Working with Emotional Intelligence

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Working with Emotional Intelligence

The book “Working with Emotional Intelligence” by Daniel Goleman deals with the emotional assets and liabilities of individuals in organizations. Emotional intelligence is traits that go beyond academic achievement or IQ. As a matter of fact he points out that high academic intelligence can sometimes stand in the way of emotional intelligence. Broadly speaking, emotional intelligence determines how well we handle difficult situation, which cannot be solved by logic, but more by a “feel” for the situation. These attributes are very hard to measure, which is why many standardized tests, whether academic or for employment, fail to measure these attributes, even though these are the one which determine to a large part how successful individuals will be in an organization.

Goleman divides his book into several chapters. At first he examines the attributes of successful people. What is it that sets them apart? How do they do it? He examines the “soft skills” of several people who exhibit exceptional emotional intelligence and also what others fail to do, which ultimately makes them unsuccessful. He also points out the difference a single individual who possesses these skills can make to an organization. These skills are particularly important in diplomatic services, but also to the average salesperson. However, he also notes that the higher one climbs on the job ladder, the more important these skills become, and the less important technical skills are.

He divides emotional intelligence into five areas.

1. Self-Awareness, which can be subdivided into emotional awareness, accurate self-

assessment and self-confidence.

2. Self-Regulation, divided into self-control, trustworthiness, conscientiousness,

adaptability and innovation.

3. Motivation, which consists of achievement drive, commitment, initiative and


The preceding attributes are classified as Personal competence, while the next two are classified as social competence.

1. Empathy divided into understanding others, developing others, service

orientation, and leveraging diversity and political awareness.

2. Social Skills, consisting of influence, communication, conflict management,

leadership, change catalyst, building bonds, collaboration and cooperation as

well as team ...

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...concerned, I believe that I have a moderate ability of understanding others’ feelings and perspectives and sometimes I probably do not take enough interest in their matters. I sometimes do not anticipates others’ need well, although this is sometimes different in client relationships, where I can be very attentive to the client’s needs. I am very good at reading groups dynamics however. I have a good sense of developing opportunities through different people and can use a group’s hierarchy and power relationships well to achieve goals.

I have plenty of experience with influencing others and winning them for my cause. Most of the time they willingly agree with my arguments, because I always try to explain them in the most logical way. I can also listen well and give others a sense of trust. This then lets me effectively lead groups, because the members usually have faith in my ideas and abilities. The downside however is, that I usually like it more to work on my own than in a group, because I think I can accomplish more without having to “carry” inactive members. So overall, I think I rank relatively high on emotional intelligence, but then again, doesn’t everyone think that?
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