The 101 on Emotional Intelligence


Research has shown that organisations led by those who demonstrate both strong emotional intelligence (EI) and character have enjoyed almost five times the return on assets compared to those with low-rating leaders… so can your workplace afford to ignore EI?

EI may at first sound like a foreign concept to many of us who have developed our careers in a corporate culture that has taught us that our emotions are to be separated from business.  However, since its inception in the mid 90’s there has been a constant shift, propelled by substantial research and tangible case studies, that now sees EI as a highly sought-after quality within the workplace.

So, what exactly is EI?  In our working lives, it is all about being aware that our emotions can drive our behaviour and impact those we work with, in addition to learning how to manage emotions (both our own and others), especially when we’re under pressure.

Psychologist Daniel Goleman’s five key elements to EI helps break it down a little more, while also enabling us to reflect on how well we manage these areas day-to-day:

  1. Self-awareness

How aware are you of your own emotions, strengths, weaknesses, motivators, values and goals?  Do you understand the impact they have on those you work with?  How well do you use these, in partnership with your gut instinct, to guide your decisions, no matter how big or small they may be? How often do you work within your competencies and know when to rely on someone else in your team or network?      

  1. Self-regulation
    How well do you manage stress and redirect any destructive emotions or actions?  How well do you adapt to change, especially when it may be negative and feel like it comes out of nowhere?

  2. Motivation
    How much of your motivation is based purely on achieving shared goals, as opposed to status, money or personal goals?

  3. Empathy for others
    How well do you truly recognise, understand, and consider the feelings of those you work with, especially when making decisions?

  4. Social skills
    How well do you manage your colleagues’ emotions, and work with these to ensure everyone is moving in the same direction?

These questions may have bought up some uncomfortable truths, which is the first step in development.  Mastering EI is a continual journey and one we’d love to continue to support you with.  If you’d like to take the next step, check out our Wellineux Mindfulness Training or Mentoring services.