People talk a lot about book smarts and street smarts, but they’re forgetting a big one: emotional smarts. Long considered an important quality for maintaining strong personal relationships and being an effective leader, emotional intelligence is really many skills all rolled up into one. It’s a lot more than just being nice.
When you think of emotional intelligence, you probably associate it with empathy. But the two aren’t synonymous (if you want to know how empathetic you are, you can take an empathy quotient quiz). Though being able to understand the feelings of others is part of emotional intelligence, it is by no means the whole picture.
The term emotional intelligence — also referred to as EQ — was coined by John Mayer of the University of New Hampshire and Peter Salovey of Yale. The then-New York Times science reporter Dan Goleman picked up this phrase from a small academic…
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