What is emotional intelligence?

Intelligence is defined as the ability to acquire and apply knowledge and skills. When we talk about emotional intelligence, we refer to the capacity to acquire emotional knowledge and skills and utilize them in personal and interpersonal contexts.

On a personal level, emotional intelligence involves recognizing the emotional responses that arise within ourselves in specific situations and leveraging that understanding to make better decisions for our own well-being. For instance, this could mean avoiding movies or activities that cause emotional distress and instead prioritizing activities that bring us joy and fulfillment.

In interpersonal interactions, emotional intelligence entails empathetically perceiving and understanding the emotions experienced by the people we engage with, and using that insight to connect with them in a compassionate and respectful manner. For example, it may involve establishing and respecting boundaries during arguments with loved ones to prevent unnecessary harm, as well as actively engaging in actions that make the other person feel valued and appreciated.

The four domains of emotional intelligence, as identified by The Harvard Business Review, are as follows: self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, and relationship management. Each of these domains plays a crucial role in developing emotional intelligence.

Personally, I find that I need the most growth in the domain of relationship management, particularly in the sub-domains of influence and inspirational leadership. These areas often generate anxiety for me, especially when it involves presenting myself to the public. However, I am determined to overcome these challenges and progress in my personal development in order to achieve the goals I have set for myself.

Considering your own emotional intelligence, which domain do you struggle with the most? Have you mastered all four domains? It’s important to note that these domains are interconnected, and self-awareness serves as the foundational element. Understanding and being aware of our own emotions is a prerequisite for effectively relating to and understanding others.


Emotional Intelligence Has 12 Elements. Which Do You Need to Work On? (2020, September 15). Retrieved from https://hbr.org/2017/02/emotional-intelligence-has-12-elements-which-do-you-need-to-work-on

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