Emotional Intelligence: What Is It and How Do We Develop It? Part 1

Emotional Intelligence
Master those damn emotions.
/ January 8, 2016

What is Emotional Intelligence – Part I

Our actions are largely dependent on our emotions. When we deal with people, we deal with our and their emotions. It is therefore critical for us to examine our emotions, and see how they affect us, and what we can do about it.

Instead of letting our emotions lead our lives, how about we lead our lives by better managing and regulating our emotions? This is where Emotional Intelligence comes in. Emotional Intelligence is the capacity for recognizing our own feelings and those of others, for motivating ourselves and for managing emotions effectively in ourselves and others.

Based on Emotional Intelligence, you can develop a set of Emotional Intelligence Competencies that will contribute to effective performance in your personal, social, and work lives.

We are taught about math, science, history, and various other subjects in school, and this disciplined education, coupled with environmental factors like better nutrition, access to the Internet, computer games and puzzles have increased our collective intelligence. In other words, we have a higher IQ, but what matters most is not academic excellence or B-school degree, but emotional intelligence.

A high IQ and smarts can get you a good job, but to be successful in that job, you have to have a high Emotional Intelligence. It is your emotional intelligence that matters on the ground because our emotions lead to actions.

Emotional Intelligence
Emotions lead to actions

Back in the days, the importance of IQ as the standard of excellence in life was undisputed, but with times, the needle has moved towards Emotional Intelligence. It’s a new way of thinking about what goes in to make a successful life.

According to Travis Bradberry and Jean Greaves, authors of Emotional Intelligence 2.0, 90% of top performers have high EQ, and EQ is responsible for 58% of job performance.

EQ, or EI, is all the more important in leadership roles. The knowledge workers in the postindustrial societies have a different orientation towards leadership and authority. Polls indicate that they are less deferential to authority in organization and in politics. In today’s “flatter” hierarchies at organizations, leaders must know how to make effective use of soft power; and they can do that only if they have a solid foundation of emotional intelligence.

Leadership here refers to all forms of leaderships — leadership in political groups, street gangs, online or offline communities, universities, etc. — not just formal, corporate leadership.

Danial Goleman, the psychologist who popularized the term emotional intelligence, says, “Emotional Intelligence abilities — rather than IQ or technical skills — emerge as the ‘discriminating’ competency that best predicts who among a group of very smart people will lead most ably.” IQ and technical expertise are strong predictors of excellence in lower-rung jobs, but as you progress in your career, the role that EQ plays in your career becomes increasingly important.

According to Goleman’s Emotional Competence Framework, there are twenty-five emotional competencies spread across five
dimensions of emotional intelligence — Self-Awareness, Self-Regulation, Motivation, Empathy, and Social Skills.Emotional Intelligence

Self-Awareness, Self-Regulation, and Motivation are Personal Competencies, whereas Empathy and Social Skills are Social Competencies.

Emotional Intelligence Competencies
25 Emotional Intelligence Competencies

Below is a list of twenty-five competencies and attributes of people strong in those.

A. Self-Awareness

When I discover who I am, I’ll be free. — Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man.

1. Emotional awareness

People with this competence are aware of the emotions they are feeling and why. They understand how their feelings affect their performance.

2. Accurate self-assessment

People with this competence are aware of their strengths and weaknesses. They are open to feedback and they tend to learn and grow from experience. They also have a sense of humor and perspective about themselves.

3. Self-confidence

They have a strong sense of self-worth and capabilities. They present themselves with self-assurance and they exude charisma, inspiring confidence in those around them. Their self-confidence gives them the strength to make sound decisions despite opposition, uncertainties and pressure.

B. Self-Regulation

You have power over your mind – not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength. ― Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

4. Self-control

Self-control is about managing disruptive emotions and impulses. People with this competence manage their impulsive feelings and distressing emotions well. They stay composed, positive, and unflappable even in trying moments. They are able to think clearly and stay focused under pressure.

5. Trustworthiness

They maintain high standards of honesty and integrity. They act ethically and they build trust through their reliability and authenticity. They admit their own mistakes and confront unethical actions in others. They take tough, principled stands even if they are unpopular

6. Conscientiousness 

They take responsibility for personal performance. They meet commitments and keep promises and hold themselves accountable for meeting their objectives.

7. Adaptability

They are flexible and they adapt well to change. They are able to deal with uncertainty, ambiguity, and shifting priorities and they adapt their responses and tactics to fit fluid circumstances.

8. Innovativeness 

They are open to new ideas. They seek out fresh ideas from a wide variety of sources and are willing to take risks.

C. Motivation

What you do today can improve all your tomorrows. — Ralph Martson

9. Achievement drive

They strive to improve or meet a standard of excellence. They are results-oriented and have a high drive to meet their objectives and standards. They set challenging goals and take calculated risks. They focus on ongoing learning and continuously improving their performance.

10. Commitment

They align themselves with the goals of the group or organization. They are willing to make personal or group sacrifices to meet a larger organizational goal. They find a sense of purpose in the larger mission. They actively seek out opportunities to fulfill the group’s mission

11. Initiative

They show readiness to act on opportunities. They pursue goals beyond what’s required or expected of them. They primary focus is on getting the job done and they are willing to cut through red tape and bend the rules if needed.

12. Optimism

They pursue their goals despite obstacles and setbacks. They operate from hope of success rather than fear of failure. They see setbacks as manageable events rather than a failure.

D. Empathy

The great gift of human beings is that we have the power of empathy. — Meryl Streep

13. Understanding Others 

They sense others’ feelings and perspective, and take an active interest in their concerns. They are attentive to emotional cues and listen well. They help out based on understanding other people’s needs and feeling

14. Developing Others

They sense what others need in order to develop their abilities. They acknowledge and reward people’s strengths, accomplishments, and development. They mentor others, give them timely coaching, and offer assignments that challenge and grow their skills.

15. Service Orientation

They Anticipate, recognize, and meet others’ needs. They seek ways to increase customers’, or others’ satisfaction and loyalty. They make an attempt to understand others’ perspective and gladly offer appropriate assistance.

16. Leveraging Diversity

They cultivate opportunities through diverse people. They respect and relate well to people from varied backgrounds. They take into consideration diverse world views and are sensitive to group differences. They see diversity as opportunity, and challenge bias and intolerance.

17. Political Awareness

People with this competence are politically savvy. They reading a group’s emotional currents and power relationships. They accurately read situations and organizational and external realities and frame their response to fit the situation.

E. Social Skills

I consider social skills a bit like learning a language. I’ve been practicing it for so long over so many years I’ve almost lost my accent. — Daniel Tammet

18. Influence

People with social skills are adept at persuading and influencing others. They use complex strategies like indirect influence to build consensus and support.

19. Communication

Communication skills are important for survival. People with strong communication skills send clear and convincing messages. They are effective in give-and-take, and deal with difficult issues in a straightforward manner. They listen well, seek mutual understanding, and welcome sharing of information fully.

20. Conflict Management

People skilled at conflict management know how to negotiate and resolve disagreements. They understand how to handle difficult people and tense situations with diplomacy and tact. They encourage debate and open discussion and shoot for win-win solutions

21. Leadership

Good leaders inspire and guide groups and people. They step forward to lead as needed, regardless of their formal authority. They lead by example and guide the performance of others while holding them accountable.

22. Change Catalyst

People with this competence are skilled at initiating or managing change. They recognize the need for change and remove barriers. They challenge the status quo to acknowledge the need for change. They lead the change and enlist others also in its pursuit

23. Building Bonds

They nurture instrumental relationships. People with this skill cultivate and maintain extensive formal and informal networks. They believe in building relationships, not just expanding their networks for the name-sake. They seek out mutually beneficial relationships and make and maintain personal friendships among work associates.

24. Collaboration and Cooperation

They balance a focus on task with attention to relationships. They collaborate, share plans, information, and resources. They promote a a friendly, cooperative climate and nurture opportunities for collaboration.

25. Team Capabilities

Good team players create group synergy in pursuing collective goals. They model team qualities like respect, helpfulness, and cooperation. They share credit, and protect the group and its reputation. They attempt to draw all members into active and enthusiastic participation.

 

How to Develop Emotional Intelligence — Part II

With an awareness of the ingredients of emotional intelligence, we look at how to develop emotional intelligence in part II of this article.