As a counselor who works with athletes, executives, and creatives, I am constantly discussing Emotional Intelligence and whether this is a weak or strong area of their lives. As I work with these intelligent leaders, we have focused on finding the strength to use their emotions to become more connected at home, work, and on the field.
The term “emotional intelligence” was first used in the 1990’s. Emotional intelligence is a mixture of four kinds of skills: perceiving and expressing emotions, understanding emotions, using emotions, and managing emotions. In 1995, behavioral science columnist Daniel Goleman wrote the best-seller Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ and Working With Emotional Intelligence. Goleman’s book made the term a household word.
The Five Pillars of Emotional Intelligence
People with a healthy sense of self-awareness are “comfortable in their own skin.” They understand their strengths, weaknesses, emotions, and impact on others. One of the most telling signs of self-awareness is how well a person responds to constructive criticism.
Being emotionally intelligent in this area means demonstrating maturity and restraint when revealing emotions. They do not hide their feelings, instead expressing them in a manner that shows a high level of respect and control.
Emotionally intelligent leaders are motivated by a strong inner drive, not simply money or titles. They are resilient and optimistic in the disappointments. It takes a lot to break their confidence.
Leaders who manage with empathy are not necessarily easy on their staff members. They do, however, possess the compassion and understanding of human nature that enables them to connect emotionally with others. Empathy allows them to provide stellar customer service and respond genuinely to an employee’s frustration or concern.
Emotionally intelligent leaders are widely respected by their bosses, peers, and employees. They like people and are savvy enough to know what makes them tick. Their ability to quickly build rapport and trust with those on whom they depend seems almost second nature. Power wars, back-biting, and duplicity are not their style.
Adam R Glendye MA MFT, LAPC