The Different Emotional Intelligence Categories

emotional intelligence

Hala El Chemor-Counselor, CBT & Mindfulness Practitioner

The Different E.I Categories

The previous article, “Let’s Talk E.I.”, briefly talked about Goleman’s different E.I. categories. This article will be focusing on the different categories and skills of Emotional Intelligence (E.I.), while discussing – in further details – two pillars of E.I. who are affiliated to the latter, such as Goleman.                                                                                                                

E.I. could be twice as important as I.Q. , as the I.Q. alone is not enough for leading a successful life and career. Being able to read the signals of the other person and react appropriately to them is key in reaching personal and professional success. And, acknowledging and embracing your own emotions without allowing them to swamp you is another aspect of E.I.

It is fascinating that anyone, despite their age, could develop and acquire the appropriate skills to enhance their E.I. throughout life. After all, it’s a never-ending process!

John Mayer and Peter Salovey were two pillars of E.I., as well as professors in psychology; they both said:

“The emotionally intelligent person is skilled in four areas: identifying emotions, using emotions, understanding emotions, and regulating emotions.” 

They were later joined by David Caruso; and the three of them developed the assessment for Emotional Intelligence. It was called the Mayer-Salovey- Caruso- Emotional- Intelligence-Test (MSCEIT).

The MSCEIT™ measures four related abilities, which are the four skills of an emotionally intelligent person:

  1. Perceiving Emotions— Capability to identify the feelings of others.
  2. Using Emotions to Facilitate Thought— Capability to create and integrate emotions into the way one thinks.
  3. Understanding Emotions—Capability to understand the causes of emotions.
  4. Managing Emotions—Capability creating effective strategies that use emotions and help achieve a goal, rather than being unpredictably influenced by emotions.

Mayer, Salovey, and Caruso’s work was brought forth to the public by a well-known journalist, Daniel Goleman. In his book, “Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ”, he expanded and changed the original concept of E.I. that had been put forward by Mayor and Salovey. He spoke about the 5 categories of E.I.

 According to Goleman, the five skills mentioned below allow the ability to better deal with life’s hardships, such as: relationships, stressful situations, and life transitions.

The 5 Categories are:

  1. Self-awareness:

To be able to recognize a certain emotion as it is. Hence, one must be tuned in with their authentic feelings and evaluate the emotions leading to their management.

Major elements of self- awareness are:

  • Self-confidence: knowing one’s worth and potentials;
  • Emotional Awareness: recognizing one’s emotions and their effects on us.
  1. Self-regulation:

Whilst having little control over one’s experienced emotions, one may determine how long that emotion can last. Some techniques can come to hand which would include: taking a walk, meditating, or looking at the situation from a positive perspective.

Self-regulation involves:

  • Trustworthiness
  • Self-control
  • Adaptability
  • Conscientiousness
  • Innovation
  1. Motivation:

Motivating oneself to set and achieve any goal with a positive attitude. Should negative thoughts occur, one may approach them and reframe them with a positive manner.

Motivation consists of:

  • Initiative;
  • Achievement drive (Strive to improve or meet the standards of excellence);
  • Commitment;
  • Optimism.
  1. Empathy:  

Having the ability to recognize how the other may feel is important in order to achieve success, both on personal and professional levels. The more skilled one is, the better they are at controlling the signals they send back to others.

Empathetic individuals excel at:

  • Services orientation (recognizing, meeting, and anticipating the others’ needs);
  • Developing and understanding others;
  • Political Awareness;
  • Leveraging diversity.
  1. Social Skills:

It is crucial to develop interpersonal skills in order to achieve personal and professional successes.

Useful Skills:

  • Influence: Change catalyst;
  • Conflict management: Communication;
  • Leadership: Building Bonds;
  • Collaboration and cooperation: Team Capabilities.

Fully developing and acquiring each category will result in a higher E.I., therefore, giving one a better chance to succeed in life on person and professional levels.

I hope you enjoyed the read and that you are all being safe in these unprecedented moments!


By Hala El Chemor, Counselor, CBT & Mindfulness Practitioner


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