Learn about the importance of emotional intelligence in business and the main parts and traits of emotional intelligence in this new Business episode from English Plus Podcast.

Audio Podcast

Business Emotional Intelligence

Hard Skills and Soft Skills

Hard skills, for example, skills in technical subjects, were considered the most important thing in business. But more and more, people are realizing the importance of soft skills, and these are the skills you need to work with other people, and in the case of managers, to manage people in tactful and non-authoritarian, non-dictatorial ways. These are some of the emotional competencies that are becoming important.

What Is Emotional Intelligence Made up of?

The ideas behind emotional intelligence (EI) were first put forward in the 1980s, and later developed by Daniel Goleman. He says that EI is made up of:

  1. self-awareness — examining how your emotions affect your performance: being self-confident about your capabilities, values and goals; using your values to guide decision making.
  2. self-regulation — the ability to control yourself and to think before you act: controlling your temper and handling impulses — sudden desires to do things you may later regret.
  3. motivation — ability to take the initiative — to to things without being told to: enjoying challenge and stimulation; the drive to work and succeed.
  4. empathy — avoiding the tendency to stereotype others — have unfair ideas about them not based on facts: being aware of cultural differences.
  5. social skills — the ability to communicate and to relate to others: the use of influencing skills such as persuasion; cooperation; dispute resolution; good communication with others, including employees; listening skills; negotiation

Main Areas of Emotional Intelligence

Some researchers have identified three main areas of emotional intelligence, containing seven traits in these categories:

  1. drivers — traits that make people do things: motivation and decisiveness — the ability to take decisions when necessary
  2. constrainers — traits that control in a good way what people do: conscientiousness — putting a lot of effort into your work an doing everything to the best of your ability; and integrity — honesty.
  3. enablers — traits that help people to perform and succeed: sensitivity — knowing how others feel; influence and self-awareness.
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