Emotional Intelligence

Posted on July 12, 2012 by Matrix Education

What is it?

It’s the powerful combination of self-management skills as well as the ability to work with others.
There are five components of emotional intelligence: self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy, and social skill.

1. Self-awareness

The first component of emotional intelligence-self awareness means having a deep understanding of one’s emotions, strengths, weaknesses, needs and drive. People with a high degree of self-awareness know their weaknesses and aren’t afraid to talk about them.

For example, a student who knows that he works poorly under tight deadlines, will work hard to plan his time carefully, and will let his teachers and classmates know why. Many executives looking for potential leaders  mistake such candor for “wimpiness.”

2. Self-regulation

This attribute flows from self-awareness, but runs in a different direction. People with this trait are able to control their impulses or even channel them for good purposes. Those who have mastered their emotions are able to roll with the changes. They don’t panic.

3. Motivation

If there’s one trait that virtually all effective leaders have, it’s motivation. They’re driven to achieve beyond expectations. There are thousands of students who are motivated by external factors such as a big salary or status that comes with being accepted into a difficult course or having an impressive job title. However, those with leadership potential are motivated by a deeply embedded desire to achieve for the sake of achievement. A passion  for  achievement for its own sake—not simply the ability to responding to incentives—is the kind of motivation that is essential for leadership.

4. Empathy

This is the most easily recognised dimension of emotional intelligence. In addition to self-management skills, emotional intelligence requires a facility for dealing with others. And that starts with empathy—taking into account the feelings of others when making decisions—as opposed to taking on everyone’s troubles.

5. Social skill

The first three components of emotional intelligence are all self-management skills. The last two, empathy and social skill, concern a person’s ability to manage relationships with others.
It’s the ability to build rapport with others, to get them to cooperate, to move them in a direction you desire. Social skill is friendliness with a purpose: moving people in the direction you desire. Those who simply try to be sociable—while lacking the other components of emotional intelligence—are likely to fail.

This article has been extracted from The Harvard Business Review.

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