Popularised by Daniel Goleman in the mid-1990s, emotional intelligence has risen in status as the key to success at work and in life. There are several different frameworks and models behind EI.
The ability model frames EI as a competency or a set of skills that can be learned and improved. The most famous of which is the Mayer-Salovey-Caruso model which has four branches - perceiving, using, understanding, and managing emotions. This approach has the most scientific evidence behind it to date.
In contrast, the trait model sees EI as part of an individual's personality, where certain characteristics lend themselves to enhanced EI. There are also several mixed models that define EI as a combination of personality and ability.