What is Emotional Intelligence?


Have you ever wondered what Emotional Intelligence is? Do you hear the phrase commonly used around the office but questioned whether you use it yourself? Or have you wondered whether your boss truly understands you and if they use it in their approach to your working relationship? Emotional intelligence is a term that has become more frequently used, especially as we as a society are striving to understand one another and look a little deeper into our relationships, not only in the workplace but in our every day experiences, and quite honestly, it’s brilliant!

Emotional intelligence is the awareness and sensitivity to the emotions of the people around you, with an understanding of how to communicate and relate to one another in work and in life. In the office this form of intelligence is key, not only amongst fellow workers, but in particular for leaders nurturing a company, a team, or an individual. Understanding what kind of emotional intelligent leader you and your boss are, helps you to connect and communicate with clarity, and leads to a healthier, more productive and enjoyable day at work, all day every day. Doesn’t that sound like the kind of relationship you’d like going forward?

As you’d assume, most people interpret intelligence as problem solving, memory, and grasping new concepts and processing ideas, however these kinds of intelligence actually fall under IQ tests. Truthfully there are far more factors at play when predicting job performance, and the contribution of IQ has been estimated as low as 4% (!) and no higher than 25%! Doing well at your job therefore has a lot more to do with other factors, and thankfully emotional intelligence figures strongly among them.

There are four types of emotional intelligence that each person uses, which range dependent on each situation and they are called emotional capabilities:

  • Self-awareness – self-confidence, accurate self-assessment, emotional self-awareness
  • Self-management – self-control, trustworthiness, conscientiousness, adaptability, drive to meet internal excellence, initiative
  • Social awareness – empathy, organisational awareness, ability to recognise customer needs
  • Social skills – visionary leadership, influence, developing others, communication, change catalyst, conflict management, building bonds, teamwork & collaboration

Do you recognise these skills in yourself? Or in your boss? It’s great to learn that good leaders will use a combination of the listed skills and adapt their approach according to the individual they are nurturing and working with. If you’re reading this and wishing you could master all the skills, well guess what? The great news is that each one can be learned!

If you’re interested in learning more, our Executive PA Manager Masterclass explores Emotional Intelligence and Leadership. Our March session is full on 22nd March, however due to popular demand we are running an extra session on 19th April. If you’d like to book, simply email Amanda at enquiries@globalpa-association.com or visit our website for more information on the programme: Global PA Association PA Manager Masterclass

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We’d love to see you at our next event, and in the meantime keep your eyes peeled for the next instalment which continues to explore emotional intelligence within different styles of leadership – it’s a fascinating read and we can’t wait to share it with you.