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What is Emotional Intelligence and What’s Missing?

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Following are some of the definitions of EI that have been offered over the years and later amendments:

  • 1990 – Peter Salovey and John Mayer – emotional intelligence is: “the ability to monitor one’s own and others’ feelings and emotions, to discriminate among them and to use this information to guide one’s thinking and ”
  • 1995 – Daniel Goleman – emotional intelligence – “knowing one’s emotions,” “managing emotions,” “motivating oneself,” “recognizing emotions in others” and “handling relationships.”
  • 1996 – Reuven Bar-On – emotional intelligence is: “an array of non-cognitive (emotional and social) capabilities, competencies and skills that influence one’s ability to succeed in coping with environmental demands and ”
  • 1997 – Six Seconds Team – emotional intelligence is: “the capacities to create optimal results in your relationships with yourself and ”
  • 1998 – Daniel Goleman – emotional intelligence is: “self-awareness, self regulation, motivation, empathy, social ”
  • 2002 – Peter Salovey and John Mayer – emotional intelligence is: “The ability to perceive emotions, to access and generate emotions so as to assist thought, to understand emotions and emotional meanings, and to reflectively regulate emotions in ways that promote emotional and intellectual ”
  • 2004 – John Mayer – emotional intelligence is: “the ability to accurately perceive your own and others’ emotions; to understand the signals that emotions send about relationships; and to manage your own and others’ ”
  • 2009 – Travis Bradberry and Jean Greaves – emotional intelligence is: “your ability to recognize and understand emotions in yourself and others, and your ability to use this awareness to manage your behaviour and ”
  • 2018 – Six Seconds Team – emotional intelligence is “the capacity to blend thinking and feeling to make optimal ”

While the details of these definitions differ, what most all of these definitions have in common is the sense-making of emotions, one’s own and those of others, to achieve an ideal outcome in relationship.

We, at Learning in Action, align with much of that general definition. However, we see it as incomplete.

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