EQ informs and impacts nearly every aspect of our daily lives.

According to the authors of Promoting Social and Emotional Learning, EQ (Emotional Intelligence), also known as Social Emotional Learning (SEL), “is the ability to understand, manage, and express the social and emotional aspects of one’s life in ways that enable the successful management of life tasks such as learning, forming relationships, solving everyday problems, and adapting to the complex demands of growth and development (Elias, et. al., 1997)”. We demonstrate our level of EQ by the degree to which we experience and express compassion, listen attentively, communicate respectfully, make constructive choices, and sensitively and skillfully handle other people and their emotions. Our EQ informs and impacts nearly every aspect of our daily lives, from the way we interact with others, to the way we treat ourselves, to all the many choices we make throughout the day. As such, our EQ determines to a great extent, the quality of our lives.

5 Core Competencies

According to the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL), the leading EQ/SEL research organization in the country, EQ/SEL can be understood as the expression of the following five ‘core competencies’:

  • Self-awareness: The ability to accurately recognize one’s emotions and thoughts and their influence on behavior. This includes accurately assessing one’s strengths and limitations and possessing a well-grounded sense of confidence and optimism.
  • Self-management: The ability to regulate one’s emotions, thoughts, and behaviors effectively in different situations. This includes managing stress, controlling impulses, motivating oneself, and setting and working toward achieving personal and academic goals.
  • Social awareness: The ability to take the perspective of and empathize with others from diverse backgrounds and cultures, to understand social and ethical norms for behavior, and to recognize family, school, and community resources and supports.
  • Relationship skills: The ability to establish and maintain healthy and rewarding relationships with diverse individuals and groups. This includes communicating clearly, listening actively, cooperating, resisting inappropriate social pressure, negotiating conflict constructively, and seeking and offering help when needed.
  • Responsible decision making: The ability to make constructive and respectful choices about personal behavior and social interactions based on consideration of ethical standards, safety concerns, social norms, the realistic evaluation of consequences of various actions, and the well-being of self and others.

Jensen, K. (2012). Intelligence is overrated: What you really need to succeed. Forbes. Retrieved from>

“Research carried out by the Carnegie Institute of Technology shows that 85 percent of your financial success is due to skills in “human engineering,” your personality and ability to communicate, negotiate, and lead. Shockingly, only 15 percent is due to technical knowledge. Additionally, Nobel Prize winning Israeli-American psychologist, Daniel Kahneman, found that people would rather do business with a person they like and trust rather than someone they don’t, even if the likeable person is offering a lower quality product or service at a higher price.”

(Jensen, 2012)