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Emotional Intelligence: What Is It, Components

The importance of emotional intelligence has become notable for leaders in order to face the everyday significant leadership challenges. Emotional intelligence these days is becoming a requisite skill for competing in the workplace. Emotional intelligence gives developing leaders a competitive advantage amidst the talent war at all levels of an organization.

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What is emotional intelligence?

Simply put, emotional intelligence refers to identify, understand and regulate one’s own emotional reactions as well as those of others and channel them to act effectively and efficiently (Cherniss, 2000). Thus the notion that success at work and in life depends upon one’s understanding of one’s own self is becoming highly credible. Emotional intelligence thus provides a building platform for personal qualities, integrity, strength, motivation, confidence, and the ability to get along with fellow men.

Components of emotional intelligence

Emotional intelligence is based on five components which are self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy, and social skills. Self-awareness is to know one’s own emotions and drives and their effects on other people. Self-regulation is to regulate one negative mood or to redirect it. Motivation is the tendency to work with enthusiasm, energy, and determination. Empathy is defined as understanding the emotions of other people and caring for them accordingly. Social skills are building and maintaining relationships (Goleman, 1998).

My current manager is an able supervisor. He knows how to build lasting relationships with his superiors as well as his subordinates. He understands our emotions and feelings and takes steps such as counseling or guidance sessions to harness our emotions in positive ways. In terms of self-awareness, I would say he is one refined personality. He thinks before he acts and he makes sure that his actions bore positive results for everyone

Application to the current scenario

Lack of emotional intelligence is one of the main reasons for teams being unsuccessful nowadays. Studies have continuously shown a strong correlation between emotional intelligence and an individual’s ability to work effectively in a team (Ilarda, 2006). A team is made up of individuals. Leaders more importantly have a more responsible role to play. As I am the leader of my team, developing emotional intelligence would help me better understand members of my team as individuals and build rapport. One can better manage teams by understanding individual points of view, interactions, and motivations. Thus emotional intelligence is the key to the problem at hand.

Fostering EI in organizations

Emotional intelligence is much a part of organizational success these days. The steps that organizations take to promote productive emotional reactions can make or break an organization. Transparent and open culture, assertiveness, diversity, toleration of constructive disagreement, flexibility, and communication between various departments, etc are some of the steps that organizations take to foster emotional intelligence (Chastukhina, 2002). Organizations also cultivate emotional intelligence by recruiting emotionally intelligent employees, retaining talented individuals, and including individual opinions in decision-making. Managers also try to develop the emotional intelligence of their employees by setting mutually agreed goals, praising employees for good work, decentralized communication, focusing on employee feelings, and acting as role models (Chastukhina, 2002).


Emotional intelligence is not the sole guarantor of success; it is amongst the many components. By understanding the emotions, behaviors, and attitudes of its staff, organizations pave way for achieving goals effectively because the responsibility for success lies with the employees. Organizations can hire emotionally intelligent employees and train them to become more emotionally stable and aware. Such traits combined with other factors of success can result in increased productivity of the organization.

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Cherniss, C. and Adler, M. (2000). Promoting emotional intelligence in organizations: make training in emotional intelligence effective. Published by American Society for Training and Development.

Chastukhina, N. (2002). On the role of emotional intelligence in organizations. Web.

Goleman, D. (1998). What makes a leader? Harvard Business Review, 76(6), 93-102. Web.

Ilarda, E. and Findlay, B. M. (2006). Emotional Intelligence and propensity to be a team player. Web.

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