E is for EQ – The Good Mental Health Guide

So, following on from EFT and EMDR, it seems only fitting to talk about EQ!

Emotional Quotient (EQ) or emotional intelligence refers to the ability to identify, manage and evaluate emotions.

The principles of emotional intelligence have been under development since the 1930s when Edward Thorndike described ‘social intelligence’ as the ability to get along with other people and in the 1950s Abraham Maslow talked about how people can build emotional strength.

However it was in the 1990s that the ideas were popularised by Daniel Goleman with his 1995 book “Emotional Intelligence: Why it can matter more than IQ”.

Nowadays, emotional intelligence concepts are used widely in human resources planning, job profiling, recruitment interviewing and selection, management development, customer relations and customer service, and more.

“In the last decade or so, science has discovered a tremendous amount about the role emotions play in our lives. Researchers have found that even more than IQ, your emotional awareness and abilities to handle feelings will determine your success and happiness in all walks of life, including family relationships.”
– John Gottman, from Raising an Emotionally Intelligent Child

Goleman identified five ‘domains’ of EQ or emotional intelligence as[1]:

  • Knowing your emotions
  • Managing your own emotions
  • Motivating yourself
  • Recognising and understanding other people’s emotions
  • Managing relationships, ie. Managing the emotions of others

Considerable attention has been paid to being able to measure emotional intelligence just as IQ can be measured, and there are a number of tools available such as Reuven Bar-On’s EQ-I, the Multifactor Emotional Intelligence Scale (MEIS), the Seligman Attributional Syle Questionnaire (SASQ) and the Emotional Competence Inventory (ECI).

If you want to have a go at measuring your own level of emotional intelligence, why not try this free on-line test: http://psychology.about.com/library/quiz/bl_eq_quiz.htm

Emotional intelligence is a staple part of any kind of personal development programme, as well as team and organisational management theories. Yet still little emphasis is given to building the ‘emotional literacy’ of children within our current education system.

For more information about EQ or emotional intelligence, try this link:


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