What is Emotional Intelligence?

What is Emotional Intelligence?

What is Emotional Intelligence?

Emotional Intelligence (EI) is our ability to recognise, understand, manage and utilise our emotions on a day to day basis.

Emotions have a significant impact on everything we do and we all have differing levels of skill in terms of how to use them and manage them to get the best out of ourselves.

Our Emotional Intelligence includes five major areas…

  1. How we communicate with and understand others
  2. How we communicate and understand ourselves
  3. How we manage and react to stress
  4. How do we adapt to different situations and events
  5. How are we on a day-to-day basis

Without these skills, we may be technically excellent at what we do, but are most likely to be operating well below our capabilities, as these are the skills that are considered to be the ‘glue’ holding everything else together. Consider for a moment the effect it would have on you if you realised you can improve even just one or two of the areas above.

Each of these areas can be broken down into the following personal and social competencies…


  • Self Awareness – knowing one’s internal states, preferences, resources and intuitions.
  • Emotional Self-Awareness – Recognising one’s emotions and their effects.
  • Accurate Self-Assessment – Recognising personal strengths and limitations
  • Self-Confidence – A strong sense of self-worth and capabilities
  • Self-Management – managing one’s internal states, impulses and resources
  • Self-Control – Keeping disruptive emotions and impulses in check
  • Trustworthiness – Maintaining honesty and integrity
  • Conscientiousness – Taking responsibility for personal performance
  • Adaptability – Flexibility in handling change
  • Achievement Orientation – Striving to improve and meeting standards of excellence
  • Initiative – readiness to act on opportunities.


  • Social Awareness – awareness of others, feelings, needs and concerns
  • Empathy – sensing others’ feelings and perspectives. Taking an active interest in their concerns.
  • Organisational Awareness – Reading a groups’ emotions and power relationships
  • Service Orientation – Anticipating, recognising and meeting customers’ needs
  • Social Skills – Ability to create desirable responses in others
  • Developing others – Sensing others’ development needs, boosting their abilities and supporting that development
  • Leadership – Inspiring and guiding individuals and groups
  • Influence – Having effective tactics for persuasion
  • Communication – Listening openly and sending convincing messages
  • Change Catalyst – Initiating or maintaining change
  • Conflict Management – Negotiating and resolving disagreements
  • Building Bonds – Nurturing instrumental relationships
  • Team Work and Collaboration – working with others and creating synergy in pursuing collective and shared goals.

High levels of EI have been found to be linked to successful human performance in all areas of life, including sport. Not surprising when you consider how essential good communication, flexibility, stress/pressure management and a heavy dose of positivity are in sport performance.

It also doesn’t take a genius to realise that having good people skills is an essential part of being successful, and studies have shown us that the people who are the most successful, are those with high interpersonal, or Emotional Intelligence (EI) levels – in whatever area of life you look at.

NLP is considered an excellent field for EI development based on its focus around enhancing these key areas and by doing this you are giving yourself the best opportunity in life to be successful, happy and fulfilled in whatever you decide to do.