In reading What Makes a Leader? (Goleman) I learned that while technical skills and IQ are important for senior managers to succeed it is emotional intelligence that is actually the most critical. As a long-time believer in soft skills I did not have any difficulty believing this assertion.
Emotional Intelligence’s Five Components:
- Self-Awareness: The ability to identify and name one’s emotional states and to understand the link between emotions, thought and action.
- Self-Regulation: The capacity to manage one’s emotional states — to control emotionsor to shift undesirable emotional states to more adequate ones.
- Motivation: The ability to enter into emotional states (at will) associated with a drive to achieve and be successful.
- Empathy: The capacity to read, be sensitive to, and influence other people’s emotions.
- Social Skill: The ability to enter and sustain satisfactory interpersonal relationships.
Above as defined by Daniel Goleman & Peter Salovey.
In thinking of some of the most effective leaders that I’ve worked with over the years, I definitely see that they have shown strengths in emotional intelligence. And conversely as I think of hot-head or sell-absorbed leaders who were less effective—they obviously would score low on this assessment. Fortunately for all aspiring leaders most of the leading thinkers on this topic believe that while some EI is innate, much can be improved or learned with time.
For example, I am not always a great listener which hurts my ability to emphasize. Thru conscious effort I hope to improve in this area. If you know me personally, let me know how I’m doing. 🙂
Want to know more?
- Article: What Makes a Leader? [$] (HBR Nov-Dec 1998)
- Assessment: Emotional Inventory [$] (HayGroup) – Basic Quiz [FREE]
- Book: Primal Leadership (Goleman)