Thorndike defined social intelligence as, "The ability to understand and manage men and women, boys and girls - to act wisely in human relations." And Gardner includes inter- and intrapersonal intelligences in his theory of multiple intelligences. These two intelligences comprise social intelligence. He defines them as follows:
Emotional Intelligence (often given the acronym EQ, the emotional-intelligence equivalent of IQ) encompasses social intelligence and emphasizes the affect of emotions on our ability to view situations objectively and thus to understand ourselves and other people. It is the ability to sense, understand, and effectively apply the power of emotions, appropriately channelled as a source of energy, creativity and influence. It includes a person's ability to understand their own emotions and those of others, and to act appropriately using these emotions. Balancing and integrating the head and heart, channelled through the left and right brain, is the mission of personal growth work in the domain of emotional intelligence.
EQ includes such things as:
A rich and colorful tapestry of emotion gives meaning to our lives, and depth to our experiences. Even when we are not consciously aware of emotion, it motivates our behavior, and drives our every gesture and choice. Many of us have learned early in our lives to hide or ignore our feelings, and that is why relationships can become stunted and dull. Relationships cannot be truly intimate, nor can they grow, without a sharing of our emotional inner worlds.
Emotions are the primary source of human energy, aspiration and drive, activating our innermost feelings and purpose in life, and transforming them from things we think about, to values we live. The key factor is the way that we interpret our circumstances, based on our prior experiences and belief system, to either respond reactively like a stimulus-response machine with an emotion that is outside our control and may be inappropriate and self-defeating, or to respond proactively with self-determined responsibility - and freedom of choice.
Only part of our success in life is attributable to intellect. Other qualities: trust, integrity, authenticity, creativity, honesty, presence and resilience, are at least as important. These 'other intelligences' are collectively described as Emotional Intelligence.
There was a time when IQ was considered the leading determinant of success. Based on brain and behavioral research, Daniel Goleman argued in his ground-breaking book, 'Emotional Intelligence,' that our IQ-oriented view of intelligence is far too narrow. Instead, Goleman makes the case for emotional intelligence (EQ) being the strongest indicator of human success. He defines emotional intelligence in terms of self-awareness, altruism, personal motivation, empathy, and the ability to love and be loved by friends, partners, and family members. People who possess high emotional intelligence are the people who truly succeed in work as well as play, building flourishing careers and lasting, meaningful relationships.
The good news is that EQ can be learned or developed, it's not something you're stuck with. We can develop in ways that can improve our relationships, our parenting, our classrooms, and our workplaces. Our temperaments may be determined by neurochemistry and long-established patterns of behavior, our genetic and cultural programming, but we can recover control. We could turn society on its ear if we learned to recognize our emotions and control our reactions; if we combined our thinking with our feeling; if we learned to channel our flow of feelings into creative expression, an expression of love.
Emotional intelligence plays an integral role in defining character and determining both our individual and group destinies. It involves the ability to monitor one's own and others' emotions, to discriminate among them, and to use the information to guide one's thinking and actions. In short, to embrace the power of emotions intelligently. It involves abilities that may be categorized into five domains:
Repairing and further developing these abilities requires a knowledge of personal therapeutic and transformative techniques. The pages of 'Understanding and Releasing Emotions' explain how to understand and utilize each primary emotion, and to acknowledge, accept and release painful emotions. We also present a series of 'Tools for Emotional Intelligence' - see the links below.
What is Emotional Intelligence? ~ by Dr. Alan Zimmerman
EQ Advocacy Guide - valuable resources for parents, teachers, and administrators to promote social and emotional learning.