How Emotionally Intelligent Are You?

I’ve been thinking about the relationship between emotional intelligence (EI) and leadership and have been looking at some different models. Daniel Goleman’s model lists different EI competencies, and his research shows that these are learned abilities, not innate talents. This is great news for life long learners who strive to constantly grow. Each of the competencies makes a unique contribution to a leader’s effectiveness. Interestingly enough, Goleman’s team has never met a leader who is strong in every single one of these areas. Instead, research shows that effective leaders usually exhibit strengths in about five or six of the sub areas, while at the same time demonstrating at least one strong competence in each of the four domains. The domains are:

  1. Self-awareness: emotional self-awareness; accurate self-awareness; self-confidence
  2. Self Management: emotional self-control; transparency; adaptability; achievement orientation; initiative; optimism
  3. Social Awareness: empathy; organizational awareness; service orientation
  4. Relationship Management: developing others; inspirational leadership; change catalyst; influence; conflict management; teamwork and collaboration

Whether leading a team, managing operations, or driving strategy, leaders set the tone for the emotional health of the organization. They are the emotional compass and have a responsibility to guide well in this area. Research shows that leaders who do this well—directing people toward positivity, enthusiasm, happiness and optimism—end up having a group of high performers. On the flip side, if leaders drive toward negativity, then the team will never reach it’s collective potential.

This chart puts it in perspective:

Determine which areas come natural for you, and which areas you need to flex your muscles in. It’ll be interesting to see how your leadership evolves as you turn some of these weaknesses into strengths.