Emotional intelligence (EI) is the area of cognitive ability that facilitates interpersonal behavior.
The term emotional intelligence was popularized in 1995 by psychologist and behavioral science journalist Dr. Daniel Goleman in his book, Emotional Intelligence. Dr. Goleman described emotional intelligence as a person's ability to manage his feelings so that those feelings are expressed appropriately and effectively. According to Goleman, emotional intelligence is the largest single predictor of success in the workplace.
Five components of emotional intelligence
In his book, Goleman presents five categories of emotional intelligence.
Self-awareness. A person has a healthy sense of emotional intelligence self-awareness if they understand their own strengths and weaknesses, as well as 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 has the ability to 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 is able to connect with other people on an emotional level, helping them respond genuinely to other people's concerns.
Social skills. People who are emotionally intelligent are able to build trust with other people, and are able to quickly gain respect from the people they meet.