The Theory

Research has shown that there are a number of central skills that assist people to respond to emotions in themselves and others that are associated with better life outcomes. Often called emotional competence in the child development literature, or emotional intelligence in education, management or popular literature, these skills consist of:

  • understanding one’s own emotions and being able to communicate with others about how one feels
  • understanding other people’s emotions and being able to identify and interact with others when one or both parties are emotional
  • regulating one’s own emotions (including reducing, maintaining or intensifying emotions) in a culturally and situationally appropriate way, and
  • the ability to use emotion in one’s life to achieve one’s goals.