Smarts and creativity abound. In a corporate setting, for instance, there is no scarcity of talented and intelligent people who adequately know their trade and efficiently accomplish their tasks. But the most curious thing happens when some of these people are given a managerial role; for some reason, not all of them are able to successfully take on leadership duties.


How exactly do we explain this phenomenon?


Daniel Goleman, a noted author, science journalist, and psychologist came up with a name for the seemingly elusive attribute that separates effective leaders from inefficient ones. He called it emotional intelligence—a concept made even more popular after the release of a 1995 Time magazine article, which labelled it as the most reliable predictor of success.


Five Components of Emotional Intelligence


According to Daniel Goleman, emotional intelligence is comprised of five major components and they are as follows:


1. Knowing one’s emotions

Emotional intelligence starts with proper recognition of one’s emotions. If in the past, discussing emotions in a workplace setup was considered taboo, these days it is generally considered as an essential factor in maintaining healthy and productive office dynamics.




2. Managing emotions

It is not enough to merely have a precise name or label for one’s emotions. The next challenge is to be able to manage these emotions in a way that they do not unfavourably affect one’s leadership duties.


3. Self-motivation

Arguably, one of the most important of emotional intelligence’s components is the ability to keep a healthy work pace or momentum, especially during demanding circumstances.


4. Recognising other people’s emotions

Teamwork is compromised when a member, or a leader specifically, is too absorbed with his/her own emotions to recognise that he or she is working with individuals who themselves succumb to the same emotional bouts and triggers. Therefore, sensitivity- the kind which allows people to know the needs and concerns of those around them- is a crucial ingredient for successful team shepherding.




5. Keeping rapport

Lastly, emotionally intelligent leaders are aware on how to maximize a team’s potential through exceptional management of each of its member’s strengths and weaknesses, and consequently, fosters mutual trust and respect from his or her colleagues.


Emotional Intelligence and Communication Skills

People who possess an advanced level of emotional intelligence are able to maximize such aptitude and translate it into practical exercises, such as proper communication with team members. Communication skills in congruence with emotional intelligence have three basic indicators: active listening; proper utilization of I-messages; and conflict resolution. These indicators are closely related and tend to overlap hence it is important to ascertain where their boundaries lie in order to ensure improved understanding of their key concepts.


Individuals can learn or hone their emotional intelligence through emotional intelligence training courses. Although how it is measured is still widely debated, emotional intelligence is already an accepted and valued principle in relation to leadership. This has led to the development of leadership training modules and exercises especially directed toward educating participants on the basic tenets and pragmatic application of this leadership essential.


Nicholas Hill
Nicholas Hill

About the Author

Nicholas C. Hill is Managing Director and Principal Trainer for The Hill Consultancy Ltd, London, specialising in UK-wide public training courses in leadership and management development. Become a highly productive manager and influential leader today. Claim £100 off the list price on any two-day course. Promotional code: PASSION0213.


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