Emotional Intelligence

Howard Gardner published in 1983 Frames of Mind, establishing its theory of multiple intelligences for the first time. In a later work, he summarizes them in the following way (Gardner, 1993): Linguistic Intelligence, Logical-mathematical Intelligence, Spatial Intelligence, Musical Intelligence, Bodily-Kinesthetic Intelligence, Interpersonal Intelligence and Intrapersonal Intelligence.

Of the seven, we are concerned about the last two. He defined interpersonal intelligence as the ability to understand other people: what motivates them, how they work, and how to work cooperatively with them. It is identifying their moods, temperament, motivations and intentions. It enables you to read the intentions and desires of others even when not shown.

Intrapersonal intelligence refers to the internal aspects of a person, access to one's feelings, and range of emotions. It is the ability to discriminate between these emotions, providing and guiding one's behaviour. A person with good intrapersonal intelligence has a viable, effective model of themself.

Earlier, other authors related emotional content to the concept of intelligence. Edward Lee Thorndike introduced the concept of Social Intelligence in the year 20, but at that time, the definition of IQ and its corresponding test to measure monopolized all the attention.

It was in 1990 when Peter Salovey and John D. Mayer introduced the concept of Emotional Intelligence (Salovey & Mayer, 1990), organizing the Gardner personal intelligence (interpersonal and intrapersonal) into five significant competencies:

  • The knowledge of one's own emotions
  • The ability to control the emotions
  • The ability to motivate oneself
  • The knowledge of other people's emotions
  • The control of relationships

But it was not until the book Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman appeared that the term was popularised. In the words of Goleman, it is in these other characteristics that we have called emotional intelligence, features such as the ability to motivate ourselves, to persevere in the effort despite possible frustrations, to control impulses, to postpone bonuses, to regulate our moods, to prevent the anguish interfere with our thinking skills and, finally, but not least important, the ability to emphasize and rely on the other (Goleman, 1995).

Based on different frames of generic competencies (MOSAIC, Spencer & Spencer, Boyatzis and Rosier), Goleman relates twenty-five competencies with five dimensions of emotional intelligence (Goleman, 1998).

At present, two tests of the Consortium for Research on Emotional Intelligence in Organizations. The Emotional Competency Inventory (ECI) was created in 1999 as a variant of the dictionary of Goleman and the Emotional and Social Competency Inventory (ESCI), an evolution in the ECI created in 2007 and that is becoming de facto in the standard of measurement of the socio-emotional competences. The ESCI offers a way to assess the strengths and weaknesses of individuals, giving them precise, focused information on which competencies they want to improve on to meet their career goals. (Boyatzis, 2007).

The ESCI measures 12 competencies organized into four clusters:

Self Awareness

  • Emotional Self-Awareness (Emotional Awareness)

Self Management

  • Emotional Self-Control
  • Adaptability
  • Achievement Orientation (Achievement)
  • Positive Outlook (Optimism)

Social Awareness

  • Empathy
  • Organizational Awareness

Relationship Management

  • Coach and Mentor (Developing Others)
  • Inspirational Leadership
  • Influence
  • Conflict Management
  • Teamwork (Teamwork & Collaboration)


  • Mark Lynch, W. (1995). Multiple Intelligences: Howard Gardner (New York: Basic Books, 1993). Teaching Education, 7(1), 155–157. https://doi.org/10.1080/1047621950070122

  • Salovey, P., & Mayer, J. D. (1990). Emotional Intelligence. Imagination, Cognition and Personality, 9(3), 185–211. https://doi.org/10.2190/DUGG-P24E-52WK-6CDG

  • Goleman, D. (1995). Emotional intelligence. New York: Bantam Books
  • Goleman, D. (1998). Working with Emotional Intelligence. London: Bloomsbury.
  • Boyatzis, R. (2007). The Creation of the Emotional and Social Competency Inventory (ESCI). Boston: Hay Group.
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