What is Emotional Intelligence (EQ)?

In order to achieve greater success, experience better health, have better relationships, and an overall greater sense of well-being, we need to understand the important roles that emotions play in our lives on a daily basis.

Recognizing the significance of our emotions is the first step in developing our EQ—or emotional intelligence.

What is Emotional Intelligence (EQ)?

EQ is the ability to recognize and manage our own emotions as well as recognizing, managing, or influencing the emotions of others.

There are 5 dimensions of EQ:

  1. Self awareness
  2. Self regulation
  3. Motivation
  4. Social awareness
  5. Social regulation 


Self awareness involves recognizing and understanding our own emotions.

Self regulation refers to our ability to control and manage our own emotions in different real world situations.

Motivation refers to our passion to go after what we want in life and achieve our goals.

Social awareness is essentially our empathy; recognizing and understanding the emotions of the people around us and with whom we interact.

Social regulation refers to our ability to manage and influence the emotions of other people.

The Importance of EQ

While our society tends to focus on intellectual intelligence (IQ) much more than EQ, one’s EQ is actually a better indicator of success.

The effects of our emotional intelligence are both more impactful and wide-ranging than our IQ.

While many people associate emotions more with family, personal, and romantic lives, EQ is just as important for success in our workplace and professional relationships.

According to this study of 358 managers in the workplace, the highest performing managers had significantly higher EQ than the other study participants.

Further, according to this article by Preston Ni M.S.B.A. at Psychology Today, data from the business management consulting firm TalentSmart found that about 90% of high performers in the workplace possess high EQ—while 80% of low performers have low EQ.

Can We Improve EQ?

Yes! Unlike intellectual intelligence, or IQ, which does not change significantly during our lives, our EQ can evolve and increase over our lifetimes as our desire to learn and grow changes. 

Intentionally developing our EQ takes dedication and practice, and involves greater self-knowledge as well as learning to be more aware of the emotions of the people we interact with. Every person, situation, and challenge we encounter in life represents an opportunity to develop (and test) our own EQ.

Once we achieve greater awareness of the emotions of ourselves and others, we then need to learn (and apply) new skills to successfully understand and manage them.

Only if we’re willing to put the work in can we improve each of the five dimensions of emotional intelligence.


While most people learn to value intellectual intelligence, it’s our ability to recognize and understand our own feelings, nurture positive relationships, and manage and influence emotions that has the greatest ability to “open doors” in life.

Relationships and emotions are involved in every aspect of our lives, from business relationships to romantic and familial relationships.

While continuing to grow our intellect is certainly helpful and important, developing our EQ is even more impactful in helping us achieve greater success and well-being.

To reiterate—mastering emotions is no easy task, nor is it something that can be done in short order. But even as we begin the path to achieving emotional mastery, the improvements we make across each of the five EQ dimensions results in instant rewards in our professional, personal, and romantic relationships.

For more information on Emotional Intelligence, see: https://www.fourstreamscoaching.com/the-power-of-emotional-intelligence/