How Does Daniel Goleman Define Emotional Intelligence

Dr. Goleman defines emotional intelligence as “the set of skills that enable you to effectively manage your emotions, and also help you gain understanding of others’ emotions so that you can predict their behavior and influence them accordingly.”

He goes onto say that this is different from what people often refer to when they talk about empathy or sympathy.

Emotional intelligence involves more than just knowing how to feel emotion; it looks at why someone else feels a certain way and then uses that knowledge to manipulate or influence their feelings. This is called influencing or management of emotions.

It also includes having an awareness of other people’s emotions in order to understand them. This is called recognition of emotions.

In addition to these two branches of EQ, there is another branch which focuses on oneself. This is referred to as self-awareness or psychological literacy.

Self-awareness means being aware of one’s strengths and weaknesses, as well as ones’ tendencies. It also means being conscious of one’s reactions, behaviors, and impulses.

No matter what kind of person you are, you must have some level of emotional intelligence.

The five elements of emotional intelligence

how does daniel goleman define emotional intelligence

People with higher EQ are more likely to understand and manage their emotions, say experts. They also use emotion for motivation, recognize it in others, and apply it to relationships.

In fact, some studies suggest that people who score highly on measures of EI have an edge when it comes to happiness.

They're happier than those who don't, at least in the short term, says John Dutton, PhD, professor emeritus of psychology at UCLA and author of Emotions: Why they matter and how to use them wisely.

That makes sense, he notes, because high-EQ individuals tend to look outside themselves for reasons to feel happy.

"People with lower levels of empathy may be more focused on internal experiences such as feelings," Dr. Dutton writes in his book Emotions Inside Out. "They might focus on what they can do or have done to make them feeling good.

Understanding your emotions

how does daniel goleman define emotional intelligence

A key part of emotional intelligence is understanding your own feelings. You can’t really manage someone else’s behavior unless you understand their mental processes, so being able to recognize and name your own feelings is an important step toward improving your relationships.

When we are in touch with our inner experiences, we become more conscious of what is happening inside us. We feel less disconnected from ourselves and others.

This increased self-awareness also helps us take better action because we are aware of how things affect us. For example, if we realize that something makes us angry or upset, we will probably try harder not to let it influence us.

Furthermore, by knowing your own feelings well, you will be better at predicting how people may be feeling and what they might do next.

You could make a prediction about someone’s behavior and be right most of the time, but still no idea whether they will agree or disagree, praise you or criticize you, use anger or fear as a tool to get what they want. In those cases, having strong internal controls — like emotion regulation skills — can help prevent bad outcomes.

Managing your emotions

According to Dr. Goleman, one of the most influential leaders in workplace psychology, emotional intelligence (EI) is the ability to manage your own feelings and those of others.

He defines it as “the set of skills that enable you to recognize your own emotions and those of other people, to control how you feel about things, and to use these skills to achieve your goals”.

When you are aware of your own emotions and those of others, you can more effectively deal with situations by understanding what causes someone else's mood or behavior.

You also understand yourself better because you know why you're feeling a certain way. In this way, EI helps promote personal growth and development.

Leading with your emotions

how does daniel goleman define emotional intelligence

According to Dr. Goleman, one of the most influential educators of our time, emotional intelligence (EI) is having control over your own thoughts and feelings and using them effectively.

He defines it as “the ability to recognize your own emotions and those of others and use that knowledge to manage interpersonal relationships and succeed in workplace settings”. This way of thinking about EI was first discussed in his 1989 book The New Science of Success.

However, he didn't coin the term until later in his career when he incorporated it into his 2002 bestseller, Emotions and Social Work. There you'll find the term used throughout the book, including the chapter title, "Understanding Your Client's Emotions."

Dr. Goleman notes that while there are some who believe that only certain people have high levels of emotional intelligence, research shows that anyone can develop their EQ skills. He cites studies that indicate developing empathy — understanding and being aware of other people’s emotions — is an important part of improving ones' emotional intelligence.

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