the four elements of emotional intelligence

the four elements of emotional intelligence

Emotional intelligence: What Is It?

Understanding and controlling your own emotions as well as being able to identify and affect the emotions of those around you are all examples of having emotional intelligence. Researchers John Mayer and Peter Salovey first used the term in 1990, but psychologist Daniel Goleman later made it more well-known.

In a statement to the Harvard Business Review from more than ten years ago, Goleman emphasized the significance of emotional intelligence in leadership.

He said that “the most successful leaders are all alike in one crucial way: They all have a high degree of what has come to be known as emotional intelligence.

Not that intelligence and technical proficiency are unimportant. They are important, but they are also the prerequisites for executive roles.

The Four Components of Emotional Intelligence

  • Self-awareness.

  • Self-management.

  • Social awareness.

  • Relationship management.

1. Self-Awareness

Self-awareness is the foundation of all things. It reflects your capacity to detect your emotions and the impact they have on your performance and the performance of your team, in addition to your understanding of your strengths and shortcomings.

95 percent of people believe they are self-aware, but only 10 to 15 percent actually are, according to a study by organizational psychologist Tasha Eurich, which might cause issues for your employees.

Working with coworkers who lack self-awareness can significantly reduce a team’s success and, in Eurich’s research, increase stress and deplete motivation.

Self-awareness is important because it helps you realize your own potential before you can help others do the same.

By completing 360-degree feedback, in which you evaluate your performance and compare it to the views of your employer, peers, and direct reports, you can quickly gauge your level of self-awareness. You will learn about your own conduct through this process, as well as about how you are viewed within the company.

2. Self-Management

Self-management is the capacity to control your emotions, particularly under pressure, and to keep a positive attitude in the face of obstacles. Lacking self-control, leaders are more likely to react and struggle to control their emotions.

Reactions frequently occur automatically.

But the easier it is for you to switch from reaction to response, the more emotionally intelligent you are. In order to respond to stress and adversity more effectively and deliberately, it’s critical to remember to take a moment to halt, breathe, gather your thoughts, and do whatever it takes to control your emotions.

This may involve going for a walk or calling a friend.


3. Social Awareness

Understanding and controlling your own emotions are crucial, but you also need to be able to read a room.

Your capacity to discern the feelings of others and the organizational dynamics at work is referred to as social awareness.

Empathy is a skill that socially adept leaders use. They make an effort to comprehend the thoughts and viewpoints of their coworkers so they may interact and work together more successfully.

Empathy is the top leadership skill according to the global leadership development company DDI.

Leaders who have mastered empathy outperform others by more than 40% when teaching, engaging people and making decisions.

Researchers from the Center for Creative Leadership found in a different study (pdf) that managers’ bosses see them as better performers when they demonstrate greater empathy for their direct subordinates.

Empathic communication will help you to support your team more effectively while also enhancing your own performance.

4. Relationship Management

Relationship management is the capacity to persuade, coach, mentor, and successfully resolve disagreements with others.

While some people want to avoid conflict, it’s crucial to effectively handle problems when they come up.

According to research, every unresolved argument can cost the organization eight hours in gossip and other unproductive activities, depleting resources and morale.

You must have those difficult conversations if you want to maintain the happiness of your team:

According to a recent poll by the Society for Human Resource Management, “respectful treatment of all employees at all levels” was cited as the most important component in job satisfaction by 72% of respondents.


Leaders set the tone of their organization. If they lack emotional intelligence, it could have more far-reaching consequences, resulting in lower employee engagement and a higher turnover rate.

While you might excel at your job technically, if you can’t effectively communicate with your team or collaborate with others, those technical skills will get overlooked.

By mastering emotional intelligence, you can continue to advance your career and organization.

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