A New Definition of Emotional Intelligence

In the Cloud there has been considerable discussion about re-defining Emotional Intelligence.
There are two classic definitions:
Salovey-Mayer: EQ is the ability to perceive, control, and evaluate emotions.

Goleman: EQ comprises four steps: Self-Awareness, Self-Management, Social Awareness or Empathy, Social Skills or Relationship management.

However I must confess I was very taken with Josh Freeman’s recent definition of “EQ is being smart with emotions.”  I am an Occam’s Razor sort of guy.

In addition Daniel Goleman has produced a new e-book which I reviewed recently.

In the book Goleman grouped his first two steps Self-Awareness and Self-Management in to a new phrase: Self-Mastery.  It is thus only a small leap to group Social Awareness and Social Skills into Social Mastery.

Thus a new definition would be “EQ is achieving Self- and Social Mastery by being smart with emotions.”

However those who have read either my books, white papers or blogs know that I am big believer that a key part lifting your emotional intelligence is understanding the core emotions of temperament rather than the transient emotions of passing moods.

Thus may I propose a new definition of emotional intelligence:

“EQ is achieving Self- and Social Mastery by being smart with core emotions.”


Jim Harden

20 Nov,2017
Re: Defining Emotional Intelligence I submit the suggested definitions listed by the above Big Three of EQ and Chris Golis all have unquestionable merit. However, when measuring E.Q. skill levels. it's really all about who is best informed about all aspects of E.Q.

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Chris Golis - Author


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