After all, he received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1921 for his studies on photoelectric effects (and not for his most famous theory, Relativity, as many might think). Well, that Einstein had a very high intelligence quotient is unquestionable. But, he is a good example of how IQ and emotional intelligence are completely different things.

Despite academic recognition, Einstein’s personal life was not so successful. His study partner and wife, Mileva, never received formal recognition for her contributions (although she did receive Nobel Prize money as part of the divorce settlement) and ended her days teaching private mathematics lessons. One of the couple’s children, Eduard, suffered from schizophrenia and, after the divorce, never saw his father again. Despite his talent with numbers, Einstein’s personal relationships were turbulent and unstable.

Notice how emotional intelligence and cognitive intelligence are different? Developing emotional intelligence helps us to have healthier relationships with others, but it has a much deeper purpose: to make us relate well to our own feelings.

Emotions have more influence on our behavior than we realize, since emotional responses are much faster than rational ones. When something happens, our emotional side already has the answer ready, while the rational side is still processing the facts to only then analyze them and offer a solution. When working on emotional intelligence, you assume control of this flow, not being at the mercy of feelings.

We have already talked about emotional intelligence at work here on the Portal and also about its importance among those who aspire to leadership positions . Today, the subject is the pillars that support the development of this skill so necessary for life, in all its scopes. follow up.


Emotional intelligence is a relatively recent subject. The book “Emotional Intelligence: the theory that redefines what it means to be intelligent”, considered the main work on the subject, was launched in 1995 by the psychologist and science journalist Daniel Goleman. In it, the author defines the pillars of emotional intelligence. Are they:


When you feel angry, is that your real response or is it masking a feeling of frustration? What, then, about anxiety? She is the cloak that can hide a range of much more complex emotions. It makes you think you’re anxious about a performance, for example, when, in fact, you hide your fear of failure or being judged.

Knowing how to recognize and name the emotions we feel is the first great exercise to develop emotional intelligence. After all, how to manage emotions you don’t know? To facilitate this process of self-discovery, a simple exercise is to write down, at the end of each day, the feelings you noticed and how you dealt with them.


Once you understand which emotions you truly feel, it’s time to work on them. At the end of a week of writing, take stock of your most frequent feelings and how you dealt with them.

When developing this second pillar of emotional intelligence, it is important that you understand the difference between two concepts: self-perception and hetero-perception. The first, as you may already know, refers to what we understand and perceive. The second concerns the way others see the same situation. Often, self-perception tells you that your way of acting is assertive; meanwhile, people around you interpret your actions as being a harsh person, after all you are what people see and not what you think.

Finding out what others think about us is always an act of courage, as the messages we send are not always read with the same tone with which we send them. Knowing the perception of others is essential for those who want to work on their emotional intelligence, as this way it is possible to better control the emission of messages and avoid distorted understandings.


Learning to manage your emotions and rationalize before making any decision has benefits such as reducing interpersonal and internal conflicts. Therefore, the way to go towards your goals becomes more peaceful and balanced.

It’s very easy to fall back into old patterns of behavior, and it happens to everyone. What cannot happen is to believe that you cannot change, that “I am just like that”. This is where self-motivation shows why it is one of the pillars that sustain emotional intelligence.

Remember why you are investing in this change, in the personal and professional benefits that emotional intelligence will bring and don’t give up on your improvement!


Like emotional intelligence, empathy is a concept that has recently gained prominence. Empathy is putting yourself in someone else’s shoes. But to do it truly, sensitively and openly, without judgment. Did your colleague get upset over something you consider silly? Being empathetic is more than just validating and respecting the feelings of others, but trying to insert yourself into that context, understanding why, for him, that banal event aroused this emotion.

Empathy is a choice and developing it is a process that requires dedication. We talk more about this in the post What is empathy? How to develop this skill? and we recommend reading it if you want to develop your emotional intelligence.


One consequence of developing empathy is building more positive and healthy relationships. Social skills affect all areas of life, after all, it is impossible to live alone. From affective relationships to family life, going through career, every day you have to deal with different people.

Having social management, being able to move between groups and getting along well with them, is one of the pillars of emotional intelligence. It is undoubtedly one of the most efficient ways to create a positive environment around you, with relationships based on respect.

These pillars are related to each other, one complementing the other. As you can see, emotional intelligence starts with self-knowledge, making you reflect on your feelings and goals. Only then do they dedicate themselves to the relationship with others. Together, these pillars support emotional intelligence in a holistic way, making its development a truly transformative activity.

Interested in learning more about Emotional Intelligence? To complement your reading, we suggest the article How to keep calm at work , which offers tips on how to deal with moments of stress and pressure in the professional environment.

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