[Model Answer QP2020 GS4 Ethics] What are the main components of emotional intelligence (EI)? Can they be learned? Discuss.

Emotional intelligence (EI) as defined by Mayer “concerns the ability to carry out accurate reasoning about emotions and the ability to use emotions and emotional knowledge to enhance thought”.

Emotional Intelligence (EI) first popularized by psychologist Daniel Goleman in his book “Emotional Intelligence” published in 1995.

According to Goleman, there are five main components of emotional intelligence:

1. Self-awareness: Self-awareness refers to the capacity to recognize and understand emotions and to have a sense of how one’s actions, moods and the emotions of others take effect.

Self-awareness is associated with being open to different experiences and new ideas and learning from social interactions.

2. Self-regulation: This aspect of EI involves the appropriate expression of emotion.

Self-regulation includes being flexible, coping with change, and managing conflict. It also refers to diffusing difficult or tense situations and being aware of how one’s actions affect others and take ownership of these actions.

3. Social skills: This component of EI refers to interacting well with other people. It involves applying an understanding of the emotions of ourselves and others to communicate and interact with others on a day-to-day basis.

Different social skills include – active listening, verbal communication skills, non-verbal communication skills, leadership, and developing rapport.

4. Empathy: Empathy refers to being able to understand how other people are feeling. This component of EI enables an individual to respond appropriately to other people based on recognizing their emotions.

It enables people to sense power dynamics that play a part in all social relationships, but also most especially in workplace relations.

5. Motivation: Motivation, when considered as a component of EI, refers to intrinsic motivation.

Intrinsic motivation means that an individual is driven to meet personal needs and goals, rather than being motivated by external rewards such as money, fame, and recognition.

People who are intrinsically motivated also experience a state of ‘flow’, by being immersed in an activity.

They are more likely to be action-oriented, and set goals. Such individuals typically have a need for achievement and search for ways to improve. They are also more likely to be committed and take initiative.
Emotional intelligence can be learned and developed. It’s not a fixed trait that one is simply born with. Ways to develop emotional intelligence includes- Practicing Self-Awareness, Managing Emotions, Building Empathy, Developing Social Skills and seeking constant feedback from self and others.

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