What does it mean to be smart? It turns out that having a high IQ, impressing your friends with your mastery of a Rubik’s Cube, or being your quiz team’s superstar, isn’t everything. Increasingly, having high levels of emotional intelligence is seen as what really matters.
Emotional intelligence is being aware of your actions and feelings – and how they affect those around you. It also involves being aware of how others are feeling and responding appropriately.
People with high EI have better relationships, and are more able to adjust to change and be flexible.
The five building blocks of emotional intelligence
In his books, Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More than IQ and Working With Emotional Intelligence, Daniel Goleman presents five categories of emotional intelligence.
- Self-Awareness – People with high EI are usually very self-aware. They understand their emotions and how their actions affect others.
- Self-Regulation – this is the ability to monitor and control our own behavior, emotions, or thoughts, and altering them depending on the situation.
- Motivation – People with a high degree of EI are usually motivated. They're willing to defer immediate results for long-term success.
- Empathy - being aware of the feelings and emotions of other people. You can place yourself in their shoes and feel what they are feeling.
- Social skills– People who are emotionally intelligent are able to build rapport and trust quickly with others on their teams.