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Emotional Intelligence

Simple Definition:

The ability to get an overview of one’s emotions and those of others and to be able to:

  1. Understand the causes and effects of emotions
  2. Recognize emotions in others
  3. Recognize one’s own emotions
  4. Have justified emotions
  5. Regulate one’s own emotions
  6. Manage the emotions of others

Source: David Saunders, conference at Radix, Collège de l’Elysée, Lausanne, 20.4.2016

Continue reading below for a more complete definition, which is comprised of a set of emotional skills.

Detailed Definition

Emotional intelligence is a set of personal skills, interpersonal skills, discernment and anticipatory skills that allow someone to be emotionally balanced and engender emotional balance in others. It’s a source of harmony with one’s self and with others.

Personal Skills
1.    The ability to perceive and express one’s emotions
2.    The ability to identify one’s emotional needs, including those that are at the source of one’s          emotional reactions
3.    The ability to moderate and soothe one’s own emotions and to be free from them
4.    The ability to decenter one’s emotions in order to put them in their proper intensity
5.    The ability to be completely composed and at peace, without being emotionally overwhelmed        in the face of painful, disruptive, or disturbing situations
6.    The ability to decenter one’s own emotions in order to empathize with others

Interpersonal Skills
1.    The ability to share one’s emotions with others
2.    The ability to empathize with other persons expressing their emotions
3.    The ability to perceive the emotions of others with increasing precision
4.    The ability to appease the emotions of others through reflexes of peace
5.    The ability to help others recognize their emotional needs, decenter their emotions and calm    themselves.

Discernment and Anticipatory Skills

1.    The ability to decenter one’s emotions to better discern between facts and one’s opinions, and external pressures and manipulations
2.    The ability to discern the emotional needs of others, and the needs that provoke their emotions
3.    The ability to discern the actions and situations that tend to provoke the emotions of others (discern their triggers)
4.    The ability to anticipate the emotional reactions of others.

This richer definition of emotional intelligence entails the work of Mayer and Salovey, who contributed to the enrichment of the definition by integrating the ability to reason better, through astutely directing one’s emotions (Goleman, 1995, 1998; Mayer and Salovey, 1997, 2000, 2003; Bar On, 1997).

Emotional Intelligence and Peace Skills
There is a direct link between emotional intelligence and peace skills. Emotional intelligence describes the skills needed to calm others and one’s self, bringing harmony to tense situations. It’s a fundamental component of peace culture education.