This three-part article offers a quick understanding of Daniel Goleman’s model of Emotional Intelligence and explains its relevance to life in organisations. It explains how coaching can help and offers some tips on how to improve your own emotional intelligence.
Part 1 starts with the basics…
Daniel Goleman defines emotional intelligence as the capacity for recognising our own feelings and those of others, for motivating ourselves, and for managing emotions well in ourselves and in our relationships. Emotional intelligence is sometimes written in shorthand as EQ or EI.
There’s controversy among psychology academics about whether EQ is truly an “intelligence”. They also argue about the degree of correlation between EQ and life success (and indeed EQ and leadership).
Nonetheless, it matters because, in simple terms, emotional intelligence underpins our ability to feel confident, win friends and influence people. It’s therefore a counterpart to our cognitive ability, often measured by IQ. Even if it isn’t perfect, Goleman’s EQ model offers us insight into how we can develop our interpersonal effectiveness.
Goleman didn’t invent the idea of emotional intelligence although he’s probably been the prime mover in publicising it.
The concept was first developed by two American psychologists, Peter Salovey and John Mayer, in 1990. Goleman then adapted Salovey & Mayer’s model in his first book in 1995. Reuven Bar-On published another EQ model in 2000.
There are 5 dimensions to EQ. The first 3 dimensions add up to Self-Mastery, or what Goleman calls “personal competence”.
The other 2 dimensions add up to our Interpersonal Ability or “social competence”.
In Goleman’s model, there’s a hierarchy among the five dimensions in that some of them are a foundational platform for others.
You see, according to his model, all change in a person’s emotional intelligence starts with awareness.
The first expression of awareness is Self-Awareness. Above all, awareness of your beliefs, thoughts, feelings, habits and values. Gradually, this leads to greater Self-Esteem.
The second form of awareness is sensitivity to others’ feelings and needs. This grows into a sense of Empathy.
Greater two-directional awareness is then reflected in action.
The first kind of action is self-directed. It’s the capacity to Self-Regulate; to direct your behaviour and choose your responses to other people – to not be a slave to unconscious emotional reactions.
The second kind of action is directed towards others. Drawing on greater Empathy and Self-Regulation, it emerges as improved Social Skills.
Where does Motivation come in? It’s what provides the fuel for this journey of change.
In part 2, we’ll see how the five dimensions of EQ form the platform for the 25 competencies of emotional intlligence. In other words, we’ll start looking at how theory becomes practice.
The author of this blog is James Scouller, an executive coach. His book, The Three Levels of Leadership: How to Develop Your Leadership Presence, Knowhow and Skill, was published by Management Books 2000 in May 2011. You can learn more about it at www.three-levels-of-leadership.com. If you want to see its reviews, click here: leadership book reviews. If you want to know where to buy it, click HERE.