Emotional intelligence is the unique repertoire of emotional skills that a person uses to navigate the everyday challenges of life. In his book Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ, Daniel Goleman defines EI as the "capacity for recognizing our own feelings and those of others, for motivating ourselves, and for managing emotions well in ourselves and our relationships."
The term Emotional Intelligence was conceived by Drs. Peter Salovey and John Mayer in 1990 as an identifier for the human capacity to understand and engage in meaningful social interactions. The two teamed up with Dr. David Caruso to develop an assessment for measuring this capacity, and they published the test as the Mayer-Salovey-Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test (MSCEIT™). The MSCEIT remains the only scientifically validated, ability-based test of EI published to date.
Reuven BarOn, an Israeli psychologist, devised another model of Emotional Intelligence and used it to create his Emotional Quotient Inventory (EQ-i®). Throughout his research, his intent was to create a predictor of success. This self-assessment pinpoints the traits that allow a person to succeed and those that stand in the way of progress. For this reason the tool is particularly useful in personal and professional development. The EQ-i was the first scientifically validated self-report measure of Emotional Intelligence, and it is still one of the most widely used assessments for gauging EI.
Dan Goleman, inspired by the work of Mayer and Salovey, wrote a successful book on the subject entitled Emotional Intelligence. Goleman's book not only increased the popularity of EI with business leaders, but also turned EI into a household term. Goleman and his co-author Richard Boyatzis developed a competency model of EI, focusing on how emotional competency resulted in outstanding performance in a business environment.
Research has demonstrated that an individual's Emotional Intelligence is often a more accurate predictor of success than the individual's IQ. No matter how intellectually intelligent someone is, their success is still governed by how well they communicate their ideas and interact with their peers.