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Emotional Intelligence

Emotional Intelligence for Managers

Emotionally intelligent individuals are more likely to put their feelings into a wider context and to look for connection and associations between what they are feeling and the links that this has to the way that they behave, talk and act in general. In a practical sense, this means that they more quickly recognize that natural and common emotions, such as happiness, sadness or anger are part of a sophisticated response process. Effort is therefore necessary to understand the context in which these emotions are being felt. This may be done instinctively on the part of some people and may be a learned behavior in others. However, in both cases, individuals are looking for the meaning behind their feelings.

Appraising and reacting appropriately to the emotions of others is the ability to accurately determine the emotions other people are experiencing and the ability to accurately convey or communicate these feelings so that a reasonable relationship can be established. Of course, much of the appraisal of emotion in others comes from non-verbal cues. When people tell each other how they are feeling, appraisal is relatively straightforward. However, sometimes the emotions people claim to have are not actually the ones they are experiencing and at other times people are reluctant to express their emotions.

The extent to which individuals can accurately appraise emotions in others, particularly by reading body language or reading from facial expressions is probably simpler if we are more emotionally intelligent. Hence, with greater sensitivity and empathy, this ability can be built and improved. Empathy consequently is an important skill, which enables people to provide useful social support and maintain positive interpersonal relationships.

Although many people may understand their feelings and even be able to put them into context much of the time, another key strength of the emotionally intelligent individual is the capacity to talk about their own feelings and to accept feedback (some of it straight from the shoulder or quite candid). In other words, such individuals are happy to discuss their emotional response or reactions and look for opportunities to gain new angles or perspectives and to develop a higher level of understanding in the future. This helps such people to continue to develop and grow over time.

The featured video clip is a short excerpt from the ReadyToManage, Rapid Skill Builder eLearning program, Emotional Intelligence: An RSB eLearning Course.

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About Dr. Jon Warner

Dr. Jon Warner is a prolific author, management consultant and executive coach with over 25 years experience. He has an MBA and a PhD in Organizational Psychology. Jon can be reached at

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About the Editor and Primary Author

Jon Warner

Jon Warner is an executive coach and management consultant and in the past has been a CEO in three very different companies. Read more

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