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Unless you have been banished to a remote island in the middle of the ocean, you will invariably encounter situations where you need to have a social and even an emotional interaction with someone. Sometimes that interaction is just small talk with very little feeling, while other times, it is deep gritty conversation that prods at the heart of a pressing situation. No matter which situation you are in, you will likely be using emotional and social intelligence (whether or not you actually mean to).

Emotional and Social Intelligence (ESI) correlates to a person’s abilities in self-awareness, self-management, social awareness and relationship management. These skills allow us to understand and manage social interactions (both our own and those with others).

Having the ability to master ESI gives leaders a distinct advantage in their positions. It allows them to access their emotional center while mentoring and coaching their team members. Competencies associated with emotional and social intelligence are often what separates an average leader from a great one. And, unlike our overall intelligence, emotional intelligence can be learned and improved over time.

It is probably not a surprise that our thoughts and feelings are integral in allowing us to influence others. Over the past 30 years, there has been a lot of research on how thoughts and feelings are derived. One thing researchers found was that these functions (thinking vs. feeling) originate from different areas of the brain. The thinking mind is located in the cortex of the brain, while the emotional mind is located in the limbic system.

In the past, scores from IQ tests were considered the gold standard in defining how successful and individual would be at work or in life. However, these scores only consider some of the factors that define success. Emotion is what helps direct an individual to what they want or need and determine their behaviors or actions. Additionally, ESI allows us to develop and act upon empathy toward another person, form relationships and create bonds that give us a higher sense of purpose.

The Components of Emotional Intelligence
There are many things that help to shape the development of emotion. While traditional schooling helps to develop the thinking mind (logic and rationality), the emotional mind is typically formed through self-awareness, self-management, social awareness and relationship management. The first two of these skills are personal in nature while the second two are social skills. Every skill is comprised of several competencies that must be met in order to master each level.

  • Self-awareness: An individual who is competent in self-awareness is in tune with their own feelings and can understands the impact they have on those around them.
  • Self-management: This refers to the ability to stay in control of negative or impulsive emotions or behaviors. A person who masters self-management remains unshakeable in a stressful situation. They are clear and focused on accomplishing the task at hand.
  • Social awareness: This competency is characterized by an ability to demonstrate empathy towards another person’s emotions. An individual with social awareness is able to sense another’s emotions and understand how they will impact a situation or concern.
  • Relationship management: This is a key competency for a leader because it allows them to guide or handle another’s emotions. A person who has a grasp on this is characterized by being inspirational and a exceptional mentor. They are strong in both teamwork and conflict management.

At Academy of Leadership Coaching & NLP we help leaders understand their role in emotional and social intelligence. Our coach training allows leaders to develop these all-important skills in combination with NLP. This gives them the tools they need to be more effective in their management positions. If you would like to learn more about emotional and social intelligence and how it can help you be a more effective leader, contact our team today.

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