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The 5 Components of EQ

When it comes to understanding what EQ is here are the 5 components.



This is the ability to recognize and understand one’s moods, motivations and abilities. Also understanding the effects they have on others. Goleman says to achieve a state of complete self-awareness, an individual must be able to monitor their emotional state and identify their emotions. Traits that prove an individual as emotionally mature include: confidence, the ability to laugh at oneself and their mistakes, and the awareness of how you are perceived by others.

Example: By reading someone’s reaction to you, you know how they perceive you.



This is the ability to control one’s impulses, the ability to think before you speak or react, and the ability to express yourself appropriately. Goleman defines emotional maturity in this component as being able to take responsibility for your actions, adapt to change, and respond appropriately to other people’s irrational emotions or behavior.

Example: If someone’s screaming at you, you know they may not be angry with you. You have the ability to understand they may be angry at a particular situation, and feel they need to take it out on someone. You don’t take this personally or react with anger.



This is having an interest in learning and self-improvement. It’s having the strength to keep going when there are obstacles in life. It’s setting goals and following through with them. Goleman defines an emotionally mature person in this category as having such traits as initiative, being committed to completing a task, and having perseverance in the face of adversity.

Example: If a student fails a class, they see it as an opportunity to learn and retake the class without self-doubt. They don’t let failure get in the way of their goal.



This is the ability to understand other people’s emotions and reactions. Empathy can only be achieved if self-awareness is achieved. Goleman believes that one must be able to understand themselves before they can understand others. Emotional maturity in this category includes such traits as perception of others, being interested in other people’s worries and concerns, the ability to anticipate someone’s emotional response to a problem or situation, and the understanding of society’s norms (why people act the way they do).

Example: Being able to understand and cope with someone else’s hardships or sadness. When you fully understand yourself and why you feel the things you feel, you can understand other people’s feelings even if they’re different from you.


Social skills

This is the ability to pick up on jokes, maintain friendships and relationships, and find common ground with others. Goleman says that emotional maturity in this component defines someone who has good communication skills, good time management, the ability to be a leader or manage a group of people, and the ability to resolve difficult situations or conflicts using negotiation or persuasion.

Example: Someone in a leadership position usually has a good grasp on handling different types of personalities. If two people in a group are having a conflict, that person can find common ground and resolve the issue in a civilized and fair manner.

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