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Emotional Intelligence



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Performance Management:

Emotional Intelligence

Although intelligence and knowledge in the field is necessary at work, how employees, managers, and other leaders handle themselves emotionally is vital for success.  A recent study by Ernest OíBoyle at Virginia Commonwealth University concludes that the strongest predictor of job performance is emotional intelligence.

Emotional Intelligence is the ability to perceive emotions accurately and recognize their meaning and impact; understand the information collected through emotions; and the capacity to manage and use oneís emotions.

The Consortium for Research on Emotional Intelligence (www.eiconsortium) developed the following Emotional Competence Framework.  These emotional competencies that make up Emotional Intelligence have been shown to be crucial for success at work.  Daniel Goleman organizes the competences as follows:*

A. Personal Competence




B. Social Competence

Social Awareness

Social Skills


Emotional Competence Framework


EMOTIONAL AWARENESS: Recognizing oneís emotions and their effects. People with this competence:

- Know which emotions they are feeling and why

- Realize the links between their feelings and what they think, do, and say

- Recognize how their feelings affect their performance

- Have a guiding awareness of their values and goals

ACCURATE SELF-ASSESSMENT: Knowing oneís strengths and limits. People with this competence are:

- Aware of their strengths and weaknesses

- Reflective, learning from experience

- Open to candid feedback, new perspectives, continuous learning, and self-development

- Able to show a sense of humor and perspective about themselves

SELF-CONFIDENCE: Sureness about oneís self-worth and capabilities. People with this competence:

- Present themselves with self-assurance; have "presence"

- Can voice views that are unpopular and go out on a limb for what is right

- Are decisive, able to make sound decisions despite uncertainties and pressures


SELF-CONTROL: Managing disruptive emotions and impulses. People with this competence:

- Manage their impulsive feelings and distressing emotions well

- Stay composed, positive, and unflappable even in trying moments

-Think clearly and stay focused under pressure

TRUSTWORTHINESS: Maintaining standards of honesty and integrity. People with this competence:

- Act ethically and are above reproach

- Build trust through their reliability and authenticity

- Admit their own mistakes and confront unethical actions in others

- Take tough, principled stands even if they are unpopular

CONSCIENTIOUSNESS: Taking responsibility for personal performance. People with this competence:

- Meet commitments and keep promises

- Hold themselves accountable for meeting their objectives

- Are organized and careful in their work

ADAPTABILITY: Flexibility in handling change. People with this competence:

- Smoothly handle multiple demands, shifting priorities, and rapid change

- Adapt their responses and tactics to fit fluid circumstances

- Are flexible in how they see events

INNOVATIVENESS: Being comfortable with and open to novel ideas and new information. People with this competence:

- Seek out fresh ideas from a wide variety of sources

-Entertain original solutions to problems

- Generate new ideas

- Take fresh perspectives and risks in their thinking


ACHIEVEMENT DRIVE: Striving to improve or meet a standard of excellence. People with this competence:

- Are results-oriented, with a high drive to meet their objectives and standards

- Set challenging goals and take calculated risks

- Pursue information to reduce uncertainty and find ways to do better

- Learn how to improve their performance

COMMITMENT: Aligning with the goals of the group or organization. People with this competence:

- Readily make personal or group sacrifices to meet a larger organizational goal

- Find a sense of purpose in the larger mission

- Use the groupís core values in making decisions and clarifying choices

- Actively seek out opportunities to fulfill the groupís mission

INITIATIVE: Readiness to act on opportunities. People with this competence:

- Are ready to seize opportunities

- Pursue goals beyond whatís required or expected of them

- Cut through red tape and bend the rules when necessary to get the job done

- Mobilize others through unusual, enterprising efforts

OPTIMISM: Persistence in pursuing goals despite obstacles and setbacks. People with this competence:

- Persist in seeking goals despite obstacles and setbacks

- Operate from hope of success rather than fear of failure

- See setbacks as due to manageable circumstance rather than a personal flaw


Social Awareness

EMPATHY: Sensing othersí feelings and perspective, and taking an active interest in their concerns. People with this competence:

- Are attentive to emotional cues and listen well

- Show sensitivity and understand othersí perspectives

- Help out based on understanding other peopleís needs and feelings

SERVICE ORIENTATION: Anticipating, recognizing, and meeting customersí needs. People with this competence:

- Understand customersí needs and match them to services or products

- Seek ways to increase customersí satisfaction and loyalty

- Gladly offer appropriate assistance

- Grasp a customerís perspective, acting as a trusted advisor

DEVELOPING OTHERS: Sensing what others need in order to develop, and bolstering their abilities. People with this competence:

- Acknowledge and reward peopleís strengths, accomplishments, and development

- Offer useful feedback and identify peopleís needs for development

- Mentor, give timely coaching, and offer assignments that challenge and grow a personís skill

LEVERAGING DIVERSITY: Cultivating opportunities through diverse people. People with this competence:

- Respect and relate well to people from varied backgrounds

- Understand diverse worldviews and are sensitive to group differences

- See diversity as opportunity, creating an environment where diverse people can thrive

- Challenge bias and intolerance

POLITICAL AWARENESS: Reading a groupís emotional currents and power relationships. People with this competence:

- Accurately read key power relationships

- Detect crucial social networks

- Understand the forces that shape views and actions of clients, customers, or competitors

- Accurately read situations and organizational and external realities


Social Skills

INFLUENCE: Wielding effective tactics for persuasion. People with this competence:

- Are skilled at persuasion

- Fine-tune presentations to appeal to the listener

- Use complex strategies like indirect influence to build consensus and support

- Orchestrate dramatic events to effectively make a point

COMMUNICATION: Sending clear and convincing messages. People with this competence:

- Are effective in give-and-take, registering emotional cues in attuning their message

- Deal with difficult issues straightforwardly

- Listen well, seek mutual understanding, and welcome sharing of information fully

- Foster open communication and stay receptive to bad news as well as good

LEADERSHIP: Inspiring and guiding groups and people. People with this competence:

- Articulate and arouse enthusiasm for a shared vision and mission

- Step forward to lead as needed, regardless of position

- Guide the performance of others while holding them accountable

- Lead by example

CHANGE CATALYST: Initiating or managing change. People with this competence:

- Recognize the need for change and remove barriers

- Challenge the status quo to acknowledge the need for change

- Champion the change and enlist others in its pursuit

- Model the change expected of others

CONFLICT MANAGEMENT: Negotiating and resolving disagreements. People with this competence:

- Handle difficult people and tense situations with diplomacy and tact

- Spot potential conflict, bring disagreements into the open, and help deescalate

- Encourage debate and open discussion

- Orchestrate win-win solutions

BUILDING BONDS: Nurturing instrumental relationships. People with this competence:

- Cultivate and maintain extensive informal networks

- Seek out relationships that are mutually beneficial

- Build rapport and keep others in the loop

- Make and maintain personal friendships among work associates

COLLABORATION AND COOPERATION: Working with others toward shared goals. People with this competence:

- Balance a focus on task with attention to relationships

- Collaborate, sharing plans, information, and resources

- Promote a friendly, cooperative climate

- Spot and nurture opportunities for collaboration

TEAM CAPABILITIES: Creating group synergy in pursuing collective goals. People with this competence:

- Model team qualities like respect, helpfulness, and cooperation

- Draw all members into active and enthusiastic participation

- Build team identity, esprit de corps, and commitment

- Protect the group and its reputation; share credit

*SOURCES: This generic competence framework distills findings from: MOSAIC competencies for professional and administrative occupations (U.S. Office of Personnel Management); Spencer and Spencer, Competence at Work; and top performance and leadership competence studies published in Richard H. Rosier (ed.), The Competency Model Handbook, Volumes One and Two (Boston : Linkage, 1994 and 1995), especially those from Cigna, Sprint, American Express, Sandoz Pharmaceuticals; Wisconsin Power and Light; and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Maryland. Much of the material that follows comes from Working with Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman (Bantam, 1998).