Emotional intelligence — it sounds like an oxymoron, doesn't it? Just like jumbo shrimp. People tend to think of others as either emotional or intelligent, but not both. So, just what is emotional intelligence? And why are you hearing about it only now?
Emotional intelligence has a lot to do with being intelligent about your emotions. It involves the ability to recognize your own emotions as well as the emotions of other people. It includes understanding emotions. It also has to do with how you manage your emotions and how you manage other people's emotions.
Psychologists have known about many of the concepts behind emotional intelligence for years — decades, even. But the knowledge has been scattered, not really well organized or clearly formulated. When two psychologists — John (Jack) Mayer from the University of New Hampshire and Peter Salovey from Yale University — put together a theory that looks at both intelligence and emotions in 1989, the idea of emotional intelligence really started to take shape.
The first scientific paper on the topic was published in 1990. Since that time, millions of copies of books have been sold about it. A number of psychologists, including our own team at Multi-Health Systems (MHS), as well as groups at Yale University, Rutgers University, the Centre for Creative Leadership, and others, have carried out a great deal of research that looks at the impact of emotional intelligence at work, in families, with children, and basically anywhere ...