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Interpersonal Qualities Associated With Emotional Intelligence

Social skill

Am I proficient in building relationships?

Am I at ease socially?

Am I self-assured?

Do I respond with warmth to others?

Am I able to build trust?

Do I communicate orally with ease?

Empathy

Am I able to see, and demonstrate that I see, the world from the perspective of others?

Am I aware of social nuances?

Am I sensitive towards the feelings of others?

Energy

Do I display commitment to others by getting on with the job, helping, joining in, offering ideas and being enthusiastic?

Do I seek feedback from others about my performance?

Can I make things happen in a forceful but sensitive way?

Am I lively and responsive in my relationships with others?

Am I energized by new challenges?

Can I maintain the impetus with others on relatively routine activities?

Persuasiveness

Am I able generally to make a good impression with others?

Am I good at seeking other people’s points of view?

Am I able to offer ideas in a non-defensive fashion?

Am I good at problem solving in collaboration with colleagues?

Am I able to influence others by doing?

Tolerance

Am I visibly patient with the beliefs and values of others?

Am I fair-minded about ideas and possibilities?

Do I communicate respect and regard for others during conflicts?

It is likely that you will score well in some of them and for others there will be room for improvement. Capitalizing on your strengths and consciously seeking to do better on the others is a good starting point for enhancing your leadership abilities.

You might like to ask your team members or colleagues to give their views as to how well you measure up to the qualities listed. Getting feedback from others is a very good way for us to learn about ourselves. However, it is a good idea to prepare the ground carefully before engaging in an exercise of this sort.

In some organizations the process of providing feedback to team leaders is formalized as part of what is known as 360-degree feedback (individuals receive assessments of their behaviour from their team members, their peers and their seniors). Usually forms are completed anonymously, the results are averaged by an independent agency, for example the human resource people or outside consultants, and the results are subsequently fed back to the individuals concerned.

My preference is for team leaders to seek feedback from their colleagues informally through conversation. Indeed for leaders to behave in this way is evidence in itself of emotional intelligence. It is likely to lead to greater self-awareness and it will help to build trust. It is, of course, difficult and unwise for someone who has never sought feedback from others suddenly to request detailed assessments of behaviour in relation to the qualities listed in the boxes. Colleagues, and especially team members, are unlikely to be very revealing until a high level of trust has been established. It is probably better to start by asking some low-risk questions that are less likely to cause discomfort or resistance. You could for example begin by enquiring whether your colleagues feel that you are available when needed or whether you provide help sufficiently when it is required. As confidence and trust increase it then becomes possible to seek more detailed assessments of behaviour with a reasonable likelihood of receiving some useful feedback.