Monday, March 5, 2012

The Nature of Emotional Intelligence

Dimensions of Emotional Intelligence

Salovey and Mayer identify five domains to describe abilities related to understanding and managing emotions in people.
1. Knowing one’s emotions - Self awareness: Ability to recognize a feeling as it happens.
2. Managing emotions: Capacity to soothe oneself when negative emotions or feelings are occurring.
3. Motivating oneself: Marshalling emotions in the support of one’s goal. Controlling impulsiveness and delaying gratification to earn higher rewards are examples of marshalling emotions to support goals.
4. Recognizing emotions in others: Empathy is the ability to notice and feel the emotions of others.
5. Handling relationships: Managing emotions in others.

Daniel Goleman identifies the following emotional intelligence abilities: ability of motivate oneself and persist in the face of frustrations; ability to control impulse and delay gratification; ability to regulate one’s moods and keep distress from swamping the ability to think (avoid becoming passion’s slave); ability of empathize and the ability to hope.

Characteristics  of  Emotional Intelligence

IQ and Emotional intelligence are separate competencies.
It is not that people cannot have a good mix of both the competencies.
According to Goleman, emotional intelligence can be a master aptitude. Lack of it can hinder the use of other aptitudes.

Awareness of Emotions

Know Thyself

Self awareness is being aware of both the mood and thoughts about the mood.
Some persons are indifferent to their mood and some persons are passionate or have overwhelming emotional awareness.
In terms of attending to and dealing with their emotions, Mayer categorized people into three groups.
1. Self aware: They have some sophistication about their emotional lives.
2. Engulged: These people are overwhelmed or swamped by their emotions and they are helpless to overcome them.
3. Accepting: This group of people are aware of their feelings, but do not try to change them or manage them.

Mastery over Emotions or Slavery to Emotions

The Greek word for mastery over emotions is sophrosyne. It means care and intelligence in conducting one’s life. The Romans and the early Christian church called temperantia, temperance, the restraining of emotional excess. Aristotle recommended appropriate emotions, feeling proportionate to circumstance.
Keeping distressing emotions in check is the key to emotional well being. Anger, rage, anxiety, worry, and melancholy are some of the distressing emotions and moods. Some people succumb to them and some people show their mastery or control over them.

The Master Aptitude

Optimism is a great motivator. When doing certain activities at a level of challenge, persons forget everything and concentrate on the activity. They forget about their body, they forget about the implications of performance or evaluation of the performance, but keep performing. That is the termed as flow, and if people are allowed to perform those activities they will feel motivated.


Empathy is there in children till the age of two. They can sense the feelings of other children and feel them as their own.

Social Arts

Components of interpersonal intelligence
Organizing groups.
Negotiating solutions
Personal connection
Social analysis
Some people are emotionally brilliant. They can manage others emotional outbursts with a flair.
The article is based on the treatment of the topic by Daniel Goleman in his book "Emotional Intelligence"
This is the first draft of the article. It will be revised as original papers quoted by Goleman are referred.

My Knols on Emotional Intelligence

(Links have to be changed to Blog posts)

Orinally posted in Knol 2utb2lsm2k7a/ 1310

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