Emotional Intelligence Competencies


Learn about the emotional intelligence competencies featured as part of Crucial Competence: Building Emotional and Social Leadership and as the focus of the Building Blocks of Emotional Intelligence Primer series.


Emotional Self-Awareness

Leaders who recognize how their feelings affect them and their job performance. Their values often decide the best course of action. Emotionally self-aware leaders not only can be candid and authentic, they also can speak with conviction about their vision.

Recommended: Crucial Competence, Emotional Self-Awareness PrimerCultivating Focus, The Triple Focus


Emotional Self-Control

People who find ways to manage their emotions and impulses. Leaders with self-control stay calm and clear-headed while under stress or during a crisis and maintain emotional balance.

Achievement Orientation

Leaders who have high standards not only for themselves, but for others. They set measurable but challenging goals. They continually learn how to improve performance, along with their team.

Positive Outlook

A leader who sees opportunity in situations where others would see a setback. Such leaders see others positively, and still expect the best of them. And their “glass half-full” outlook leads them to expect that changes in the future will be for the better.


Leaders who can juggle multiple demands, but remain focused on a group’s goals. They are comfortable with the uncertainty that leadership can bring. Such leaders are flexible in adapting to new challenges and nimble in adjusting to sudden change.

Recommended: Emotional Self-Control: A Primer, Adaptability: A Primer, Achievement Orientation: A Primer, Positive Outlook: A Primer, Crucial Competence, Resonant Leadership, What Makes a Leader

Social Awareness


Leaders who are able to understand unspoken emotions within an individual or group. Such leaders listen attentively while understanding other’s perspectives. Empathetic leaders are able to get along well with people of diverse backgrounds and cultures and to express their ideas in ways others understand.

Organizational Awareness

A leader who can detect networking opportunities and read key power relationships. Such leaders not only understand the forces at work in an organization, but also the guiding values and unspoken rules that operate among people.

Recommended: Crucial Competence, Empathy: A Primer, Organizational Awareness: A Primer, Leadership: The Power of Emotional Intelligence, Wired to Connect

Relationship Management


Leaders who know how to appeal to others and how to build buy-in from key people. They are persuasive and engaging when they address a group.

Coach and Mentor

A leader who has a genuine interest in helping others. They understand the goals and strengths of individuals while working to address growth opportunities. They also give timely and constructive feedback to coworkers.

Conflict Management

Leaders who take time to understand different perspectives. They work toward finding a common ground upon which everyone can agree. They acknowledge the views of all sides, while redirecting the energy toward a shared ideal or agreeable resolution.

Inspirational Leadership (Inspiration)

Leaders who inspire are able to move the people with whom they work. They articulate a shared mission in a way that inspires others to follow. They also offer a sense of common purpose beyond the day-to-day tasks.


Leaders who create an atmosphere of respect, helpfulness, and cooperation. They draw others into active commitment to the team’s effort. They build spirit, positive relationships, and identity on a team.

Recommended: Crucial Competence, Influence: A Primer, Leadership: A Master Class