five key skills, each building on the last:


1. The ability to quickly reduce stress.

2. The ability to recognize and manage your emotions.

3. The ability to connect with others using nonverbal communication.

4. The ability to use humor and play to deal with challenges.

5. The ability to resolve conflicts positively and with confidence.


5. How to improve your EI


- Practice being humble without being shy or losing self-confidence

- Give others a chance to shine

- Recognize and accept your weak points - no one is perfect after all

- Be calm and in control during tough situations, when things go wrong

- Do not blame others. Do not get upset by delays. Do not get angry at others when things do not go as planned.

- Taking responsibility for your actions - e.g. say sorry ASAP and get to rectifying the damage

- Get in other people's shoes (empathy): How will they be affected by your actions? How will they feel if you get angry, change deadline...


6. The dark side of EI: People have written how smart people use emotional intelligence cynically, to get to the top, faking emotions, exploiting other people's emotions now that they are so emotionally smart.


'You’re four times more likely to find a psychopath at the top of the corporate ladder than you are walking around in the janitor's office.'

(Source: NPR - National Public Radio)


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