Emotional intelligence can be defined as the ability of a person to command respect by building relationships or by the ability to get along with the people or situation.

A simple but vital question has been haunting us for long : “What ticks success in life ? For quite some time now almost everyone believed in the age-old  paradigm that one’s intelligence(IQ) is solely responsible for his or her success on the job, and for that matter, in life. However there have been instances that we often came across that only intelligence ie academic excellence doesn’t necessarily contribute to success in career or even social life. There are people who have high IQ but have not done well. On the contrary, people with modest IQ have performed well. Then this possess another question : what factors are at ply leading to such differential performance ? Psychologists and behavioural scientists have tried to answer this question. According to their findings, the difference quite often lies in their abilities what they call “Emotional Intelligence(EQ)”. In a sense this is what Schwartz (1997) views : what actually matters is not how much intellect or mind one had, but how it is used what one had.

Emotional Intelligence : Before we explain the meaningof the word EQ, let us define first the terms emotion and intelligence..

Literary or Dictionary Definition :   Emotion is any agitation or disturbance of mind, feeling, passion, any vehement or excited mental state. But emotional intelligence can be defined as the ability of a person to command respect by building relationships or the ability to get along with people or situations.

Some view emotional intelligence as a position and proactive attitude towards all aspects of life.

There are four emotional ingredients as cornerstones for intelligence. These are :

  1. Emotional Literacy- Just as literacy enables people to be aware of what is happening around them, emotional literacy helps people become more aware of their as well as other people’s emotions. By managing emotions in others, problem solving becomes easier and better. Emotional literacy also helps build self confidence through emotional honesty, energy, emotional feedback, intuition, responsibility and connection.
  2. Emotional Fitness – what role physical fitness plays in doing physical / mental activities with confidence and resilience, so does emotional fitness in the case of feelings. Emotional fitness strengthen one’s resilience and believability for listening and managing conflict.
  3. Emotional Domain – Emotional domain means realm of control by emotions. It explores the way to align one’s life and work with his /her unique potential and purpose.
  4. 4.   Emotional Alchemy – Through emotional alchemy, one extends one’s creative instincts and capability to flow with problems and pressures. It also enables one to compete for the future by building one’s capacity to sense more readily and assess the hidden solutions and untapped potential and possibilities.


EQ is found to be more useful and more effective in management which involves decision making. This is because EQ enables managers to have skills motivating oneself, managing relationships and being able to get along well with subordinates and teammates.

Research studies have also established that emotional intelligence plays a prominent role in group effectiveness of an individual. It is often opined that one may get a good jobs with high EQ to go up the ladder. EQ helps a manager manage himself/herself and others in a meaningful manner so that the goals of both individual and organisational are achieved.

EQ being an inner element affects human behaviour. Acknowledging this, organisations lay much emphasis on EQ elements in their selection process and EQ forms an integral part of selection criteria more especially being used for the induction of managers and officers in organisations. EQ is found to be useful for individual behaviour more significantly under stressful and trying condition.

Below there are list of some critical areas where EQ may contribute substantially tremendously: Table-I


Trait research demonstrated, leaders need basic intelligence and job relevant knowledge. But IQ and technical knowledge are necessary but not sufficient requirement for leadership. It is the possession of the five components of EI- Self Awareness, Self Management, Self-Motivation, Empathy and Social Skill­—that allows an individual to become star performer. Specifically when star performers were compared with average ones in senior management positions, nearly 90% of the difference in their effectiveness was attributable to EI factors rather than basic intelligence.

Great leaders demonstrate their EI by exhibiting all five of its key components:

  1. Self-awareness : Exhibited by self-confidence, realistic self assessment and self deprecating sense of humour.
  2. Self-Management : Exhibited by trustworthyness and integrity, comfort with ambiguity and openness to change.
  3. Self-Motivation : Exhibited by a strong drive to achieve optimism, and high organisational commitment.
  4. Empathy : Exhibited by expertise in building and retaining talents and cross cultural sensitivity and service to clients and customers.
  5. Social Skill : Exhibited by the ability to lead change efforts, persuasiveness, and expertise in building and leading teams.