Emotional intelligence refers to the ability to process emotionally important information when adapting to environmental challenges and obstacles. It is the ability to identify, utilize, understand, and manage emotions in positive ways to relieve stress, communicate effectively, empathize with others, overcome challenges, and resolve conflict.
An individual with high emotional intelligence can recognize his or her own emotional state and the emotional state of others; they relate better to other people, create healthier relationships, achieve greater success at work, and lead a more fulfilling life.
Emotional intelligence consists of 4 main ingredients:
Self-awareness: the ability to identify one's emotions, understand how they influence thoughts and behavior, know strengths and weaknesses, and maintain self-confidence.
Self-management: the ability to control impulsive feelings and behaviors, manage emotions in healthy ways, take initiative, facilitate decision-making, follow through on commitments, and adjust to changing circumstances.
Social awareness: the ability to understand the emotions, needs, and concerns of other people, pick up on emotional cues, feel comfortable socially, and identify power dynamics in a group or organization.
Relationship management: the ability to know how to develop and maintain good relationships, communicate effectively, inspire and influence others in a positive fashion, work well in a team, and manage conflict.