Emotional intelligence is used to depict the capacity or skill or a case of a self perceived capacity to recognize, evaluate and control an individuals sentiments, those of others and groups. Diverse forms have been suggested for the definition and disparity exists as to how the term needs to be used. The originality of emotional intelligence is traced from the work of Darwin regarding the importance of expression of feelings for survival and second adaptation.
In the early 20th century, intelligence was used to define cognitive features such as memory and problem solving, later several influential scientists in emotional intelligence has come up to consider the non-cognitive features of intelligence. In the 1920, E. Thorndike, E, employed the term social intelligence to illustrate the ability of understanding and organizing people (Epstein 1998). Mayer and Salovey had attempted to define emotional intelligence within the confines of intellect alone.
After their continued study, Salovey and Mayer revised the description of emotional intelligence as the capacity to perceive emotion, incorporate feelings to facilitate reflection and comprehend the feelings and control emotions to bring about personal growth. The capacity based model perceives feelings as useful sources of information that assist people to make sense of and move along the social environment. The ability based model suggests that people are different in the way they process information of emotional kind and their ability to communicate emotional processing to a wider cognition.
The ability model of emotional intelligence suggests that emotional intelligence incorporates four types of abilities that include; perceiving emotions which describe the capacity to identify and interpret facial emotions, voices, pictures and cultural artifacts. The ability to perceive feelings is a basic feature of emotional intelligence since it makes processing of expressive information achievable. Using emotions demonstrates the ability to exploit emotions to allow various cognitive activities like problem solving and thinking.
An emotionally intelligent individual has the ability to capitalize upon his or her varying moods to suit best the awaiting task. Understanding emotions describes the capacity to understand language of emotions and appreciating the complex associations between different feelings. Managing emotions describes the capacity to control our moods and those of others. In such a case an emotionally intelligent individual can control emotions even negative so as to achieve intended goals (Matthews & Zeidner 2002). The present method of measuring ability based model of emotional intelligence is based on the Mayer and Salovey’s model i.
e. Mayer-Salovey – Carusal Emotional Intelligence Test (MSCEIT). The model has its basis on a sequence of emotion-based problem solving items. In line with the suggestion that emotional intelligence is a kind of intelligence the test is based on IQ tests that are ability based. Through testing individual’s abilities each of the four aspects of emotional intelligence it generates scores for each of the branches including the total score. With regard to the four feature model, emotional intelligence necessitates adjustment to social values (Brackett & Mayer 2004).
The mixed model of emotional intelligence was brought about by Daniel Goleman that focuses on emotional intelligence as a collection of abilities and skills that drive leadership demonstration. Goleman’s model summarized four aspects of emotional intelligence namely; self-awareness which is the capacity read one’s emotions and identifying their implications while using gut feelings to guide decisions, self management which entails regulating ones emotions and impulses to and adjusting to varying situation, social awareness which is the capacity sense, understand and respond to feelings of others while understanding social networks.
Relational management entails the ability to influence, inspire and develop other while managing conflict. Goleman incorporates a set of emotional proficiencies with each build up of emotional intelligence. According to Goleman, proficiency in emotional intelligence is not innate talents but is rather ability that needs to be worked on and developed to acquire remarkable performance. He further asserts that people are born with general intelligence that decides their capacity to learn emotional competency (Goleman 2006).
References Brackett, M. A. & Mayer, J. D. (2004). Emotional Intelligence: Key Readings on the Mayer and Salovey Model. New York: NPR Inc. Epstein, S. (1998). Constructive thinking: the key to emotional intelligence. New Jersey: Greenwood Publishing Group. Goleman, D. (2006). Emotional intelligence. London: Bantam Books. Matthews, G. & Zeidner, M. (2002). Emotional Intelligence: Science and Myth. Massachusetts Institute of Technology.