Emotional intelligence (EI) involves a set of skills that help us perceive, understand, express, reason with and manage emotions, both within ourselves and others. We can apply these skills to help us become more conscious of our own and others’ feelings and more conscious of the influence emotions are having on our decisions, behaviour and performance. This in turn helps us minimise the unproductive influence emotions can have and maximise their productive qualities.
The competencies of the model help us consistently demonstrate the productive being states on the outside ring of the model, as opposed to the unproductive being states (white band), that we can all be at times, on the inside of the model.
Self-Awareness is about being aware of the way you feel and the impact your feelings can have on decisions, behaviour and performance. People who are emotionally self-aware are conscious of the role their feelings can play in these areas, and are better equipped to manage this influence effectively. When we are emotionally self-aware we are present with the role feelings are playing in our decisions, behaviour and performance. When we are not, we are often disconnected from this influence.
Awareness of Others
Awareness of others is about perceiving, understanding and acknowledging the way others feel. This skill helps us identify the things that make people feel valued, listened to, cared for,
consulted, and understood. It also helps us demonstrate empathy, anticipate responses or reactions, and adjust our behaviour so that it fits well with others. When we demonstrate this skill effectively we come across as being empathetic. People who do not demonstrate this skill can come across as being insensitive to the way others feel.
Authenticity is about openly and effectively expressing oneself, honouring commitments and encouraging this behaviour in others. It involves honestly expressing specific feelings at work, such as happiness and frustration, providing feedback to colleagues about the way you feel, and sharing emotions at the right time, to the right degree and, to the right people. People high in authenticity are often described as ‘genuine’ whereas people low in this skill are often described as ‘untrustworthy’.
Emotional reasoning is about using the information in feelings (from oneself and others) when decision-making. It involves considering your own and others’ feelings when making decisions, combining the information in feelings with facts and technical information, and communicating this decision-making process to others. Feelings and emotions contain important information. For example, the level of commitment colleagues demonstrate often provides insight into whether a decision is going to be supported; the emotional appeal of products and services often provides insight into selling and marketing messages. When this type of emotional information is combined with facts and technical information, people make expansive, creative and well thought-out decisions. Conversely, people who do not use emotional information and focus on facts or technical information only tend to be limited in their decision-making.
Self-Management is about managing one’s own mood and emotions, time and behaviour, and continuously improving oneself. The modern workplace is generally one of high demands and pressure, and this can create negative emotions and outcomes. Our mood can be very infectious and can therefore be a powerful force in the workplace; productively or unproductively. This skill helps people be resilient and manage high work demands and stress rather than being temperamental at work. People who are proficient in managing their own emotions are optimistic and look to find the opportunities and possibilities that exist even in the face of adversity.
Positive influence is about positively influencing the way others feel through problem solving, feedback, recognising and supporting others work. It involves creating a positive working environment for others; helping others find effective ways of responding to upsetting events; and effectively helping people resolve issues that are affecting their performance. This skill helps people create a productive environment for others. Positive Influence equips you with the capacity to encourage colleagues to cooperate and work effectively together. People who can positively influence others’ moods, feelings and emotions are empowering to work with and easily motivate those around them.