How To Understand Emotional Intelligence

For sure, you already know what an intelligence quotient or IQ is. It has a counterpart called EQ or Emotional Intelligence Quotient. When speaking of emotional intelligence or EI, it does not reflect to the level of mental intelligence that a person has. Rather, it speaks of the ability of a person in perceiving, controlling, and evaluating emotions.

The history of emotional quotient is actually young. In fact, it was in the 1930s that Thomas Thorndike opened the idea that it is social intelligence that refers to somoeone's ability to get along with other people. However, after some years of study of different personalities, it was only in 1985 that Wayne Payne coined the term emotional intelligence. After 10 years, the term became popular through the book by Daniel Goleman, a science writer.
Defining Emotional Intelligence

There are actually three different models that were introduced to give emotional quotient a good definition. Here is a brief introduction of the three emotional intelligence models:

  1. Ability-based model. Here, emotional intelligence is defined as a man’s ability to recognize emotion, integrate it with thought, understand it, and control it to help in the promotion of personal growth.
  2. Mixed Models of EI. There are two kinds of this model. One is Goleman’s model, which is referred to as Emotional Competence. In his model, Goleman suggests that the emotional competence of each individual is not innate. It can actually be developed. In short, there can be an emotional development and emotional management. The other model is called the Bar-On Model. The definition given to emotional intelligence is the understanding of oneself and others and coping with surroundings to become more successful with different environmental demands.
  3. Trait Model. Here, EI is perceived as emotional abilities of one’s individual self.

Measurement of EI

To better monitor emotional leadership and help in emotional management and emotional development, the emotional intelligence of a person can be measured. Like an IQ test, a person can be given a test to determine his emotional quotient. Some of the popular ways in measuring the emotional intelligence of a person include:

  1. Reuven Bar-On’s EQ-I. This is a self-report quiz that is designed with the purpose of measuring a person’s competencies like awareness, problem solving, happiness, and the like.
  2. Multifactor Emotional Intelligence Scale (MEIS). The MEIS is a test wherein a person is assigned to perform different kinds of tasks to evaluate his ability to identify, perceive, understand, and use emotions.
  3. Seligman Attributional Style Questionnaire. This measures the optimism and pessimism of one person.
  4. Emotional Competence Inventory. This is a test where people who know the test-taker are asked to give ratings of the person’s ability in different kinds of emotional competencies.

Nowadays, a lot of organizations are actually benefiting in judging a person's emotional leadership. One’s emotional quotient is useful at work, in school, and a lot of other institutions. Usually, it is beneficial at work so the employers can evaluate whether the individual can do the tasks he is assigned.

Indeed, emotional intelligence is not anymore a mere concept today. Emotional intelligence’s use these days is a living proof that the intensive research about it is all worth it. 


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