Emotional Intelligence

How to Manage with Emotional Intelligence (EI)

EI is important for effective managers, but like many skills it can be developed.

A few years ago, it was quite a buzzword where I worked, but many people didn’t really understand the full meaning (including me). Some people would ‘spout’ phrases or words that did not really have any gravitas or meaning and it was clear they really did not truly understand EI.

The Five Goleman principles

According to Daniel Goleman there are five principle areas of EI.






My interpretation

Self-Awareness: a good manager needs to understand the impact of using self-awareness techniques to produce results. Have an awareness of the impact you have on other people and develop the areas you need to improve. Understand your own areas of strength and requirements for development. It is also important to understand how your emotions impact your team.

Self-Regulation: controlling your own emotions and being accountable for your actions. It is important that you reflect on your ability and behaviours. Good leaders demand much of themselves as well as their teams and don’t foster a blame culture. Thinking before you act, not taking a knee jerk reaction. Know your own values and beliefs; think what matters to you and how you want to be perceived. Use mindfulness techniques or meditation to help you regulate any unwanted emotional responses in difficult situations.

Motivation: EI people are self-motivated and good at motivating others. It is important you understand your team and tailor motivational actions for each individual to get the best out of your team. I have worked with someone I consider to be the ‘best type of leader’ he was relentlessly positive, focused and having a core belief of the direction of travel, driving action, looking to the future and not dwelling or analysing the past.

Empathy: I think this is one of the most important principles, your ability to put yourself in someone else’s shoes is vital. This can give you insights in to why they might be under performing or how they could be nurtured. Be genuinely interested in other people, ask questions about goals or what or how they might wish to develop.

Social Skills: as an EI manager you should be a very good communicator. Able to communicate with a range of different audiences and situations. You need to be able to communicate good and bad news and manage challenging situations. Being able to use conflict management techniques is really important.

Ideas for you

Model the behaviour you want to see from your team. If you don’t want a culture of long hours don’t work long hours. If you want collaboration, share your unfinished work and seek feedback.

Here are some areas of self-development that may help you continue to ‘hone’ your skills and knowledge to help develop your EI:

•          Be self-aware and control your own emotions

•          Spend time with your team to develop your empathy

•          Improve your conflict management skills

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