What is Emotional Intelligence?

What is Emotional Intelligence?

Originally John Mayer and Peter Salovey (1997) defined emotional intelligence as involving the abilities to –

  • monitor one’s own and other’s feelings,
  • discriminate among them, and
  • use this information to guide’s one thinking and action.

However, since 1997, Mayer and Salovey have redefined emotional intelligence as –

  • the ability to perceive emotions,
  • to access and generate emotions to assist thought,
  • to understand emotions and emotional knowledge, and
  • to reflectively regulate emotions to promote emotional and intellectual growth (Mayer & Salovey, 1997).

Then in 2016, Mayer et al, further refined their definition as the four-branch model of emotional intelligence, with the four branches being –

  1. perceiving emotion,
  2. facilitating thought using emotion,
  3. understanding emotions, and 
  4. managing emotions. 


Daniel talks more about his take on emotional intelligence in this talk he did at Google a few years ago.


Is Emotional Intelligence More Important to Success than IQ?

Some people indicate Emotional Quotient (EQ) is more Important to Success than IQ, however I would say it is another piece of the puzzle and something we have to be aware of (which we can cultivate through self-compassion and mindfulness) and recognise within ourselves. I talk about it a little more in the post – your feelings matter, are you taking notice of yours?

We also need to remember, that feelings or emotions are not essentially us (neither are our thoughts), they are an experience. As Rumi so eloquently said in I’ll Meet You There – “Out beyond ideas of wrong doing and right doing there is a field. I will meet you there. When the soul lies down in that grass, the world is too full to talk about. Ideas, language, even the phrase each other doesn’t make any sense”.

If you have any comments, please leave them below and I will get back to you or drop on over to our Facebook page. You may also like to have a look at out Emotional Intelligence Assessments here.


Over to You…

I hope this post has given you some insight in to emotional intelligence! Any questions, please leave them below 🙂

If you are ready to reclaim your courage and take the next step towards freedom and opening your heartwhy not join our Toolkit?


References –

Mayer, J. D., & Salovey, P. (1997). What is emotional intelligence? In D. J. Sluyter (Ed.), Emotional development and emotional intelligence: Educational implications (pp. 3–34). New York, NY: Basic Books.

Mayer, J. D., Caruso, D. R., & Salovey, P. (2016). The ability model of emotional intelligence: Principles and updates. Emotion Review, 8 1-11.


Leave A Response

* Denotes Required Field