The List: Applying Emotional Intelligence to Your Leadership

The List


Over the past several weeks, we’ve been learning about the importance of Emotional Intelligence (EQ). We’ve discussed each of the four domains at length, the competencies that go along with them, and some practical ways to integrate it into your life. Now that you have all of this information, you may be thinking to yourself: Where do I even start? And how can I actually apply this information to my leadership?

In this post, I want to touch back on each of the domains and competencies altogether and help you identify a good starting point.

For this exercise, you may need to pull out a sheet of paper (or use the note app on your phone/computer). Think about the past month or so in your leadership journey — what have been the highlights? What moments have made you the proudest? Make a list.

Now, do any of these accomplishments relate to our EQ competencies? For example, if one of my coaching clients had a major breakthrough this month, I’d list that under “Relationship Management.”

Now for the more humbling part of this exercise.

Create a list of all the ways you’ve fallen short in your leadership recently. Maybe you lashed out at a coworker, or had a conflict that was difficult to manage. If you’ve been close to perfect in the past several weeks, think back farther and identify where you’ve fallen short in the past.

Do the same thing you did for your accomplishments — give each example a domain label.

Being honest with yourself is crucial to real, effective growth. It’s important to be real with yourself when completing this exercise … The deeper you look at each example, the easier it will be to identify the areas you actually need to work on.

Being honest with yourself is crucial to real, effective growth. Click To Tweet

As you work through your lists, see if there are any patterns. Do your negative experiences relate to one particular domain? Multiple? Use these insights to identify areas of improvement for EQ.

As you reflect on your real-life leadership, see if there’s a particular competency for you to start working on. Like I said in previous posts, it’s important not to skip around. If you need to develop skills in self-management and social awareness, you should focus on self-management first!

Below is a chart that will give you some book suggestions as you start applying these concepts to your own leadership.

Self-Awareness: Understanding your own emotions
  • Emotional self-awareness
Emotional Self-Awareness
Self-Management: Managing and responding to your emotions
  • Emotional self-control
  • Adaptability
  • Achievement orientation
  • Positive outlook
Emotional Self-Control


Achievement Orientation

Positive Outlook

Social Awareness: Being aware of others’ feelings, needs, and concerns
  • Empathy
  • Organizational awareness
  • Service orientation

Organizational Awareness

Relationship Management:

Managing interactions and relationships with others

  • Developing others
  • Inspirational leadership
  • Change catalyst
  • Influence
  • Conflict management
  • Teamwork and collaboration
Primal Leadership by Daniel Goleman

HBR’s 10 Must Reads on Managing People

Change Management

Crucial Conversations by Kerry Patterson


How will you start applying Emotional Intelligence to your leadership?




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