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Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence is the capacity for recognising our own feelings and those of others and for managing ourselves and our relationships with others. It describes abilities that are distinct from but complimentary to academic intelligence.

Emotional intelligence is a tool that can enhance your business and personal life. It can lead to better self-awareness and self-management and improved relationships with others.

Emotional intelligence is made up of personal competencies that determine how we manage ourselves and social competencies that determine how we handle relationships.

The elements of emotional intelligence are detailed below:

Personal Competence

Self-awareness
This is about knowing one's internal states, preferences, resources and limitations. Elements of self-awareness are:
-Emotional self-awareness: reading one's own emotions and recognising their impact and using gut feel to guide decisions.
-Accurate self-assessment: knowing one's own strengths and limitations.
-Self-confidence: a sound sense of one's self-worth and capabilities.

Self-management
This is about managing one's internal states, preferences, resources and impulses. Elements of self-management are:
-Emotional self-control: keeping disruptive emotions and impulses in check.
-Transparency: displaying honesty, integrity and trustworthiness.
-Adaptability: flexibility in adapting to changing situations or overcoming obstacles.
-Achievement: the drive to improve performance to meet inner standards of excellence.
-Initiative: readiness to act and seize opportunities.
-Optimism: seeing the positive in circumstances.

Social Competence

Social awareness
This is about the awareness of others' feelings, needs and concerns. Elements of social awareness are:
-Empathy: sensing others' emotions, understanding their perspective and taking an active interest in their concerns.
-Organisational awareness: understanding of what is happening at an organisation level.
-Service: recognising and meeting customer and others' needs.

Social skills
This is about adeptness at inducing desirable responses in others. Elements of social skills are:
-Inspirational leadership: guiding and motivating with a compelling vision.
-Influence: using a range of tactics of persuasion.
-Developing others: building others' abilities through feedback and guidance.
-Being a change catalyst: initiating, managing and leading others in a new direction.
-Conflict management: negotiating and resolving conflicts.
-Building relationships: cultivating and maintaining relationships.
-Teamwork and collaboration: working with others and building teams.

To improve your self-awareness and self-management and to improve your relationships with others in your business and personal life have a look at the elements that make up emotional intelligence described above and assess yourself against them. You can then identify areas where you would like to improve and the steps that you need to take to get to where you want to be.

Author: Liz Makin
Published: April 2008

Through Makin It Happen - Coaching, Mentoring & Stress Management, Liz Makin provides personalised business coaching, business mentoring and stress management services to business owners, directors, managers and professionals. If you are looking for a business coach, business mentor or help with stress please contact Liz on 01780 765270 or email Liz@makinithappen.co.uk to arrange a free consultation session.


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