Ask anyone about leadership and they'll tell you that emotional intelligence is key.
Read any management or leadership book and you'll get that same answer too.
In his article for the HBR "Leadership That Gets Results", Daniel Goleman explains that emotional intelligence is the ability to manage ourselves and our relationships effectively.
Unlike IQ which is largely genetic and barely changes from childhood, the skills of emotional intelligence can be learned at any age but it takes practice and commitment.
It also takes time because the emotional centres of the brain, not just the neocortex, are involved.
The neocortex is the thinking brain that acquires purely technical knowledge and cognitive abilities very quickly. The emotional brain, on the other hand, needs repetition and practice to master a new behaviour and change a habit because it has to first unlearn the old one and then turn the new one into the brain’s default option.
Daniel Goleman also explains that emotional intelligence consists of four fundamental capabilities: self-awareness, self-management, social awareness and social skill.
I quite like his definition of the term and the explanation of the skills because it's easy to remember and grasp and it's also pretty actionable because you can focus on one skill and the parts you're lacking at the most, master that and tick off the box, and then move onto the next one.
But as we all know, it's much easier to remember and understand things when they are presented in a visual format so I decided to create an infographic with the four fundamental capabilities for emotional intelligence and the skills each one of them consists of.
The 4 Fundamental Emotional Intelligence Capabilities [Infographic]
Which skill do you want to master?