Emotional intelligence is a strong driver of leadership.

No matter where you currently stand on the EQ scoreboard, you can improve it. But if you want to improve your emotional intelligence level, you must first understand what it looks like.

Emotional intelligence comes from four main skills which can be further divided under two competencies:

  • Personal competencies
  • Social competencies

Personal competence comprises self-management and self-awareness, while social competencies are made up of social awareness and relationship management. Personal competence defines how you manage yourself and how much aware you of your emotions — the feelings you get daily. Social competence is your capability of understanding other people’s behaviour and moods.


Self-awareness is your tendency to accurately identify the emotions you feel. It allows you to do activities normally without being affected by emotions.

People who are highly self-aware can focus on feelings even when it makes them uncomfortable or arises pain. To be totally aware of yourself, you must understand what triggers certain feelings and what these feelings are. How you feel when you experience a certain feeling. Our emotions are triggered by our life experience. People who are highly self-aware can cut to the core of a feeling. 

Intense feelings require long periods of observations and self-reflection, so you can understand accurately what the feeling is and where it comes from. 

Self-awareness is the fundamental pillar of emotional intelligence which affects the other three aspects. 83% of people who are self-aware are highly successful at work. They can make the right decision and grab the perfect opportunities because their emotions don’t hold them back. 

They can:

  • Handle their emotions 
  • Manage a difficult situation without getting overwhelmed
  • Find solutions to a problem without having a mental block
  • Stay calm, cool and collected in most situations


Self-management is crucial to deliver tasks and projects in a timely manner. It is not only a skill but a way of life that’s should be adapted in all levels of professional and personal responsibilities.

Example of a person who is good at self-management:

  • Stays patient during a heated meeting
  • Listens carefully and then responds with knowledge
  • Can handle stressful and confrontational situations excellently
  • Can deal with underperforming employees politely and professionally

Social Awareness 

Social awareness is the first skill in social competency. It can be described as your capability to identify the feelings of other people. You should be able to know what they are thinking and feeling even if you feel the total opposite.

Social awareness aids absorption of important information. The two most important pillars of social awareness are:

  • Listening
  • Observing

Listening to someone with focus is very important. When you are listening to someone, stop doing what you are doing. Good listening is not about predicting what the other person will say next or what we are going to say next, it is just listening. 

You need some practice to be able to understand what the other person is feeling while you listen to them. 

Example of a person who is socially aware:

  • Can read the emotions of others
  • Can adapt to different circumstances and can develop a relationship with anyone
  • Can lead conversations without making the other person feel controlled
  • Can tell difficult news easily
  • Can change the communication style to rectify a situation

Relationship Management

The fourth skill of emotional intelligence is closely linked with the former three. If you are not fully aware of yourself, you will have problems managing your relations because your mood will affect your behaviour. 

When your emotions are in control, you can communicate explicitly without any confusion and can better manage conflicts. People who are good at relation management can build great relations with people who are entirely different or someone who they don’t like. 

The relationship is a product of frequent interaction. A few great interactions with someone can help you build good relationships. The most difficult thing, even for the strong people, is to manage relations during the time of stress. 

More than half of the destructive conflicts or redundant arguments occur when people lack the skill to start a constructive conflict.  

Example of good relationship management:

  • Can create a safe and inviting environment for discussion when required
  • Is easily approachable and listens actively
  • Keeps secrets of other people
  • Can give great advice to people
  • Can maintain good relation even during a tough situation
  • Can present his/her point without getting angry or upset  

A consulting firm which provides global advisory services such as ecap.ae can help you improve your emotional intelligence in a firm. You can also hire a company to train your employees and to help them develop these essential skills.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here