What is Emotional Intelligence?


Emotional Intelligence (EQ) has become more important than Intelligence Quotient (IQ) in recent years, so what it is, how do you understand emotion? EQ is the ability to understand emotions, to perceive and evaluate with appropriate reaction to circumstances. Interpretation and recognition of when to calm yourself or others down to view a situation for what it is. Recognising other people’s emotional situation and being empathetic within the space you’re in.


Wayne Leon Payne first coined the phrase emotional intelligence in 1985, followed by John Mayer and Peter Salovey expanding on the subject the paper was aptly named emotional intelligence, published in early 1990. Creating a framework to accurately appraise and measure the expression of emotions. With popularity gaining traction after Daniel Goleman publishes his first book on emotional intelligence (Title in sources.) and has now gained main stream attention.

Emotional intelligence
Photo by Jakayla Toney from Pexels

Development of emotional intelligence:

Developing Emotional Intelligence skills is learning restraint helps you succeed in improving your mental health status and avoiding escalation of any situation. By developing EQ on individuals has shown to be more productive and successful in their lives including home and professional lives (Knowledge Solutions. 2009).

  • Emotional Awareness: Emotion in Self; Recognising one’s emotions and reactions.
  • Social Intelligence: The ability to understand and manage people.
  • Interpersonal Intelligence: The ability to monitor others’ moods and temperaments (Mayer & Salovey, 1990).

Learning appraisals of expressions of one’s emotion is purely about recognition and reflection, asking yourself how you feel and how you can do better next time. Just like learning a new skill with practice and reflection you can change your reaction to emotional outcomes (Mayer & Solvency 1990).

Regulation and processing of emotions is your initial perception leading back to appraisals of expressions are the first laws that govern emotion. Verbal recognition is one way to essential hear your emotions when you speak clearly about what they are (Mayer & Solvency 1990).

Introspect of social learning and planning of dimension underlying emotions (Mayer & Salovey, 1990). Understanding these are where the skill really lies, master the art of EQ by understand the dimensional aspect of emotions. Improving one’s self awareness, internal and external in emotional intelligence is key to being a master in development of EQ and improving one’s life.

  • Appraisals of expression of emotion to self in verbal and non-verbal recognition.
  • Regulation of emotion in self and others.
  • Utilisation of emotion, flexible planning. Creative thinking, redirect attention and motivation.

Emotional intelligence in education:

Children learn emotions better than adults in learning to express emotions appropriately. Teaching children what emotions are a life skill incorporating problem solving. Teaching the to use emotions in the correct manner.

How showing empathy encourages emotional intelligence for kids:

Children develop empathy when they get it from others

Children can reflect on the experience of an object that triggers their feelings. This can greatly help them in dealing with such feelings as they grow up.

Source: Australian and New Zealand Mental Health Association. Emotional Intelligence in Children (2020)

Using EQ development techniques to learn problem-solving skills and exercising those skills early on in life can have benefits of success in their adult lives. Giving children confidence in situations that may cause stress or frustrations. Stevens (2021) suggest that emotionally intelligent parents have a higher success rate of raising emotionally intelligent children.


Don’t be put off, as Adults can also learn to improve their emotional intelligence using reflective skills and acknowledging their existence. We all can have a go at improving our EQ with many resources available.


Australian and New Zealand Mental Health Association, 2020.

Understanding and Developing Emotional Intelligence.

Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ by Daniel Goleman.

John Mayer & Peter Salovey 1990: Emotional Intelligence.

Steven Gans, MD, 2021. Very Well Family: How to Raise an Emotionally Intelligent Child.

Victorian Government, Bully Stoppers.


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