Intelligence is an ill-defined term because it can encompass many things. Experts agree that there are differences in intelligence, but what do those differences really mean? As we learned, the expert definition of intelligence refers to the ability to reason, plan, solve problems, and think abstractly, among others. This to me, seems to encompass many things outside of just the traditional “book smart” definition of intelligence. It is my belief that there are many types of intelligence therefore, there are variety of ways to define intelligence. Intelligence is so abstract that it becomes difficult to define it into one category.
I first came across Daniel Goleman’s book, Emotional Intelligence my senior year of high school. Since then, I’ve seen it come up time and time again particularly emphasizing the importance of emotional intelligence. According to Psychology Today, emotional intelligence is defined as “the ability to identify and manage your own emotions and the emotions of others.” Emotional intelligence encompasses three skills: emotional awareness, applying emotions to tasks such as thinking and problem solving, and the ability to manage emotions. Being able to harness emotional intelligence is extremely important because it goes beyond being able to solve a problem on the first try. An emotionally intelligent person embodies skills needed to be successful in academic, professional, and personal relationships. This to me is a very important skill because you can be at the top of your class, but if you’re not emotionally intelligent, you won’t do well at relationships in the workplace, let alone in personal and romantic relationships. The image below demonstrates characteristics possessed by low emotionally intelligent people and high emotionally intelligent people. Emotional intelligence seems to be what allows individuals to become successful in their personal and professional careers.
Emotional intelligence is important for daily living. Now, this is not to say that other types of intelligence should not be valued, of course they should be! Being intelligent in other areas is also important, but being emotionally intelligence is what brings the package together. What do you think?
You can take an online quiz that measures how emotionally intelligent you are! There is a total of 15 questions. Click on the link and try it!