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Emotional Intelligence and Its Components

May 13, 2023
12 min read

Emotional Intelligence (EI), also known as EQ (Emotional Quotient), is an essential yet often overlooked quality in both personal and professional arenas. It measures our ability to understand, manage, and effectively express our feelings, as well as engage and navigate successfully with the feelings of others. This article delves into the history, components, and value of emotional intelligence, highlighting its significance in diverse contexts.

History of Emotional Intelligence

The concept of Emotional Intelligence emerged in the 20th century, but it gained prominence in the 1990s due to the seminal work of psychologists Peter Salovey and John D. Mayer. It was later popularized by Daniel Goleman in his 1995 book “Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ. These experts revolutionized the way we perceive intelligence, emphasizing that cognitive intelligence or IQ is not the sole determinant of success. Emotional intelligence, they argued, plays a crucial role in our lives, influencing our relationships, decisions, and overall well-being.

What Emotional Intelligence Measures

Emotional Intelligence encompasses four key domains: self-awareness, self-management, social awareness (empathy), and relationship management. These components help measure our ability to perceive, use, understand, and manage emotions. Accurate emotional awareness allows us to recognize our feelings and their impact on our actions. Emotional self-management guides us to regulate our emotions, particularly in stressful situations. Empathy is our capacity to understand others’ feelings, and relationship management refers to how we interact and maintain relationships.

Relevant online assessments, like the Emotional Awareness Test, Emotional Management Test, and Empathy Test, provide valuable insights into an individual’s emotional intelligence, offering a comprehensive view of one’s emotional landscape.

Relevant Academic Papers

Many academic papers have been published to support the significance of emotional intelligence. Mayer, Salovey, and Caruso’s 2004 paper, “Emotional Intelligence: Theory, Findings, and Implications,” is a key piece that discusses the theory and research findings related to EI. Another essential work is Goleman’s 1998 paper, “What Makes a Leader,” where he argues that emotional intelligence is a more significant predictor of leadership success than IQ or technical skills.

Value of Measuring EQ for Individuals

Emotional intelligence is pivotal for personal growth and success. It enhances self-awareness, empathy, leadership abilities, and resilience, enabling individuals to respond appropriately to life’s challenges. High emotional intelligence leads to better mental health, effective communication, and improved relationships. Moreover, individuals can develop their emotional intelligence through practice and mindfulness, making it a lifelong asset.

The Various Components of EQ

There are a few components of emotional intelligence that we discuss below. Become acquainted with them to get a better understanding of EQ, plus argument to counter naysayers who are ignorant about this value.

Emotional Awareness

Emotional awareness is the ability to identify and understand one’s emotions and their effects. It’s the foundation of emotional intelligence, as recognizing our emotional state is the first step towards managing it. Gyfted’s free emotional awareness test provides insights into your ability to identify, understand, and respond to your emotions.

Emotional Self-Management

Emotional self-management is our ability to manage and control our emotions, particularly in stressful or challenging situations. It involves the capacity to stay calm, maintain a positive outlook, and adapt to change. Use this free emotional self-management assessment to help you assess your emotional regulation skills and develop strategies for effective emotional management.


Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of others. It’s a crucial element of emotional intelligence that fosters connection and communication. Empathy allows us to perceive things from different perspectives, enabling us to engage meaningfully with others. This free empathy test is a valuable tool to evaluate your capacity to empathize with others and respond accordingly.

Social Intelligence and Social Skills

Another significant component of emotional intelligence is social intelligence. This aspect involves the ability to build and maintain healthy relationships, influence and inspire others, communicate effectively, and manage conflicts. High social skills are linked to successful teamwork, leadership, and overall interpersonal relations. It’s another critical aspect of emotional intelligence worth exploring and developing. Take this free social intelligence test to discover your social quotient.

Use-cases and Value of Measuring Candidate Emotional Intelligence for Recruiters and Hiring Managers

In a professional context, emotional intelligence is a critical factor in hiring and talent management. Recruiters and hiring managers now consider EQ as an essential criterion alongside traditional qualifications. It helps predict a candidate’s team dynamics, leadership potential, and overall job performance. Moreover, employees with high emotional intelligence contribute to a positive and productive workplace culture, driving business success.

When recruiters and hiring managers measure a candidate’s EQ, they can gain a more holistic understanding of a candidate’s potential beyond their technical skills and qualifications. This evaluation provides a deeper insight into how the candidate might interact with a team, handle stress and conflict, lead others, and adapt to changes in the workplace environment.

For example, a candidate with high emotional self-awareness and management skills is likely to handle pressure and stress effectively, keeping a balanced mindset even in challenging situations. They can regulate their emotions, maintain a positive attitude, and make sound decisions under stress. Such individuals are often seen as reliable and steady, particularly in high-stress industries.

Similarly, candidates with strong empathy and social skills can work collaboratively, building and maintaining positive relationships with colleagues. They’re more adept at understanding and respecting diverse perspectives, fostering an inclusive and harmonious workplace environment. These individuals often excel in roles that require teamwork, client interaction, or negotiation.

Leadership and Managerial roles and EQ

In leadership roles, emotional intelligence is even more crucial. Leaders with high EQ can inspire, motivate, and effectively manage their teams. They can understand and respond to their team members’ emotional needs, thereby fostering a sense of trust and improving team morale. This increased morale can lead to higher productivity, lower turnover rates, and overall business growth.

By evaluating emotional intelligence during the hiring process, companies can hire individuals who not only meet the job’s technical requirements but can also positively contribute to the team and company culture. This comprehensive approach to recruitment can significantly enhance workplace harmony and productivity, leading to long-term business success.

Emotional intelligence is a dynamic and multifaceted scale and quality encompassing emotional awareness, self-management, empathy, and social skills. Its importance can’t be overstated – in our personal lives, it bolsters mental health, communication, and relationships; in a professional context, it enhances leadership, teamwork, and performance. By understanding and enhancing our emotional intelligence, we open the door to improved well-being, fulfilling relationships, and professional success.

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