Just what is Emotional Intelligence, anyway?

Here’s another first! You may remember this introduction and invitation.

Linda responded with, “I want to respond, but I have never written a blog, and I do not know what to write about???”. I replied with, “Just what is Emotional Intelligence, anyway?”

Herewith her response and consequently her first blog post.

Hi Rick!

You are at the beach and now. I am also at the beach with some time to collect my thoughts about being a guest blogger.  I am responding to a question that you sent by e-mail that many professionals may wonder about:


just what is emotional intelligence, anyway?”


Over the past 25 years, much research has taken place to try and identify what makes top performers in the workplace.  What makes one person succeed while another with the same intellect, training and experience doesn’t fare as well?  These “soft skills” or lack of them, can make or break a professional’s career.


When we were in Kindergarten, the most important task for us to learn, was “to work well and play well with others.”  If we could do that, we would make friends more easily and have more play-dates. Our teacher would also be happy.  Maybe she would call on us more, give us more privileges and refer us on to a great first grade teacher! When we become adults, this “ability to manage ourselves and our relationship with others” is extremely important, because we are constantly exposed to new challenges and life experiences, and if our EQ competencies are highly developed, then we can meet these tests in a productive and positive manner.


There are different models for Emotional Intelligence depending on the expert you refer to.  The 5 areas that have been identified that are essential to our ability to be effective leaders are:


1. Self- Awareness and Control

2. Empathy

3. Social Expertness

4. Personal Influence

5. Personal Mastery and Vision


I must give credit to Adele Lynn from Lynn Learning Labs, who trained and certified me.  Adele’s model incorporates Vision and Purpose, which is an essential quality that all leaders must possess in order to be successful.


A professional who has developed their EQ competencies, will be able to build trust, improve their performance and ultimately increase their business results.


Hope this answers your question.


Warm Regards,




Linda Cohan MSW,CSC
Business/Personal Coach

10 thoughts on “Just what is Emotional Intelligence, anyway?

  1. Linda, thank you. Three questions: What’s EQ?If I’m a small business owner, what symptoms will I see in my business and or relationships if I don’t have EI?Second, If I’m a salesperson, do I care about EI? What symptoms might a salesperson see/experience if he’s EI deficient?

  2. Hi, Linda. So now that we have some idea what EI/EQ is, how do we make the best use of this? Are there tests that someone can take to determine their EI/EQ? Can you improve your EI/EQ through training or technique? Thanks! -Eric

  3. Linda,Great Stuff! Now that we understand that EI is required to be successful, how do assure we perform to our maximum capabilities? And is it possible to improve these emotions?

  4. Hi Eric,An individual can definitely improve their EQ through training and technique. But, the individual must choose to do this, and with conscious effort, their EQ increases over time. There are two ways an individual can determine what their strengths and developmemtal areas are:1. A 360 survey which measures the five areas of emotional intelligence. The individual takes the survey and also has several other people ( managers, reports, peers, others) answer the same questions pertaining to the individual as well. The survey is totally confidential  and web based. The individual’s score is compared to the other raters, and his or her blind spots can be uncovered.And/or2. The Index for Emotional Intelligence Self- Scoring Version. This is a self scoring individual assessment of emotional intelligence. Of course, with this type of survey has its limitations, because it is only as reliable as the self-awareness of the person taking it.Training and follow-up coaching is the ideal.  I have had excellent success with coaching an individual after the results of a 360 have been identified.Hope this helps.Linda

  5. Hi Rick! Sorry to take so long to respond to you. In response to your first question: “If I’m a small business owner, what symptoms will I see in my business and or relationships if I don’t have EI?” Some of the symptoms you might notice in your business might be: a decrease in productivity, cost savings, personal satisfaction and decreased morale and retention among your employees. If you have not developed strong relationships with customers, you may see a lack of repeat business. This is a good lead-in to your second question: “If I’m a salesperson, do I care about EI? What symptoms might a salesperson see/experience if he’s EI deficient?” A salespersons success is based on his/her ability to develop strong relationships with people. If a salesperson does not manage his emotions and behaviors effectively, is volatile,unpredictable and gets “emotionally high-jacked”, that will most definitely be a hindrance to success. Another symptom might be the inability to develop strong social bonds with people. A salesperson’s livelihood is based on relationship building. No relationships, no sales…. Linda

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