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Emotional awareness and emotional intelligence

02 December 2022
Volume 27 · Issue 12

I would like to start this editorial with a polemic discussion about ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ skills, which some literature name as technical and non-technical skills, respectively. We know that the ‘hard’ (or technical) skills are specific, teachable abilities and can be defined and measured; for example, interpreting an electrocardiogram (ECG) or dressing a wound. Non-technical (or ‘soft’) skills are personality traits and as such, they are difficult to be measured, but they are the ones measured by every patient and relative. These include communication, compassion and patience, flexibility, adaptability, emotional stability, honesty, team-playing, work-ethic, time management, situation awareness, leadership. In a nutshell: emotional intelligence.

The capacity to recognise, assess and control one's own emotions, as well as those of others', is known as emotional intelligence. It is the ability to understand when and how to interact with people (Clancy, 2014), especially in times of high stress and strain. According to Salovey and Sluyther (1997) and Mayer et al (2001), people with emotional intelligence will:

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