1.1.1 Principle of Emotional Intelligence

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1.1.1 Principle of Emotional Intelligence

Daniel Goleman, a psychologist who contributed to the rise of the concept of emotional intelligence, proposed these five key principles of emotional intelligence in the workplace, which are self-awareness, self-management, motivation, empathy and social skills (1998).

These principles provide more detail than the three key skills previously mentioned and can be summarised into four categories:

1. Self-Awareness

This is the ability to know your own emotions, strengths, weaknesses, and goals, as well as how they impact your actions and other people. It is characterised by having self-confidence and a realistic assessment of oneself. There are three stages of self-awareness: 

Being able to accurately identify your emotions and abilities helps you figure out which areas you need to improve on. This principle is also the foundation for other principles, as you cannot properly manage and harness your emotions if you do not know them in the first place. Self-awareness can be applied in the workplace by analysing emotional stressors and the reason behind those stressors, as well as actively asking for feedback about your own behaviour.

2. Self-Management 

This involves taking what you know about your own emotions and finding ways to apply integrity and flexibility in decision-making by keeping disruptive emotions in check. A huge part of managing yourself involves holding yourself accountable and committing to improving yourself.

You can practise self-management in the workplace by remaining calm during stressful situations and adapting your response to others’ emotional expressions. The ability to keep your emotions in check while resolving issues will show that you are able to respond effectively and rationally to any situation. Showing control under stress will allow others to approach you more easily and create a more open relationship between workgroup members.

3. Social Awareness

Being socially aware refers to the ability to accurately identify others’ emotions. It involves being conscious of what other people are feeling at any given time based on their behaviours and being able to respond in appropriate ways to different situations. This means adjusting the way you interact with others in the workplace, depending on the situation and their emotions.

Empathy plays a key role in social awareness. Empathy deals with processing and understanding others’ reactions, emotions and motivations from their perspective. This is a valuable skill to become an effective leader, as it involves putting yourself in someone else’s shoes and feel what they are experiencing so that you can respond appropriately.  

There are three kinds of empathy:

The ability to relate to other people from their perspective helps establish respect and understanding between workgroup members. Empathy can be demonstrated in the workplace by actively asking co-workers about their opinions and offering them guidance and support whenever they need it.

4. Relationship Management

Relationship management involves connecting with others. Before managing your relationship with someone, you must know what outcome you want to get out of it. It is important to note that this skill considers not just what you want to happen in the relationship, but also the other person’s needs. This can be applied in the workplace through teamwork and mediation of conflicts.

Goleman’s principles of motivation and social skills can be categorised here. Motivation involves assessing your position and goals and understanding why you want to reach them. It involves the ability to find the good in each situation, especially failures, and learning to move forward. Being able to motivate yourself and others effectively can increase productivity and efficiency in the workplace. 

Social skills, on the other hand, is the culmination of the previous principles. It uses emotional intelligence in action by negotiating your own motivations with others’ and coming to a compromise. This includes being persuasive, finding common ground and resolving conflicts in the workplace effectively.