In the NY Times last week, there was an article that included Daniel Goleman’s list of the 4 traits that he believes are essential to Emotional Intelligence. They included:

  1. Self-Awareness
    • Realistic self-confidence: You understand your own strengths and limitations; you operate from competence and know when to rely on someone else on the team.
    • Emotional insight: You understand your feelings. Being aware of what makes you angry, for instance, can help you manage that anger.
  2. Self-Management
    • Resilience: You stay calm under pressure and recover quickly from upsets. You don’t brood or panic. In a crisis, people look to the leader for reassurance; if the leader is calm, they can be, too.
    • Emotional balance: You keep any distressful feelings in check—instead of blowing up at people, you let them know what’s wrong and what the solution is.
    • Self-motivation: You keep moving toward distant goals despite setbacks.
  3. Empathy
    • Cognitive and emotional empathy: Because you understand other perspectives, you can put things in ways colleagues comprehend. And you welcome their questions, just to be sure. Cognitive empathy, along with reading another person’s feelings accurately, makes for effective communication.
    • Good listening: You pay full attention to the other person and take time to understand what they are saying, without talking over them or hijacking the agenda.
  4. Relationship Skills
    • Compelling communication: You put your points in persuasive, clear ways so that people are motivated as well as clear about expectations.
    • Team playing: People feel relaxed working with you. One sign: They laugh easily around you.


Over the next few weeks we’ll share with you how we operationalize these types of concepts with our executive coaching clients, and show you how to get real traction on the traits that matter most to your success.

“Stay Curious” is the topic of this week’s Career Leadership Video. Check it out now!