The Intelligence of Emotions: Just as Important as IQ

I am a subject matter expert in Emotional Intelligence. During my dissertation research work, I applied it to political leadership decision-making. It was interesting to see how many council members applied parts of EQ without realizing they did.

Throughout the month of March, I will address each major component to EQ, Self-Awareness, Self-Management, Social Awareness, and Relationship Management. This week is a brief overview of the entire concept.

Emotional intelligence is the ability to recognize and master the control of emotions and social skills to guide and motivate followers1 to achieve goals for a greater good. Notice the mention of greater good. As with anything a person does, the intent behind the use is everything. Emotional intelligence does have a dark side, if applied with ill-intent.

Emotional intelligence research has proven that it enhances effective leadership, organizational politics, learning, and conflict resolution.2 Research has been conducted on public and private organizations, foreign government organizations, primary education, and leadership education. Not a lot of research has been applied to USA government organizations, which really sparked my interest.

Emotional intelligence is actually an old concept, dating as early as mid-300 BC to Socrates and Aristotle3:

“Anyone can be angry – that is easy.  But to be angry with the right person, to the right degree, at the right time, for the right purpose, and at the right way – That is not easy.”  ~  Aristotle

In the 1920′ s through the 1940’s, Wechsler and Thorndike discussed social intelligence and the influence on behavior of people and children.3 Wechsler created a measurement test of social intelligence in the mid-1940’s. Dewey and Freud addressed emotional literacy and self-awareness in the 1950’s and 60’s.

Mayer & Salovey really brought the topic to life with the publication of their first study of what they coined emotional intelligence in 1990. Years later, Goleman brought this attention to the public with the publication of his book, where he broke down emotional intelligence into 5 main components: Self-Awareness, Self-Regulation, Empathy, Motivation, and Social Skills. Goleman eventually modified the components into 4: Self-Awareness, Self-Management, Social Awareness, Relationship Management.4

Learning, applying, and knowing the components of emotional intelligence can reduce emotional bias, motivate greater followership, increase adaptability, improve communication and relationship skills, and increase the ability to critically analyze. Emotional Intelligence applicable in all areas of life: personal, professional, teams, political, and with children.

Stay tuned as next week I will go into Self-Awareness, which is more than just surface level awareness.

Want to know more now? Schedule a call today!


1. Goleman, D. (2006). Emotional intelligence. Why it can matter more than IQ. New York, NY: Bantam Dell.

2. Bradberry, T. & Greaves, J. (2009). Emotional intelligence 2.0. San Diego, CA: TalentSmart.

3. Salovey, P., Brackett, M. A., & Mayer, J. D. (2004). Emotional intelligence: Key readings on the Mayer and Salovey model. Port Chester, NY: Dude Publishing.

4. Goleman, D., Boyatzis, R., & McKee, A. (2013). Primal leadership: Unleashing the power of emotional intelligence. Boston, MA: Harvard Business Review Press

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