Bookstands are full of best-sellers, promising to teach everyone the mastery of emotional intelligence (EI): few actually realize what EI means. It refers to the ability to manage individual emotions and those of the people within one’s environment. People with EI can manage their emotions to help them communicate effectively, relieve stress, and empathize with others to achieve their goals. In the modern world, the success of individuals in all aspects of life depends on their ability to build strong relationships. EI is critical in building strong relationships and using the connection with others to achieve set targets. The effect of EI could be measured by its contribution to people’s success in different careers and leadership. Numerous business scholars have researched and written on the characteristics, effects, and ways of developing EI in business. A review of literature on the topic will analyze the theories and studies done on EI. The theory and practical application of the concept will highlight EI’s main characteristics and its implications for individual and business success.
The crucial role played by emotions has been analyzed in-depth by various scientists over the centuries. For instance, according to Norboevich (2020), general intelligence is defined by the factors that could be measured under EI and intelligence quotient. The intelligent quotient has been the most popular because it is associated with intellect. However, Goleman (2021) found that EI was closely correlated to individual success. EI encompasses identifying, understanding, and using emotions to influence outcomes positively. The Ability EI model suggests that great achievers can use their feelings and others to manage conflicts and solve complex problems. According to Goleman (2021), the Ability EI model assumes that people can connect their emotions and cognitive abilities. The model supported the Multiple Intelligence theory that recognized EI as social intelligence. Under the multiple intelligence theory, EI entails monitoring emotions and alternating among them to navigate different scenarios.
Psychologists developed a model of EI that treated it as a cognitive ability of the general intelligence. This model treated EI as inborn and depended on individuals’ general intelligence (Norboevich, 2020). EI as a cognitive ability consists of a process of perceiving emotions as they occur. EI means that people can recognize their emotions and those of others and separate their actions from the effect of their emotions. Further, people can apply their emotions during the rational decision-making process. It allows the individual to understand the information acquired in the interaction of emotions and thought processes (Thomas & Allen, 2021). Lastly, EI implies the ability to manage emotions for interpersonal and personal development. As one exercises and uses their emotions, they mature intellectually and apply them in highly demanding situations. The problem with this theoretical model was that it assumed that EI was natural and not within individuals’ control. The practical implication was that people without emotional control have no chance of developing it in life.
The trait model covered the limitations of the ability to use the EI model. As such, EI refers to individual perceptions of their emotional world (Goleman, 2021). Hence, it is a self-construct that can be developed by changing the narratives about the demonstrative world. EI is present in all individuals and could be ranked from low to high (Panait, 2017). The high-ranking EI involves people who believe they can control their feelings and manipulate them to produce mutually beneficial outcomes. The model enumerates the various characteristics that include EI and could be measured objectively. Consequently, people can perceive the traits they are deficient in and introduce measures to develop them further.
Psychologists have established five factors that define EI in practice. Norboevich (2020) adds that the practical use of EI combines the theoretical perceptions to develop a model of measuring the attribute in practice. Leaders could be ranked depending on the level they manifest empathy, social skills, motivation, self-regulation, and self-awareness in practice. Thomas and Allen (2021) suggest that the practical use of EI measures the attribute mainly in business leadership. Empathy is vital in the management of a high-performing team. Ogurlu (2021) claimed that empathic people put themselves in the situations of others before deciding on a cause of action. Empathy assists in viewing other people’s points of view and draws attention to body language. EI is associated with considering peoples’ body language and responding to their feelings, building solid relationships.
Social skills are closely related to the attribute of motivation. Self-motivation is essential in keeping people focused on their goals. Motivation helps people understand the purpose of their goals, know how to encourage themselves, and remain optimistic about a positive outcome. Self-regulation and self-awareness are at the core of EI and help people understand their emotions and others’ emotions and manage them effectively.
The literature highlights the various issues touching on EI. The understanding of emotional intelligence is essential in measuring and developing it. The theoretical findings model the background for examining it and how it improves performance. The Ability model emphasizes the role of cognitive abilities in the context of EI. The traits model adds to the cognitive skills the necessary characteristics that could be learned about it. The empirical evidence supports the theoretical review by developing mental linkages for emotional intelligence traits. It could be measured through its application in practice. Well-built traits are critical for good mental health, physical health, and the maintenance of reliable relationships in society.
There is a need for further study on the various applications of emotional intelligence in other fields. Most studies emphasize the importance of this concept in leadership and business. However, it could also have a significant influence on people’s ability to acquire knowledge. Studying emotional intelligence in children could help understand its impact on learning and how it develops with time. The assumption that EI depends on cognitive abilities and social interactions could be clarified through research. This research could highlight when and where it could be effective in committing resources toward improving EI.
Goleman, D. (2021). Leadership: The power of emotional intelligence. Florence, MA: More Than Sound.
Norboevich, T. B. (2020). ‘Analysis of psychological theory of emotional intelligence’, European Journal of Research and Reflection in Educational Sciences, 8(3), pp. 99-104. Web.
Ogurlu, U. (2021). ‘A meta-analytic review of emotional intelligence in gifted individuals: A multilevel analysis’, Personality and Individual Differences, 171. Web.
Panait, C. (2017). ‘Emotional intelligence in leadership’, Scientific Research and Education in the Air Force – AFASES, pp. 133-138. Web.
Thomas, C. L., and Allen, K. (2021). ‘Driving engagement: investigating the influence of emotional intelligence and academic buoyancy on student engagement’, Journal of Further and Higher Education, 45(1), pp. 107-119.