Learning in Action’s Definition of Emotional Intelligence
Our definition of EI is inspired and informed by the field of interpersonal neurobiology. Thus, our approach to defining and measuring EI is based upon science, but not constrained by it.
We define emotional intelligence as the ability to recognize, understand and rely equally on all dimensions of our internal experience (our thoughts, wants and feelings, not simply our emotions) and the internal experience of others, to accept and be present in the moment with who and what is, and to stay connected with and separate from others in order to navigate wisely the challenges of interpersonal relationships.
The theoretical underpinnings of our approach to EI recognize the ways in which we are all shaped by the relationships and experiences in our lives, not only metaphorically, but neurobiologically. How we are shaped impacts how we see, think, feel and experience ourselves, others and the world around us.
The end result of that shaping becomes our default experience – our patterns of thinking, feeling, wanting and focusing – that become the non-conscious backdrop to our lives and relationships. Only by becoming aware of how we’ve been shaped in ways we can’t see, are we able to become emotionally intelligent. (That is the awareness created by the EQ Profile).
We believe that emotional intelligence is an inside job. While we don’t diminish the importance of developing social skill, without the core capacities of emotional intelligence, it’s akin to “putting lipstick on a pig.”
The inner capacities that make up emotional intelligence can be developed once we are aware of them.Download Article 1K Club