Emotionally intelligent people

BUSINESS MATTERS BEYOND THE BOTTOM LINE - Francis J. Kong (The Philippine Star) - March 28, 2021 - 12:00am

Daniel Goleman is a world-renowned psychologist and leading authority on Emotional Intelligence. His contributions to the field of psychology have had a transformative impact on the business world. I missed his presentation two years ago when I had to sit in the backstage room, interviewing and conversing with marketing guru Seth Godin. Imagine my delight when Goleman gave an updated presentation from New York this time beamed straight into my screen in my home a few weeks ago.

Goleman says that Emotional Intelligence comprises four main pillars: Self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, and relationship management. Each of these areas interacts with each other and encompasses different specific competencies within them.

Awareness of oneself: The basis of Emotional Intelligence.

Self-management: Within this area is optimism, adaptability, the ability to set and achieve goals, and self-regulation.

Social awareness: Includes empathy and organizational awareness.

Relationship management: Includes the capacity for inspiration and influence, conflict management, teamwork, and the ability to help others, acting as a coach and mentor.

Emotional Intelligence is more important today than ever, more so considering the current pandemic situation. We face a new reality, a unique situation in which relationships have taken on a more significant role, transforming the way we interact.

Studies reveal that the more Emotional Intelligence we have, the better we will respond to stressful situations. It also improves our mood and gives us more significant personal and professional satisfaction. Goleman’s work on Emotional Intelligence has focused on a timeless aspect of human relationships. Today’s business context certainly demands that leaders embrace change and nimbleness.

Effective leadership begins with the leadership of one’s self. Business leaders are being called to manage their reactions to incredible uncertainty. Add to this the complexity of communicating and relating effectively via virtual engagement. As Goleman says, the development of Emotional Intelligence and self-awareness is even more critical today than fifty or even one hundred years ago.

While listening to Goleman, I have observed that effective leaders are those who have a high EQ. They have the ability to understand, identify, see things from a different perspective, and manage their emotions that allows them through the worst of times and enjoy the best of times. As a leader, you may want to consider the way high EQ people look at things and see if this would help you become better at what you do.


High EQ people are secure. They apologize and own up to their mistakes and are not threatened by other people’s success. They are quick to forgive offenses done against them yet smart enough to know how to deal with people who are not reliable and trustworthy.


High EQ people show compassion. They show empathy and care, yet they do not allow themselves to be dragged in too deep such that they burn out.


High EQ people understand that thoughts are not just abstract ideas that come and go. They manage their thought life. They know that thought precedes actions, so they focus their ideas to work to their advantage.


Emotionally intelligent people dislike failure but are not afraid of it; they even thrive on it. Because they know success isn’t a single achievement; it’s built on continuous improvement, and failure offers another opportunity to learn and improve.


High EQ people can think for themselves. They often agree with others, but they are not afraid to share their honest thoughts. They speak up when they disagree but know how to be respectful in the process as they can feel what others could feel, so they remain respectful and tactful.


When criticized, they do not get defensive; they do not shift the blame or retaliate. They understand that criticism is another person’s perspective. Usually, that perspective is rooted in truth and can help you get better. And even if it is not, it helps you see through another person’s eyes, making you better.


Emotionally intelligent make good on their commitments and refuse to break their word and compromise their reputation and credibility. This kind of toughness in their integrity reaps the rewards for being a reliable and trustworthy person, and that’s invaluable in the big picture.

And when we look at all these qualities, we can conclude that an effective leader is a person that exhibits “character.” And Emotional Intelligence plays a significant role in it.



(Francis Kong presents the highly acclaimed Level Up Leadership Master Class Online April 14-15, 2021. Develop leadership skills that translate into personal, career, and business growth in the Current Reality and the Post-Covid World. For inquiries and reservations, contact April at +63928-559-1798 or and for more information, visit www.levelupleadership.ph)

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