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The 5 Main Components of Emotional Intelligence

Understanding Emotional Intelligence can enhance many aspects of your personal and professional life. It’s the key to empathy and Emotional Maturity as well as better communication and leadership skills.

These are the 5 main components as described by author and science journalist Daniel Goleman. He has authored many books on the topic with a focus on leadership. The following is our update to Goleman’s work.

Emotional Intelligence and Emotional Maturity are common needs for Life Coaching, Executive Coaching, and Business Coaching for success in personal and professional life. Coaching services at CrossRoads can help you develop these 5 main components of Emotional Intelligence and Emotional Maturity to get more out of your life and career.

1. Self-awareness: Recognize and understand your own moods and motivations and their effect on your decisions and others. Remember, you can’t work effectively with others’ motivations and emotions if you can’t identify your own! Emotional Maturity in this trait shows:

Knowing your strengths and weaknesses

  • Knowing your strengths and weaknesses
  • Confidence
  • Knowing if your decisions are affected by emotions rather than facts
  • Sense of humor (Handle challenges and adversity.)
  • Aware of your impression on others (Read the reactions of others to know how you are perceived.)

One you have developed awareness of yourself, you are ready to realize your thoughts and actions are a choice. This is “choice awareness” which is essential for the next component, self-regulation.

2Self-Regulation: Choice Awareness helps you develop the mindfulness necessary to not just be aware, but to regulate your own impulses. This helps you think before responding and express yourself appropriatelyEmotional Maturity in this trait shows

  • Taking personal responsibility for your own actions e.g. not blaming others/ability to acknowledge mistakes
  • Perceive situations rationally and objectively rather than subjectively
  • Not taking criticism personally
  • Adaptability (and favorability) to change
  • The ability to de-escalate tense situations and not respond in a rude manner.

Being able to regulate oneself helps you develop grit, which is part of internal motivation.

3. Internal Motivation: Self-improvement, rather than a pursuit of wealth and status show marks rational, mature internal motivation. A focus on learning and looking for ways to improve. (A pursuit of wealth and status is an external motivator.) Emotional Maturity in this trait shows:

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

Once these 3 components are in place, and you are aware of, able to regulate, and can motivate yourself, your relationships with others are next. Your ability to recognize your own emotions and gain control over yourself can help you take responsibility and manage yourself which must be in place to manage others.

Healthy boundaries is also an important part of recognizing your responsibilities, managing yourself, and communicating expectations for others.

4. Empathy: Once your self-awareness has developed to the point of recognizing and managing yourself, you’re effectively leading yourself. At this point, you are ready to work more effectively with others. Emotional Maturity in this trait shows:

  • Objectivity to perceive others’ emotions and actions
  • An active interest in the emotions and needs of others
  • Proactively monitor a situation and handle an issue before it gets “out of hand”
  • Social situations (e.g. office politics) are not perceived as a threat

After developing the ability to work more effectively with others, your refined social skills will help you develop leadership skills.

5. Social Skills: Identifying social cues to establish common ground, manage relationships and build networks. For leaders, these social skills can help you build and manage teams to work together more efficiently. 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

After developing Emotional Intelligence, your ability to lead and manage yourself and others can help you more effectively achieve goals. You can reduce the risk of the effect of negative emotions. Leadership skills and decision-making are enhanced by mastering these 5 components.

For Executive Coaching or Workshops for your company on Emotional Intelligence, contact us today at 317-842-8881.

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