Emotional Intelligence

Emotional Intelligence: Why is it important?

Thought Leadership

There can be no doubt that time spent developing emotional intelligence is time spent developing performance. So why don't we invest enough in to it?

The good news is that organisations are increasing investing more on developing emotional intelligence. Some organisations even go to the extent of hiring or promoting based on the level of emotional intelligence a candidate possesses.

So what exactly is emotional intelligence and why is it so important? Simply put, emotional intelligence is defined as the ability to identify, assess, and control the emotions of oneself and others. The competencies required to be emotionally intelligent are no different from the competencies required to be a high-performance leader.

Daniel Goleman's Four Domains of Emotional Intelligence is in our view, one of the most robust models for understanding emotional intelligence. Here's a snapshot of the 4 domains and some tips to help you develop your emotional intelligence.


Self Awareness

Self Awareness is the ability to understand one's emotions and their impact on decision making. You can develop your Self Awareness by mastering the following competencies:

Emotional awareness

The ability to recognise one's emotions and their effects. Individuals with this competence:

Self assessment

Self assessment is the ability to know one's strengths and limits. Individuals with this competence are:

Self confidence

Self confidence is the ability to know one's self-worth and capabilities. Individuals with this competence:

  • Learn how to project yourself with self-assurance and have presence
  • Don't be afraid to voice out unpopular views and go out on a limb for what is right
  • Learn how to be decisive and make sound decisions despite uncertainties and pressure


Self Management

Self management is the ability to manage one's emotions and adapt to change. You can develop your Self Management by mastering the following competencies:

Self Control

Self control is the ability to manage disruptive emotions and impulses. Individuals with this competence:


Transparency is the ability to maintain standards of honesty and integrity. Individuals with this competence:


Adaptability is the ability to be flexible in handling change. Individuals with this competence:


Achievement is the ability to strive to improve or meet a standard of excellence. Individuals with this competence:


Initiative is the ability to be ready to act on opportunities. Individuals with this competence:


Optimism is the ability to persist in pursuing goals despite obstacles and setbacks. Individuals with this competence:


Social Awareness

Social Awareness is the ability to understand and react to the emotions of others. You can develop your Social Awareness by mastering the following competencies:


Empathy is the ability to sense the feelings and perspective or others, and taking an active interest in their concerns. Individuals with this competence:

Organisational Awareness

Organisational awareness is the ability to read a group's emotional currents and power relationships. Individuals with this competence:

Service Oriented

Service oriented is the ability to recognise, anticipate, and meet the needs of customers. Individuals with this competence:


Social Management

The ability to manage, inspire, influence and develop others. You can develop your Social Management by mastering the following competencies:

Developing Others

Developing others is the ability to sense what others need in order to develop, and bolstering their abilities. Individuals with this competence:

Inspirational Leadership

Inspirational leadership is the ability to inspire and guide groups and people. Individuals with this competence:

Change Catalyst

Change catalyst is the ability to initiate or manage change. Individuals with this competence:


Influence is the ability to use other people's emotions as effective tactics of persuasion. Individuals with this competence:

Conflict Management

Conflict management is the ability to negotiate and resolve disagreements. Individuals with this competence:


Teamwork is the ability to create group synergy in pursuing collective goals. Individuals with this competence:


Emotional intelligence is a skill, and like any skill, it can be developed.

Based on the work of Daniel Goleman and the Consortium for Research on Emotional Intelligence in Organisations.