Emotional Intelligence Cartoon
Early in the late 1940’s and 1950’s psychologists used the term “interpersonal intelligence,” to describe the kinds of skills needed to get along with other people in the workplace, and in the 1960’s Wilson learning used the term “social intelligence” to described a similar concept. In 1975, Howard Gardner began writing about multiple intelligences, which included human, or emotional intelligence (personal and intrapersonal), as one of the most important elements. The terms “EI” for emotional intelligence and “EQ” for emotional quotient (which is much the same idea as IQ, for intelligence quotient) have also become common in recent years and have now made their way into workplace vernacular.
EI or EQ (take your pick), is now seen to be essentially about how intelligently a person uses their knowledge of people and emotions to help them achieve work or job success, rather than cognitive abilities such as mental processing speed or the ability to learn new concepts quickly or easily. Put another way, Emotional Intelligence, as it is usually in the business world (and life in general of course) is the innate ability to feel, use, communicate, recognize, remember, learn from, manage and understand emotions (ours and others) and act in positive ways for the good of the team or the wider enterprise as a result. Everyone is therefore “emotionally intelligent” to some extent, but we differ in how we use our knowledge of emotions with others, especially in the often highly pressured work environment.