The Dimensions of Emotional Intelligence

July 09, 2018 0 Comments

The Dimensions of Emotional Intelligence

Some people are natural-born leaders, while others are made, shaped, and pushed to be ones. Regardless of which one you are, it is not impossible for you to hone emotional intelligence even harder to sharpen your senses and become a better leader than ever before. To do that you must understand and recognize the dimensions of emotional intelligence listed below.


You can define it as the ability to recognize your own strengths and weaknesses along with the emotional consequences that may rise following both positive and negative feedback from others. When used within the scope of emotional intelligence, however, recognizing your own personal characteristics is only one portion of the equation. Self-awareness must be (or at least part of) the foundation in crafting concrete action plans for the collective benefits of the group or company. In theory it sounds easy but people have natural tendency to see what they want to see, believe something that is convenient to them, and listen only to opinions that justify their actions/decisions. A complete lack of self-awareness prevents you from asking others for feedback, mainly driven by the fear of hearing something emotionally unpleasant.

The easiest way to grow self-awareness and put it to practice is to develop the willingness and courage to ask for honest feedback. Things get more complicated because pride is often involved. Leaders must guide their followers, yet there is nothing wrong with involving others in decision-making process. Self-awareness also prompts you to delegate some of your responsibilities to other employees more specifically-qualified than yourself. The act of delegating should not come easy because technically you transfer a portion of your power to someone else. But as long as it is based on self-awareness rather than incompetence, feedbacks that you get from employees shall help you make the right decision concerning circumstances that affect yourself and others.


When you are self-aware of your own emotions and reactions to unfriendly events such as failures and harsh criticisms, self-regulation is where you transform any negative feeling into useful forces. Negative emotions come in all shapes for examples depression, anger, anxiety, fears, sadness, and so on. Although you cannot choose which emotion to feel, you have every power to keep those damaging feelings under control. The combination of self-awareness and self-regulation helps grow some powerful characteristics in leaders for examples humility, honesty, and adaptability to name a few.

Willingness to admit mistakes is one of the most prominent instances of humility; it also shows that you are an honest leader who does not hide from any consequences of your actions or inactions. While negative emotions are not always resulted from your mistakes, a leader is hold accountable for the possible outcome. Work place is a dynamic environment where employees’ actions are inter-correlated, and you are responsible for overseeing the manifestation of those interactions. Any sign of failure such as late project completion or below-target achievement is always regarded as leader’s inability to bridge effective communication or even lack of motivation; in other words, leader takes the blame. Now that you have passed the admittance phase, it is time to be flexible by adapting to the new situations. As a leader, you are required to be creative in finding solutions after solutions to overcome any incoming changes and challenges. A good way to be adaptable is to open your mind for fresh insights and new ideas, including from your employees.


It is safe to say that every good employee is motivated at work. Motivation can be in different forms such as financial, promotion, pride, and social status. Within the realm of Emotional Intelligence, however, the motivation for achievement comes from something a bit more tangible: it is part of the job. Simply put, a leader with high emotional intelligence yearns for accomplishment for the sake of accomplishment.
4.      EMPATHY

A leader’s abilities to recognize and make the best of negative emotions as well as weaknesses are not enough; it is equally crucial to notice other people’s emotions, especially when addressing them directly or making decisions. Developing empathy takes time and it most likely begins with long-term regular interactions. Empathy is the ability to stand in someone else’s shoes and learn why the person behaves or reacts the way he/she does. Only by listening to others (the employees) that you can nurture the sense of compassions based on good understanding of their life situations. Effective meaningful one-on-one conversations help make the learning process quicker. Instead of making decisions first then see how others react later, it would be better to get them involved in engaging discussions prior to drawing conclusions.


Leadership is actually a social skill that revolves around motivating, influencing, and managing conflicts. Social skill is all about effective communication through which you can deliver clear messages for the sake of collective achievement. Remember that even in professional setting such as work place, there is social life. Therefore the dynamics of interpersonal relations will inevitably affect performance and productivity. Harmonic positive interactions improve efficiency, while chaotic ones disrupt work quality. Leaders function as coordinators to make sure that information reaches the right person at the right time. They are also moderators in settling disputes among employees as well as between the company and workers. Good leaders need good social skills not only to manage their team, but also to link communication processes from authorities to subordinates vice versa.

Emotional Intelligence is not hereditary. Broadly speaking it is a set of personal traits that anybody can develop over time through learning process and life experiences, which eventually also becomes vitally necessary for career progression in professional environment. The core point of emotional intelligence is the ability to read emotions and use the knowledge as an advantage in all forms of interactions. While subtle and non-apparent in nature as far as individual’s characteristics are concerned, this personal quality plays a pivotal role to set leaders apart from their followers; in an ideal work place setting, employers have more mature emotional intelligence compared to any of their employees.

Dr. Paul Gerhardt is a tenured professor of management. He is a diversity and well-respected and trusted leadership trainer who helps organizations get amazing returns on investment. Dr. Gerhardt is the author of several publications available on, including Diversity at Work, The Diversity King; Leadership Lucy and the new upcoming Leadership Handbook. Consider inviting Dr. Paul Gerhardt to do customized leadership or diversity training at your organization. Most organizations find that diversity and leadership training by the right trainer yields a significant instant return on investment. You can get your FREE COPY of the Leadership Handbook by clicking this link:


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