What is emotional intelligence? Simply put, it is the capacity of a person to interpret and actualize upon human emotions, both outwardly and inwardly. An “emotionally intelligent” person is able to know and to control the emotions of themselves, of other people and of entire groups of people. Within the field of study of emotional intelligence, there are five basic competencies that are learned skills and capabilities that allow a person to utilize their emotional intelligence processes to affect themselves and others.
According to Daniel Goleman’s model, the competencies of emotional intelligence break down into “intra-personal” and “inter-personal”, the first category dealing with a person’s own emotions and the latter dealing with emotional interaction between two or more people. Here are the five competencies of emotional intelligence.
Self-awareness is the ability to focus attention on your own emotional state in any situation, and being able to effectively process this state and use what you know to better inform your future actions. Say you are angry. A self-aware person will not only know they are angry, but the cause of the anger, and will use this knowledge to decide his or her next step.
Self-regulation allows you to select the particular emotion you wish to experience at a given moment, in a particular situation. This process takes a lot of practice and a considerable amount of self-control, but mastering it will allow you to take ownership of your emotions, and free you from being anyone else’s emotional victim because you and you alone will manage your emotional reaction. It needs to be noted, however, that self-regulation is more than merely “stuffing” or ignoring negative emotions. It is an active process that takes considerable training and focus to accomplish.
Self-motivation allows you to use your emotions to affect positive change in your life through dedicated pursuit of your goals, no matter the obstacles in your way. This process requires you to employ your emotions toward near-complete positivity, optimism, confidence and persistence. It is essential that you release the negative emotional reactions to achieve self-motivation.
The empathy competency of emotional intelligence is the ability to feel what another person is feeling, and to see and feel life from their perspective. This allows you to rationally and effectively consider their emotional state and how best to guide them to a state of positivity and optimism.
Nurturing relationships requires you to sincerely demonstrate an emotional interest and compassion for others. Your actions and words must reflect a proper respect for the effort of others with the goal of compromise and teamwork at the heart of the endeavor.