What is Emotional Intelligence?

Dr. Patricia Thompson
A free video tutorial from Dr. Patricia Thompson
Corporate Psychologist, Executive Coach, and Author
4.6 instructor rating • 1 course • 17,783 students

Lecture description

This lecture provides an overview of emotional intelligence and a helpful model for understanding the components of it. I also review research that shows why it is so important for career success.

Learn more from the full course

21 Day Crash Course in Emotional Intelligence

Increase your E.Q. and transform your relationships with psychologist and author, Dr. Patricia Thompson.

03:34:53 of on-demand video • Updated July 2020

  • Define emotional intelligence and explain why it is so important for success in all sorts of relationships - whether personal or professional.
  • Identify the four aspects that compose emotional intelligence.
  • Increase their level of self-awareness by understanding their individual personalities and the impact they have on others.
  • Manage their emotions to enhance their relationships with some practical strategies.
  • Better understand others' personalities and increase their ability to empathize with those around them.
  • Build better relationships with stronger communication and an enhanced ability to manage conflict.
English Hi and welcome to lesson two of our 21 day crash course in emotional intelligence. In today's lesson I'm going to be defining what exactly emotional intelligence is and then I'm going to review some of the research that explains why it's so important for relationships. So first of all let's start off with what exactly is IQ. Well you know it's something that we hear about a lot in general but what exactly is it? This definition by researchers Salovey and Meyer gets at it perfectly. They define IQ as the ability to monitor one's own and other's feelings and emotions, to discriminate amongst them and to use this information to guide one's thinking and actions. So if you break that down what they're saying is first of all someone who's emotionally intelligent is able to monitor their own emotions and feelings and they're also able to understand their emotions and feelings and then they can use that information to guide how they interact and how they think. At the same time they're able to recognize other people's feelings and emotions and discriminate amongst them and then they can use that information to guide how they interact with other people. So an example I think that really highlights the difference between having a high IQ and a low IQ would be these two quotes from some popular characters. And so the first one is from Yoda from the Star Wars series. And his quote is that many of the truth we cling to depend on our own point of view. Now this is an example of having a high emotional intelligence because basically what he's pointing out is that he understands that different people look at situations differently and that that can affect their perceptions of situations. And so that would be someone who has a high IQ or an understanding of how interpersonal dynamics and emotions of work. Now on the other hand Homer Simpson from the Simpsons would be an example of someone with a low IQ and here's his quote. He says I think Smithers picked me because of my motivational skills. Everyone says they have to work a lot harder when I'm around. So obviously he's totally lacking in self-awareness and that would be an example of a low IQ OK. So now that we understand what it is let's go a little bit deeper into what are the components of emotional intelligence. Now there are different ways that emotional intelligence has been conceptualized but we're going to be using the model from two individuals who are named Bradbury and Greaves and according to them there are four aspects of emotional intelligence. They are self-awareness self-management social awareness and relationship management. So let me talk about each one in a little bit more detail. So self-awareness is just as it sounds. It's the ability to understand what's going on within yourself. You are able to recognize your emotions and understand them. You can tell when you're being emotional or when you're having positive versus negative emotions and you just have a deep level of insight into yourself and what makes you tick. Now the next component of emotional intelligence is self-management and that means that not only are you able to recognize your emotions but you're able to manage your emotions. And so it's not enough just to know that you're someone who can get angry at the drop of a hat or that you might speak before thinking if you're someone who is emotionally intelligent you recognize those things and you're able to successfully manage them. And so for example you might be able to recognize when you're angry and be able to take a moment to figure out what's the most appropriate thing to say or you can recognize when you're stressed and you're able to take time so that you don't do something that you regret when you're feeling irritable or overwhelmed. And so you're really able to take a step back and manage your emotions. Now the third aspect is social awareness. And that means that you're someone who has a good awareness of what's going on within other people. And so these are people who are good at reading the tone of a room. They're good at understanding what's going on with other people and really being able to use that information to their advantage. And then lastly we have people who can manage relationships effectively and so that's the fourth component of emotional intelligence. And so these are people who know how to interact with people they know how to influence them how to listen and how to have positive relationships and what enables to do that is their ability to be socially aware. They can see what's going on. And then based on that assessment they can decide how to interact appropriately in their relationships. OK. So now that you've listened to the different components of emotional intelligence you might sense why it would be important intuitively. But what I want to do to bring the point home is to review some of the research to give you more motivation to work on your emotional intelligence over these next 21 days OK. So first of all AQ has been linked to better work performance and there are studies that have shown that emotional competencies are actually twice as important in contributing to excellence as pure intellect and expertise. And so even though you might know your stuff if you can interact with people effectively in the workplace you do even better. And it's interesting I've seen a lot of this in my work. People who might have excellent technical skill and then they get put into a leadership position. And what we find is that if they don't have a high degree of emotional intelligence they can tend to have problems as leaders they might not understand their people and how to motivate them or they might you know say things in a way that are demotivating to people or perhaps even cause them to misunderstand their behaviors. They might get them to a point in where they're having to interact with other peers and influence them. And if they don't have high emotional intelligence they may find that they're not able to get everything that they want for their areas simply because they're not good at building relationships or interacting with people. So it is really important. There's also an interesting study of salesman that was done by Martin Seligman who's actually known as one of the fathers of positive psychology and what he did was he looked at successful insurance salespeople and what he wanted to do was to see if there were personality characteristics that he could use to predict who would be more effective in the role and what he found was that the most important characteristics were their optimism. And basically what they found is that people who are optimistic who can manage their attitudes and who could stay positive outsold their pessimistic colleagues by 8 percent in the first year of the study and then by 31 percent in the second year. And so again it wasn't how much they knew about insurance. It wasn't how good they were knocking on doors at the time or making phone calls. But it was their attitude and how they were able to manage that aspect of their emotions Bradbury and. So again those are the four the ones who had the four components of emotional intelligence that I talked about found in their research that IQ accounts for 50 percent of performance in all types of jobs. And if you think about your workplace where you might be or perhaps maybe other workplaces where you've worked before and you think of the people who are really high performers versus the low performers. Think about how their EQ might differ and you'll likely find that the higher performers are better in terms of interacting with people knowing how to influence them and also managing their emotions effectively. They're probably not the ones who are popping off at people unexpectedly or getting really irritable or shutting down emotionally. But they're the people who are able to maintain a healthy emotional balance and have good relationships with others. EQ has also been linked to better leadership. Daniel Goleman found that emotional competencies make up at least 80 percent of the distinguishing competencies of outstanding leaders. And I would have to say in my own experience this is definitely true. Better leaders are the ones who are more emotionally intelligence. And so if you were to think about your best boss for example you know when I ask people that question a lot of people say that their best boss was someone who got the most out of them someone who they had a good working relationship with and someone who seemed to really understand what motivated them and those are all characteristics that are associated with EQ. And interestingly even in the military where you might think of people not having a high IQ you know when I think of a stereotypical drill sergeant it's not someone with a higher IQ but what they found is that the best navy commanders were people who were more outgoing positive warm and cooperative. So again they were higher in IQ and they were also found to be more friendly more democratic and more likable more fun to be around more appreciative and even gentler than the people who were rated as average leaders. So even in that arena IQ helps you to be more effective. Emotional Intelligence also gives you the tools to manage your mood. And so there's a lot of research that shows you that your positive emotions are linked to better leadership outcomes and leaders who are more positive not just in terms of what they say but also in terms of how they feel are better leaders. And so that's a lot about how emotional intelligence can help you in the workplace. But emotional intelligence can also help you outside of the workplace as well in your personal life. Emotional Intelligence has been shown to be linked to a higher relationship quality and also higher relationship satisfaction. And so if you think about it you know if you can understand what's going on in yourself and you can manage your reactions as opposed to just blindly reacting based on what's going on internally then you're likely to be a better relationship partner. Also if you can understand what's going on with your own partner and really make an effort to listen and comprehend what they're saying even when you might be feeling upset then you're going to be better at your relationship and you're going to have a higher quality and likely more satisfying relationship. And particularly for those guys in the audience what they found is that in heterosexual couples the better males could read their wives non-verbal cues the happier both partners were with their relationship. So guys again if you want to be happy or even the happy wife happy life develop your I.Q. so you can better understand your partner. Researchers also found that people's moods affect their memories. And so what they found is that people were in a positive mood are more likely to remember positive memories and the way that this applies to relationships is it helps to explain why when you're upset with your partner you couldn't remember all their bad qualities but you can have a hard time remembering their positive ones. And you know you might get to the point where thinking why am I with this horrible person at all. But if you're someone who can manage your moods and your emotions then there's a higher likelihood that you're going to see the relationship in a more positive light and that you remember the more positive times you had together until that time really going to affect the way that you're going to interact with that person. And then finally researchers found that your emotions affect forgiveness and that people who can recognize and understand their own emotions were shown to be more likely to forgive their spouses. And so you know in relationships people aren't perfect and you're going to need to forgive them at some point. I know there are plenty of opportunities for me to do that in mind. And so the more emotionally intelligent you are the more likely you are to be compassionate and empathetic and willing to forgive and move on you know day to day. You have irritations that come up in your relationship. And so the bottom line from all this research is that working on your Q is going to help your relationships across the board. So that's the bottom line of that. And in the next lesson I'm going to talk about how your emotions affect your brain. And then after that we'll get into the meat of actually increasing your emotional intelligence with some really practical strategies. And so if you'd like to go ahead and watch that next video now you can. And that way you'll be able to stay on track in terms of getting this done in the 21 days for the crash course sassy in the next lesson.