The Emotional Intelligence Theory (EQ) was first developed in the 1975 by Howard Gardener, in his book, The Shattered Mind. In 1990, psychologists John Mayer, and Peter Salovey published a crucial article on the Emotional Intelligence Theory that would later go on to garner much attention. However, this was a time when the Intelligence Quotient (IQ) was considered the ultimate test of a person's competency and potential. These preliminary works and research articles by Mayer, Salovey and Gardener, was given little consideration. It was only after renowned psychologist Daniel Goleman's book "Emotional Intelligence" was published in 1995 did the theory of EQ rise to prominence.

EQ is the ability to control and express one's feeling as well as understand, react and respond to other people's emotion. After the 1995 book by Daniel Goleman, the theory of EQ spread like wildfire and companies all over the world began adopting this new model to their professional setting. Research suggested that employees with a higher EQ were more likely to display leadership skills and had a greater chance of succeeding in their careers. Within a few years after the theory rose to prominence, the EQ Model had made an impressive impact on the professional world. The acclaimed, Harvard Business Review described it as a "ground-breaking, paradigm-shattering idea".

The extensive research and debate around this subject has given rise to three EQ Models.

The Ability Model

Based on Peter Salovey and John Mayer's findings, the ability model analyzes four basic abilities in a person. 'Perceiving Emotions' refers to the ability to detect a feeling actively in oneself and others. 'Using Emotion' refers to the ability to use emotion to one's advantage, in order to think more clearly and complete the tasks at hand. 'Understanding Emotion' goes beyond simply detecting the emotion to understanding the cause of it and knowing how to react to it. 'Managing Emotions' refers to the ability to keep emotions under control and express them in a manner that is appropriate and regulated.

The Mixed Model

This model of Emotional Intelligence was established by Daniel Goleman in his work, "What Makes A Leader". The model identifies five main criteria in the measurement of Emotional Intelligence in a person. These are Self-Awareness, Self-Regulation, Social Skill, Empathy and Motivation.

The Trait Model

Proposed by K.V Petrides, the Trait Model is the latest addition to the Emotional Intelligence Theory. This model claims that a person's emotional abilities involve a complicated network of self-perceptions. It depends on how a person perceives their emotional skills and can, therefore, be measured by a self-report.

Every model has its set of critics and supporters, and the debate on which model works best for the business world rages on. A number of self- assessment questionnaires and reports have been developed to measure the EQ of employees. Daniel Goleman claims that simple solutions exist to raise the EQ of employees in the workplace.

These solutions include:

  • Providing motivational feedback.
  • Breaking down task into achievable units
  • Encouraging healthy relationships between employees and EQ trainers
  • Setting attainable goals
  • Providing opportunities for learning and practicing
  • Encouraging self-awareness
  • Participation and interpersonal relationships.
Author's Bio: 

Bobby Harris is a driven, experienced and knowledgeable professional within areas such as healthcare, childhood education, abuse intervention and crisis prevention; organizational leadership and intellectual / developmental Disabilities.