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{Excerpt} Emotional intelligence describes an ability, capacity, skill, or self-perceived ability to identify, assess, and manage the emotions of one's self, of others, and of groups. The theory is enjoying considerable support in the literature and has had successful applications in many domains.

The intelligence quotient, or IQ, is a score derived from one of several different standardized tests to measure intelligence. It has been used to assess giftedness, and sometimes underpin recruitment. Many have argued that IQ, or conventional intelligence, is too narrow: some people are academically brilliant yet socially and interpersonally inept. And we know that success does not automatically follow those who possess a high IQ rating.

Wider areas of intelligence enable or dictate how successful we are. Toughness, determination, and vision help. But emotional intelligence, often measured as an emotional intelligence quotient, or EQ, is more and more relevant to important work-related outcomes such as individual performance, organizational productivity, and developing people because its principles provide a new way to understand and assess the behaviors, management styles, attitudes, interpersonal skills, and potential of people. It is an increasingly important consideration in human resource planning, job profiling, recruitment interviewing and selection, learning and development, and client relations and customer service, among others.


Suggested Citation

Serrat, O. (2010). Understanding and developing emotional intelligence. Washington, DC: Asian Development Bank.

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This article was first published by the Asian Development Bank (