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Emotional Intelligence: Main Competences


Emotional intelligence is the ability of an individual to recognize their own feelings, those of other people, in order to motivate one self and as well be able to manage our emotions, in our own self and in the relationships that we are having with other people. Times back, emotional intelligence was never recognised but as times goes it has been realised that emotional intelligence is a very important thing in the workplace today. It has been realised also that the IQ that an individual has, or having a high IQ does not matter and it does not guarantee a successful business (Goleman and Cary, 2001). From Daniel Goleman’s book on working with emotional intelligence, we are able to see that most of the outstanding performers in the areas of business and great business leaders are mainly defined in the areas of their jobs by their “emotional intelligence” and not exactly by their job skills or even the way they perform their jobs in the workplace (Goleman, 2005).

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From all the analyses that have been done by experts from all over the world, such as government agencies, non-profit making organizations and even the corporations, have proved that emotional intelligence is a good barometer from which one can measure excellence on almost every kind of job (Goleman and Cary, 2001). Goleman explains that the success of a business is based entirely on the key aspects such as adaptability, empathy, persuasiveness which should be a workforce of all this. He even portrays that the IQ of an individual will only contribute to around 25% or even 4% of an individual’s success in the work place or at his job. This shows that it’s the emotional intelligence of an individual that actually counts when it comes the success in the work place or in business as the IQ or the skills that one has counts for very little in their progress or even in achieving the set goals and of that particular business (Goleman, D, 2005).

The Five Dimensions to Emotional Intelligence

Emotional competence which is in terms of self-regulation, motivation and self-awareness are considered to be much more important when compared to the cognitive skills that a person holds. The author has suggested five competences or dimensions through which we can be able to manage ourselves, this include;

  • Empathy –it consist of developing others, being politically aware, being service oriented, and even understanding others
  • Social skills- consist of co-operation and team work, managing of conflicts, building of bonds among people and also influencing others.
  • Motivation- consist of being optimistic, being driven to achievement and also being committed.
  • Self awareness- it consists of having self confidence, being emotionally aware and being able to assess your self.
  • Self regulation- this mainly comprises innovation, self control that one has, the adaptability that a person possess and also the trust worthiness of that individual (Joseph, 2001).

Goleman (2005) asserts that, “the main thing that differentiates stars from people of average performance is the emotional competences. Emotional intelligence is divided into two kinds of competences which are; social competence and personal competence. Personal competence entails aspects such as management of self and also the self discovery (awareness), whereas social competence on the other hand involves aspects such as the methods for managing relationships and the ways of dealing with awareness”. Self- awareness is the art of knowing a person’s feeling at that particular moment, and being able to use that knowledge in making decisions. It follows that when one is aware of their feelings at any time then such kind of people are able to recognize their strengths and weaknesses. This people are as such open to any kind of feedback given to them in regard to their performance and are thus willing to learn from any past mistake that they may have made or other past experiences. They are able to recognize the areas that they are either strong or weak in. In self awareness there are also other competencies that go with it, this comprises self-confidence which is a strong feeling of one’s worthiness and the capabilities that a person holds. Also we have emotional awareness which is the act of recognizing someone’s emotions and the effects of such emotions (Web home, Web pp).

Ingredients of Self-Awareness

Emotional Awareness

This is the art of recognizing ones emotions and been able to act according to their effects. Emotional awareness mainly helps in managing one self and even in the relationships with other people. The quality of performance of either an individual or group lies entirely on the emotional awareness of an individual. This is because one member in a group who has strong emotions can influence the emotions of the whole group that that person is working in. Thus Goleman in his book is suggesting the use of group emotion intelligence where he states that its first step towards achieving its goals should be through attending to the emotions of individual members and their needs, by influencing and regulating them in order to ensure that the members achieve the desirable behaviours and also attitudes. When a person has the competence of emotional awareness this person exhibits characters such as knowing the emotions they are feeling and why they are feeling so. This person is able to know the bridge between their feelings in terms of what they think and what they say. They are also able to recognize how the feelings that they are having can affect the performance of their work. It therefore means that when a person is emotionally aware it means that this person has a guiding awareness of their goals and values in life (Web home, Web pp).

Self Confidence

This is a situation where a person develops a strong sense in his/her worthiness in terms of the capabilities that this person has. The people who posses the competence of self confidence, are able to present themselves with a lot of self-assurance as they are very sure of what they have in terms of their abilities which they can positively stand for. Goleman in his book presents this situation of self-confidence through a situation where one can air out their voice views even though they may not be popular. They are able to stand straight for what is right, irrespective of the situation. They are in a position of sacrificing even their life for what is right according to them. They are also able to make out very important and sound decisions irrespective of the uncertainties that may come through making such stand points (Business balls, Web pp).

Accurate Self-Assessment

This is a situation where an individual is able to recognize their own strengths and weaknesses. Goleman therefore presents these individuals as being reflective, they are ready and open to any kind of feedback, that may come their way given that, they are aware of the areas that they are weak in and the areas that they are strong in. They do develop new perspectives and are always ready for continuous learning given that they are ready to sharpen on their strong areas as well as improve on their weak areas. Irrespective of this kind of people being focussed and ready for any kind of feedback, they still have areas that they are weak in; this is due to the fact that they tend to set very unrealistic goals which may be unattainable as they are over ambitious. They are the kind of people that push others too hard as they want to drive others instead of delegating out duties to others for them to do. They also tend to be hungry for power and they only want to satisfy their ego through attaining power and not for the sake of the Company (Carry, 2001).

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Ingredients in Self Regulation


Self-control is a situation in which individuals are in a position to put their impulses in a manageable situation. Self-control is expressed as a situation where an individual stays composed, and is always positive and unmovable even in moments that are very trying. It’s a situation where a person is able to think in a clear and focussed manner even when put under pressure.


This is a situation where an individual is able to practice honesty at all costs. A person with this kind of competency is able to work and act in an ethical way, as they are able too build trust. Since this a very reliable person who is able to admit their own mistakes and is in a position to confront others, in case they see unethical actions in other people. These people also have very strict and strong stand points as they are very principled people even though in some cases they may find themselves being unpopular in a group.


People who possess this kind of competency are able to keep promises that they make to others and also able to meet the commitments that they have made with other people. They are people who are organized and are careful with themselves in their work, as they consider themselves accountable for making sure that they meet the objectives that have been met.


The people who hold this competency are able to handle in a smooth manner the multiple demands that they may be having. This people are in a position to adapt to responses and kind of change that may come along as they are flexible enough. They are also in a position to go by the tactics that may come along to change the status quo.


People with this competency do look for fresh ideas from many sources and are in a position to entertain very original ideas as solutions to the problems that they may be going through. They are able to generate very new and original ideas which help them in tackling their daily problems in their working area. These are the kind of people who are in a position to take new perspectives and risks in the way they think if only to find solutions to their problems.

Ingredients in Motivation


People with this kind of competency are people who are ready to make sacrifices in order to achieve the goals of an organization. They are able to seek out opportunities in an active way in order to achieve the mission of the organization.


The people who have this competency are those that are ready to move on with the goals of the organization beyond what is set of them or what the organization expects of them. They at times do cut through and bend the rules if only they want to have the job done, and are in a position to mobilise other people through very unusual but achieving ways.

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This people are very persistent in pursuing the goals irrespective of the obstacles that may come by. They always look at life from the positive end and will always see the success of something and not the failure. They view setbacks as coming from the managerial point of view or been caused by managerial circumstances and not from a personal point of failure (Web home, Web pp).

Ingredients in Empathy

Understanding Others

People with this kind of competency show attentiveness to emotional things and as well are good listeners. They tend to portray a character of feelings of sensitivity and do understand other people’s perspectives. They help others on the basis of the understanding that they have or hold towards their needs and feelings.

Leveraging Diversity

These kinds of people in an organisation have respect and also relate well with other people who are from other backgrounds. This people do understand the diversity that is there in the world and are also very sensitive to group differences, since they see diversity as an opportunity and as such are able to create an environment in which people from various regions can stay without biasness occurring.

Political Awareness

Organizations which comprises of individuals who have attained enough competency always have an upper hand to understanding their external environment, because through its competent team off workers and management, the company is able to understand and nourish good relationship with the stakeholders and its customers. It also makes the reputation of the organization to be excellent. They know very well and can clearly read out the external realities as well as those of the organization. They too can be able to tell about the main power relations in the organization (Goleman, 2005).

Ingredients in Social Skills


These kinds of people are very skilled in winning over the ideas people to follow their way. They talk in fine tunes in a manner to appease the listener in their representations thus enabling them to build togetherness and support. They are in a position to turn dramatic events into very meaningful situations.

Conflict Management

The people with this competency in an organization are in a position to handle even difficult people and situations with a lot of diplomacy and intelligence. They are in a position to detect any kind of conflict that is about to happen and as such bringing these conflicts into the light and thus helping in solving. They always do encourage discussion of problems in the open air.


These are the kind of people that have a vision and mission in whatever things that they are doing in the organization. They do guide and lead in the performance of activities in the organization, as they act as an example to others.

Building Bonds

Those that have this competency, tend to maintain very extensive informal networks by looking for relationships that will only benefit both parties, and not only one particular individual. They help in building closeness with those they are with in the working area as well as maintaining close friendships in their vicinity.

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Collaboration and cooperation

The people, who have got this competency are good in sharing of plans or the things that one wants to do, they also share information as well as the available resources. They thus help in promoting friendly and co-operating environment which help in nurturing the opportunities available for collaboration.

Team capabilities

Those that have this competency do possess good qualities that are essential in team building in a company or organization. This may consist of helpfulness, cooperation, commitment, protecting the name of a group, active participation and sharing of credit (Goleman, 2004).

Thus we can see that the emotional intelligence is different from one individual to another given the social background of people, the level of academic intelligence and the status that the individual holds in the society (Goleman and Cary, 2001). Although the IQ of a person doesn’t matter in the success of a business it influences the individual’s adoption of emotional intelligence. The adoption of the five competences as described by Goleman, D. is much different and ranges from one individual to another (Goleman, 1998).

Improving Emotional Intelligence in the Work Place

When you want to induce emotional intelligence in the workplace, its important to implement some of the following ideas; setting the goals of the organization so that the workers are able to know what they are working towards achieving as this will enhance motivation in achieving of the set goals of the organization (Cary and Daniel, 2001). Providing more opportunities for practice as this will enhance innovation and perfections in the jobs that the workers are performing. Giving of feedback also helps in strengthening the workers as they are in a position to learn the areas that they are weak in and the areas that they are strong in (Stein, 2007). the working place should encourage transfer and maintenance of change as well as accepting new learning methods in the jobs (Web home, Web pp).


Emotional intelligence as we have seen is very vital in every work place, that it’s not how the workers have excelled academically, or the skills that they hold, but what matters most in the success of a business is the emotional competence of the person (Ciarrochi, J. et al., 2001). Understanding other people’s emotional intelligence is important given this can be understood in terms of their social and personal competence (Stein, 2007). These are things that can be seen when they are interacting with other people, as emotional intelligence is different from one individual to another. For example, self awareness, where this is seen in the way people are behaving with others, Empathy, understanding others, Social skills, cooperation and team work, Motivation consist of being optimistic, being driven to achievement and also being committed. These qualities are very different from one person to another given that, they don’t require academic qualification. (Joseph, 2001)(Business balls, 2009).


Business balls. (2009). Emotional intelligence. Web.

Cary, C. & Goleman, D. (2001). The emotionally intelligent workplace: how to select for measure, and improve emotional intelligence in individuals, groups, and organizations. California: Jossey Bass publishers.

Ciarrochi, J. et al. (2001). Emotional intelligence in everyday life: a scientific inquiry. USA: Psychology Press.

Dan, R. (2001). Proceedings of the 3rd European conference on management leadership and governance. USA: Academic Conferences Limited.

Ellis, K. (2001). Teaching, learning, and assessment together: the reflective classroom. USA: Eye on Education publication.

Goleman, D. (1998). Working with emotional intelligence. New York: Bantam books.

Goleman, D. (2004). Emotional intelligence: why it can matter more than IQ: & Working with emotional intelligence. USA: Bloomsbury publishers.

Goleman, D. (2005). Emotional intelligence. New York: Bantam books.

Stein, S. (2007). Make your workplace great: the 7 keys to an emotionally intelligent organization. Mississauga, Ontario: John Wiley & Sons.

Web Home. (2009). Emotional intelligence & emotional competence. Web.

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