Emotional intelligence and its role in understanding other people.

Empathy,that is putting oneself in someone else's shoes is a product of emotions present within us just like the emotions of love, jealousy anger etc which are too a byproduct of combination of basic emotions such as joy, anger etc as explained by Plutchick in his model of ‘The Wheel of Emotions’.

Now, the question arises why emotions such as empathy, love etc are important to study?, it is because they further help one know about the personality of an individual in a more vivid sense which is why EQ (Emotional Quotient) or EI (Emotional Intelligence) is studied.

Emotional intelligence is the ability to recognise and understand one's own emotions and that of others and manage them accurately further i.e. the ability to perceive, control and evaluate emotions. The term emotional intelligence was created by two researchers, Peter Salovey and John Mayer in their article “Emotional Intelligence” in the journal Imagination, Cognition, and Personality in 1990. It was later popularised by Dan Goleman in his 1995 book Emotional Intelligence.

It generally involves the following components which were given by Daniel Goleman namely -

Self-awareness i.e. knowing about one's own environment and the consequences of their action in the known environment. Eg - knowing to behave seriously and diligently in a classroom setting.

Self-regulation i.e the management of the known emotions according to the given circumstances. Eg - to not behave angrily on the authority figure or the elderly.

Motivation i.e. being intrinsically motivated or a passion to fulfil their dreams or goals.

Social skills such as managing conflicts and handling work environments calmly or communicating in the way that situation demand are another component of emotional intelligence.

Empathy allows you to understand the power dynamics that often influence social relationships, especially in workplace settings. This is important for guiding your interactions with different people you encounter each day.

This type of intelligence is given more value than IQ in the present generation or era as one is able to communicate easily based on the emotional capacity of an individual. The following are the other applications of emotional intelligence -

  • EQ is believed to be a better indicator of success at the workplace. People with high EQ usually make great leaders and team players because of their ability to understand, empathise, and connect with the people around them. David Goleman in his book ‘Emotional Intelligence: Why EI matters more than IQ’ has concluded that “The success of a person depends more on EI i.e. ability of a person to manage emotions than IQ i.e. cognitive ability.” According to Goleman, success at the workplace is about 80% or more dependent on EQ and about 20% or less dependent upon IQ.

  • To build better relationships and become more acceptable i.e. as a social being it is the need of every human being to be liked or appreciated by someone, a person with a good EQdraws other individuals towards them as they understand the situation and the needs of others during that time.

  • One can become a negotiator, i.e. Dealing with a trading partner, colleague, hostage in case of crimes etc if one is good at the communication factor of EI.

  • The Emotionally intelligent help in maintaining harmony in the environment and hence maintaining world peace.

Hence when we think of leaders such as Martin Luther King or Mahatma Gandhi, we can understand that they were emotionally intelligent enough to bring a great change in their surroundings of turmoil around them.

Reference -

By Anonymous, Accessed on 20th July, Retrieved from - https://civilspedia.com/tag/applications-of-emotional-intelligence/#:~:text=Emotional%20Intelligence%20can%20be%20used,to%20the%20various%20cardiovascular%20diseases.

Mack ,S. (2020, July 8) . 5 Components of Emotional Intelligence for Great Leaders .

Retrieved from - https://giveandtakeinc.com/blog/leadership/5-components-of-emotional-intelligence-for-great-leaders/

Morin, A.( 2022, January 26) .5 Key Emotional Intelligence Skills.

Retrieved from - https://www.verywellmind.com/components-of-emotional-intelligence-2795438


This Blog on 'Emotional intelligence and its role in understanding other people.' has been contributed by Simarpreet Kaur, who is currently pursuing BA in psychology from GGDSD College, Chandigarh. She is keenly interested in singing, creating content, and drawing and looks forward to becoming a counselor someday.

She is part of the Global Internship Research Program (GIRP). GIRP is a Umang Foundation Trust initiative to encourage young adults across our globe to showcase their research skills in psychology and to present it in creative content expression.