A New Definition of Emotional Intelligence

Last Updated Jun 15, 2011 7:27 PM EDT

In the Cloud there has been considerable discussion about re-defining Emotional Intelligence. There are two classic definitions:

Salovey-Mayer: EQ is the ability to perceive, control, and evaluate emotions.
Goleman: EQ comprises four steps: Self-Awareness, Self-Management, Social Awareness or Empathy, Social Skills or Relationship management.
However I must confess I was very taken with Josh Freeman's recent definition of "EQ is being smart with emotions." I am an Occam's Razor sort of guy.

In addition Daniel Goleman has produced a new e-book which I reviewed recently. In the book Goleman grouped his first two steps Self-Awareness and Self-Management in to a new phrase: Self-Mastery. It is thus only a small leap to group Social Awareness and Social Skills into Social Mastery.

Thus a new definition would be "EQ is achieving Self- and Social Mastery by being smart with emotions."
However, those who have read either my books, whitepapers or blogs know that I am big believer that a major key to lifting your emotional intelligence is understanding the core emotions of temperament rather than the transient emotions of passing moods.

Thus, may I propose a new definition of emotional intelligence:

"EQ is achieving Self- and Social Mastery by being smart with core emotions."
Tell me how you would define EQ in the comments section below.