The term emotional intelligence was popularized in 1995 by psychologist and behavioural science journalist Dr. Daniel Goleman in his book Emotional Intelligence. This book by Daniel Goleman was one of the first books to comprehensively review the research, insights, and implications of emotional intelligence.
Emotional Intelligence (EI) is the area of cognitive ability that facilitates interpersonal behaviour.
Everyone knows that high IQ is no guarantee of success, happiness, or virtue, but until Emotional Intelligence, we could only guess why. Daniel Goleman’s brilliant report from the frontiers of psychology and neuroscience offers startling new insight into our “two minds”.
Basically, we have 2 minds. The emotional mind (limbic system) is intuitive and impulsive (with the amygdala as the emotional center). The rational mind (pre-frontal cortex or neocortex is thoughtful and analytical. Emotional hijacking happens when we act on impulse before the logical brain has had the chance to assess the situation and choose a response. Our “two minds”, together, shape our destiny.
Typically, our rational thoughts and emotions work together. We need emotions for effective thought, e.g. to choose a life partner or to weigh your priorities. Yet, strong feelings can disrupt our cognitive ability, making it hard to think clearly. Emotional trauma can also impair learning and increase the risks of depression, alcoholism, drugs, crime etc.
Daniel Goleman argues that our view of human intelligence is far too narrow, and that our emotions play major role in thought, decision making and individual success.
Drawing on ground-breaking brain and behavioural research, Goleman shows the factors at work when people of high IQ flounder and those of modest IQ do surprisingly well.
Through vivid examples, Goleman delineates the five crucial skills of emotional intelligence, and shows how they determine our success in relationships, work, and even our physical well-being.
- Self-awareness. A person has a healthy sense of emotional intelligence self-awareness if they understand their own strengths and weaknesses and how their actions affect others. A person with emotional self-awareness is usually receptive to and able to learn from constructive criticism more than one who doesn’t have emotional self-awareness.
- Self-regulation. A person with a high emotional intelligence can exercise restraint and control when expressing their emotions.
- Motivation. People with high emotional intelligence are self-motivated, resilient, and driven by an inner ambition rather than being influenced by outside forces, such as money or prestige.
- Empathy. An empathetic person has compassion and can connect with other people on an emotional level, helping them respond genuinely to other people’s concerns.
- Social skills. People who are emotionally intelligent can build trust with other people and are able to quickly gain respect from the people they meet.
So that, Self-awareness, impulse control, persistence, motivation, empathy, and social deftness are all qualities that mark people who excel: whose relationships flourish, who are stars in the workplace. These factors add up to a different way of being smart—and they aren’t fixed at birth.
Although shaped by childhood experiences, with new insights into the brain architecture underlying emotion and rationality, Goleman shows precisely how emotional intelligence can be nurtured and strengthened throughout our adulthood in all of us—with immediate benefits to our health, our relationships, and our work.