Master these 5 Core Components of Emotional Intelligence (EQ) & Watch Your Career and Happiness Soar!

5_Core_Components_Emotional_Intelligence2Do you know someone who is so smart – yet they constantly trip themselves up at work by saying the wrong thing, to the wrong person, at the wrong time, in the wrong way?

It seems as if these people cannot get out of their own way, both professionally and personally.

And if they could just get their act together, they would be so much more successful at work – and happier in their personal lives.

Chances are, these intellectually smart people lack emotional intelligence.

Emotional Intelligence Trumps Your IQ

Arguably, a high level of emotional intelligence trumps a high level of IQ every time.

No one really cares how smart you are if you cannot get along with people. If people find you to be abrasive, divisive and/or obnoxious, your career and business will take a direct hit as a consequence of your behavior.

No one will want to work with – or for you. You’re not that smart that people will be willing to tolerate you making them feel miserable, stupid, and angry or any other negative emotion(s) no one in their right mind wants to experience.

Therefore, nobody will voluntarily choose to be around you. As a matter of fact, they will avoid you like the plague.

Low emotional competence will cost you success in your work and create unhappiness in your personal life.

Why? Because Emotional Intelligence is an absolute prerequisite for success.

What exactly is Emotional Intelligence?

In Daniel Goleman’s book: “Working with Emotional Intelligence” he defines emotional intelligence as “the capacity for recognizing our own feelings and those of others, for motivating ourselves, and for managing emotions well in ourselves and in our relationships.”

In other words, emotional intelligence is the ability to recognize and regulate the expression of our emotions – and the emotions of others, in real time (not after the fact).

Whether you’re an entrepreneur, a corporate employee or a stay-at-home mom, Emotional Intelligence holds the key to your success and happiness.

Aristotle’s Challenge
Anyone can become angry – that is easy. But to be angry with the right person, to the right degree, at the right time, for the right purpose, and in the right way – that is not easy.
Aristotle, The Nichomachean Ethics

Only those with a high level of emotional intelligence can meet Aristotle’s Challenge successfully.

Following are the 5 Core Components of Emotional Intelligence (emotional competency) – mastering these skills will increase your success and the overall happiness of your life.

1. Self-awareness is exhibited by knowing one’s feelings – in real time, i.e. as we are feeling them. Only when we are aware of our feelings, can we effectively use them to make good decisions.

In addition, people with high emotional intelligence make decisions based upon a realistic assessment of their capability and knowledge. They do not indulge in delusion thinking – thinking they are smarter than in fact they are.

2. Self-regulation refers to the ability to appropriately manage one’s emotions so they facilitate, rather than interfere with the decision or task at hand.

As per Aristotle’s challenge referenced above, being aware of our anger or any other feeling(s) we have, allow us to channel our anger in a productive -not destructive manner – thereby successfully mastering Aristotle’s challenge.

Also, those with a high EI have the ability to delay immediate gratification in pursuit of the goal and objective.

They have control over their emotions, rather than their emotions having control over them.

Think about how many times have you wished you didn’t immediately lash out in anger? These were moments when your emotional competency was not optimally operating for you.

Unfortunately, there are no do-overs!

Additionally, it is one’s emotional intelligence that allows you to more easily recover from emotional setbacks – so you can get back on your feet again.

3. Motivation as exhibited in people with a high level of emotional competency is the ability to persevere in the face of setbacks and challenges.

They are undaunted by failure and frustrations, they take the initiative, and they strive to improve and move forward in pursuit of the goal.

Even in the face of adversity, one’s commitment and motivation never wavers.

4. Empathy is rooted in the ability to know – or sense – what other people are feeling. Empathic people are capable of showing kindness and compassion towards others when they are in distress or hurting – even if you don’t feel these same feelings.

Empathy is on display when one is able to see the other person’s perspective, (even – or especially – when they differ from your own) especially during challenging times. This allows for the ability to bring together a diverse group of people and opinions to unite for a common cause.

Clearly you can see the high correlation between leadership and high emotional intelligence.

5. Social skills are seen as the ability to handle both your own emotions, and the emotions of others in a productive, as opposed to destructive manner.

People with high emotional intelligence optimally utilize “soft skills” to effectively communicate, actively listen, collaborate and unify others. This ability is rooted in the ability to be empathic (core #4).


Perhaps the best news about all these 5 aspects of emotional intelligence: self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy and social skills, is that unlike your IQ, they can all be learned and improved upon with knowledge and practice.

Which one of the above 5 aspects of emotional intelligence do you believe is your strongest or weakest attribute?

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Dr. Patty Ann


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