Goleman’s five components of Emotional Intelligence

August 18, 2020

Geo Prz



indexEmotional Intelligence, as a Leadership theory, was developed by Peter Salovey and John Mayer. Their definition of EQ:

“… is the ability to perceive emotions, to access and generate emotions so as to assist thought, to understand emotions and emotional knowledge, and to reflectively regulate emotions so as to promote emotional and intellectual growth.”

In his seminal work, Daniel Goleman, a science journalist who brought “emotional intelligence” on the bestseller list and has authored a number of books on the subject, discusses the five main components of Emotional Intelligence.

1. Self-awareness: Recognize and understand your own moods and motivations and their effect on others. To achieve this state, you must be able to monitor your own emotional state and identify your own emotions by showing:

  • Confidence
  • Sense of humor
  • Aware of your impression on others

2. Self-Regulation: Controlling your impulses—instead of being quick to react rashly, you can reign in your emotions and think before responding. You express yourself appropriately by showing:

  • Conscientious and take personal responsibility for your own work/deeds.
  • Adaptable and favorable to change
  • When someone is complaining or is rude to you, you do not respond in kind. You respond in a manner which would not escalate the situation.

3. Internal Motivation: Internal motivation is marked by an interest in learning. It is also self-improvement vs. a pursuit of wealth and status by showing:

  • Initiative and the commitment to complete a task
  • Perseverance in the face of adversity

4. Empathy: The ability to understand another person’s emotional reaction. This is only possible when one has achieved self-awareness—as one cannot understand others until they understand themselves. Emotional Maturity in this trait shows:

  • Perceptive of other’s emotions and taking an active interest in their concerns.
  • Proactive—able to anticipate someone’s needs and the appropriate reaction.
  • Social Situations such as office politics do not phase one who has a firm grasp of empathy.

5. Social Skills: Identifying social cues to establish common ground, manage relationships and build networks. Emotional Maturity in this trait shows:

  • Communication: Listening and responding appropriately
  • Influence and Leadership: The ability to guide and inspire others
  • Conflict Management: The ability to diffuse difficult situations using persuasion and negotiation.

For Leadership Coaching, Training, and Workshops for your company on Emotional Intelligence (EQ), contact JumpStart Leadership at 519-854-2114.

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