Robert Fettgather
3 min readApr 3, 2024

Cultivating Emotional Intelligence: What Are The Advantages?

Robert Fettgather, Ph.D., serves as an adjunct faculty member at Mission College in Santa Clara, California, where he instructs courses covering a range of psychological topics, including general psychology, abnormal psychology, developmental psychology, and psychiatric interviewing. Dr. Fettgather has contributed to several research papers focusing on social issues, such as his co-authorship of “Elder abuse as an emerging public health concern: identifying deficiencies in law enforcement policy.” He is interested in emotional intelligence across the lifespan.

Most people have heard the term “emotional intelligence”- but what does it really mean? The concept of emotional intelligence, coined by John Mayer and Peter Salovey in 1990, refers to an individual’s capacity to comprehend and effectively manage their emotions. Daniel Goleman, a psychologist, further elaborated on these ideas, attributing significant importance to emotional intelligence, particularly in leadership roles. Goleman argued that emotional intelligence, or EQ, is paramount for successful leadership, surpassing even traditional measures of intelligence like IQ. Let’s see how these claims for EQ stack up against the evidence.

In today’s workplace, emotional intelligence has emerged as a highly sought-after attribute by human resource managers. According to CareerBuilder, 71 percent of employers prioritize candidates with high emotional intelligence over those with a high IQ. Similarly, TalentSmart, a provider of EQ training, identifies emotional intelligence as a key performance indicator in modern workplaces.

There are other advantages to a high EQ. Emotional intelligence encompasses the ability to interact successfully with others, empathize with their emotions, and possess self-awareness. It significantly influences one’s responses to life’s challenges and their ability to navigate diverse social settings. EQ also plays a crucial role in fostering empathy and understanding the underlying motivations behind people’s actions.

The four main components of emotional intelligence include self-awareness, self-motivation, social skills, and self-management. Self-awareness involves recognizing how one’s emotions, strengths, weaknesses, and intentions influence their decisions and actions. This self-awareness enables individuals to effectively cope with challenging situations, such as resolving conflicts with coworkers in a constructive manner.

Self-motivation is another essential aspect of emotional intelligence, influencing an individual’s resilience and willingness to persist in the face of obstacles. Highly motivated individuals are more open to feedback, track their progress, and continuously strive to improve themselves, contributing positively to team morale and productivity.

Social skills encompass the ability to discern social cues, understand others’ emotions, and navigate interpersonal relationships effectively. Empathy, in particular, is a crucial skill for socially adept leaders, enabling them to connect with coworkers and collaborate more successfully. And empathy makes the world a better place.

Self-management or self-regulation involves controlling and regulating one’s emotions, particularly in stressful or challenging situations. It entails the ability to delay impulsive reactions, choose appropriate times to express emotions, and maintain composure under pressure. By mastering self-management techniques, individuals can mitigate the negative impact of emotions on themselves and others, fostering healthier interpersonal dynamics and improved overall well-being. Most of us would rather not be controlled by our emotions so much as control or manage them.

Robert Fettgather

Dr. Robert Fettgather holds a PhD in psychology, master’s degrees in psychology and special education, and a bachelor of arts in psychology.