Emotional Intelligence Elements
By Atip Muangsuwan
“The prerequisite of emotional intelligence is mindfulness. You cannot have emotional intelligence without being mindful of your thinking, feeling and doing.” – Coach Atip Muangsuwan
One of my new-generation-leader clients showed up with his leadership topic for discussion: “Emotional Intelligence Elements: What are they? How important are they? And how can I develop them in me?”
Our chat went on like the followings.
Client: I’ve heard about ‘emotional intelligence’ for quite some time and someone has recommended me to read a book by Daniel Goleman on this subject. However, I still couldn’t find time to buy and read this book yet due to my hectic schedule. So, could we discuss about this topic today? And perhaps, I won’t need to buy this book to read after discussing with you.
Coach Atip: Sure. We can discuss about this topic. And perhaps, our discussion might inspire you to buy and read this book sooner!
Client: If so, could you tell me what exactly emotional intelligence is?
Coach Atip: Certainly! According to Daniel Goleman, “Emotional Intelligence refers to the capacity for recognizing our own feelings and those of others, for motivating ourselves, and for managing emotions well in ourselves and in our relationships. It describes abilities distinct from, but complementary to, academic intelligence, the purely cognitive capacities measured by IQ.”
“Emotional Intelligence (EI) also refers to a different way of being smart. EI is a key to high performance, particularly for outstanding leadership. It’s not your IQ, but rather it’s how you manage yourself and your relationships with others.”
Client: Wow! Thank you. That’s very clear definition of EI to me. And another key question is… how can I raise or boost EI in me?
Coach Atip: Good question indeed. Before we can raise Emotional Intelligence in ourselves, we must first know what Emotional Intelligence Elements are comprised of.
Client: Good point! So, what are the elements of EI?
Coach Atip: There are 12 elements of Emotional Intelligence from 4 domains.
Client: Wow! So many elements! Will I be able to remember them all? And what are they?
Coach Atip: Yes, so many elements indeed. Anyway, I will try to summarize them under each domain so that it will be easy for you to digest and remember.
Domain 1: Self-Awareness
- Emotional Self-Awareness
Emotional self-awareness is the ability to understand our own emotions and their effects on our actions and behaviors. You are aware of how your thinking and feelings affect you and how you’re doing and interacting with yourself, others and contexts.
Domain 2: Self-Management
- Emotional Self-Control
AKA emotional balance, it is the ability to keep your disruptive emotions and impulses in check to maintain your effectiveness under stressful or even hostile conditions. With emotional balance, you recognize disruptive emotions—emotions that get in the way like anxiety, fear or anger—and you find ways to manage your emotions and impulses. You stay calm and clear headed under stress, even during a crisis. And you can only have emotional balance or self-control by being mindful of your thinking, feeling and doing in the present moment.
Adaptability is flexibility and handling changes and juggling multiple demands, adapting to new situations with new ideas or creative approaches. It also means you can stay focused on your visions, but flexibly adjust your approaches or strategies to get there. You can cope with new challenges and sudden changes with your adapt-ability.
- Achievement Orientation
Achievement Orientation means that we strive to meet or exceed our standard of excellence. We look for ways to do things better. We set challenging goals and we take calculated risks. However, there’s a big paradox about achievement orientation. Because if you stay in this overdrive all the time and try to drive other people in the same pace, you can become a toxic leader. So, balance is the key to keep in mind here!
- Positive Outlook
Positive Outlook is the ability to see the positive in yourself, others and contexts (situations and events). It also means persistence in pursuing visions or goals despite setbacks and obstacles. You can see opportunities in crises; while, others can’t.
Domain 3: Social-Awareness
Empathy refers to your ability to sense others’ feelings and how they see things. You take an active interest in their concerns. You pick up cues to what’s being felt in thought. With empathy, you sense unspoken emotions. You listen attentively, to understand the other person’s point of view, the terms in which they’re thinking about what’s going on. You seek first to understand, then to be understood.
Empathic leaders are able to get along well with people of very different backgrounds and cultures, and to express their ideas in ways the other person will understand. Empathy doesn’t mean being able to read people’s mind so that you can manipulate them, but rather, it’s knowing how best to collaborate with them.
- Organizational awareness
Organizational awareness means the ability to read a group’s emotional currents and power relationships, identify key stakeholders, influencers, networks, and the dynamics that matter in making decisions.
A leader who can recognize networking opportunities and read key power relationships will do a better job at leading. Such leaders not only understand the forces at work in an organization, but also the guiding values and unspoken rules that operate among people.
Domain 4: Relationship Management
Influence refers to the ability to have a positive impact on others, to persuade or convince them in order to gain their support. If you’re strong in influencing people, you’re persuasive and engaging and you can build buy-in from key stakeholders.
Leadership is the art of getting work done well through other people. And influence is the most powerful way to do that. John C. Maxwell, a leadership guru once said, “Leadership is nothing, but influence.”
So, leadership is influence. And the most influential and sustainable kind of leadership is the ‘transformational leadership’ which you can read from my leadership article, “What’s a definition of transformational leadership?” on my website for further insight.
- Coach and Mentor
Coaching and Mentoring are the key skills to foster learning or development of others. You have a genuine interest in helping them develop further to become the better versions of themselves. Coaching and mentoring process are somewhat different. And people often misunderstand that they are the same! So, you can learn about their differences from my article, “What are the skills needed for leadership?” on my website as well.
- Conflict Management
Conflict management means the ability to help others through emotional or tense situations, to tactfully bring disagreements into the open and to define solutions that everyone can endorse.
Leaders who take time to understand the different perspectives work towards finding a common ground on which everyone can agree upon. They acknowledge the views of all sides, while redirecting energy toward a shared ideal, or an agreeable resolution; that is, the ‘win-win’ resolution.
Clearly being able to manage conflict matters for leaders. But that doesn’t mean convincing other people that yours is the correct opinion. There’s a difference between winning and effectively managing conflict.
The effective leaders will play the role of ‘facilitator and diplomat’ while applying the conflict management skill in their teams or organizations. I also wrote about these vital skills in the article, “What are the skills needed for leadership?” if you would like to learn more.
The teamwork element means your ability to work with others toward a shared vision, goal, participating actively sharing responsibility and rewards and contributing to the capability of the team.
You empathize and create an atmosphere of respect, helpfulness and cooperation, you can draw others into active commitment to the team’s effort. Leaders skilled at the teamwork competence build spirit, positive relationships, and pride of identity at being on the team. And it’s not just teams. This competence holds the key to collaboration of any kind.
Again, leaders get the work done thru people. That’s why teamwork is a vital requirement for all kinds of leadership.
- Inspirational Leadership
The Inspirational Leadership refers to the ability to guide people to get the job done and at the same time, maximize their potential and bring out their best ‘self’. With inspiration, you can articulate a shared vision and mission in a way that motivates and offers a sense of common purpose beyond people’s day to day tasks.
Inspirational leadership sometimes is called, “transformational leadership” as well. If you’d like to learn more about this kind of leadership, you can read from my article, “What’s a definition of transformational leadership?”
Client: Wow! Thank you for educating me. Your explanations on Emotional Intelligence Elements are very clear to me. Now I’ve known all 12 elements of EI and how important they are. So, the next question is… how could I develop those 12 elements in me?
Coach Atip: Those 12 elements are like 12 building blocks of EI. So, the simplest way to develop those building blocks is to work on them one by one and one at a time. And the prerequisite for that is… ‘mindfulness’. You’ve got to start off with being mindful of your thinking, feeling and doing.
When you’re being mindful, you’ll automatically become self-aware (Domain 1: Self-Awareness). Only when do you have self-awareness, you’ll be able to better manage yourself (Domain 2: Self-Management).
When you’re being mindful, you’ll automatically become social-aware when you’re with other people (Domain 3: Social-Awareness). And only when do you have social- awareness, you’ll be able to better manage your relationship with other people (Domain 4: Relationship Management)
Like I said, “The prerequisite of emotional intelligence is mindfulness. You cannot have emotional intelligence without being mindful of your thinking, feeling and doing.” So, mindfulness is vital!
Client: Wow! This is a great insight for me. So, I will need to practise mindfulness from now on in order to master my own emotional intelligence. Now it’s about time to start our coaching session, could we please have a chat next time regarding how to practise mindfulness? I’m really interested in this topic and the practice of it.
Coach Atip: Absolutely! We certainly could! This is very interesting topic that I’m also very fond of.
Client: Thank you so much in advance.
Coach Atip: That’s my pleasure.
After my client and I finished our ‘emotional intelligence elements’ discussion, we continued on with our coaching session as scheduled.
If you’re interested in discussing or being coached on any leadership or emotional intelligence topics, we can get in touch via my homepage for a discovery session @ Home – The Best Coach International (thebest-coach-international.com)
Empowering the world thru coaching,
Advocate of ‘Coach-Facilitator-Mentor-Strategist-Diplomat’ skills and self-transcendence leadership