What is Emotional Intelligence? +18 Ways To Improve It

Maria Harutyunyan from PositivePsychology.com, a platform designed to provide science-based online courses and tools for helping professionals posed the question, “What’s more important: IQ or emotional intelligence?”

If you think IQ is more important, you might be surprised at what you’ll learn in this piece. Some argue that it’s more important to our success than cognitive intelligence.

If you’re not sure what emotional intelligence is, then you’ve come to the right place. Read on to learn about what emotional intelligence is and why you should know about it.

What is Emotional Intelligence?

Drawing from several different sources, a simple definition of emotional intelligence (also called the Emotional Quotient, or EQ) describes an ability to monitor your own emotions as well as the emotions of others, to distinguish between and label different emotions correctly, and to use emotional information to guide your thinking and behavior and influence that of others (Goleman, 1995; Mayer & Salovey, 1990).

Emotional intelligence is what we use when we empathize with our coworkers, have deep conversations about our relationships with significant others, and attempt to manage an unruly or distraught child. It allows us to connect with others, understand ourselves better, and live a more authentic, healthy, and happy life.

Although there are many kinds of intelligence, and they are often connected to one another, there are some very significant differences between them.

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