Understanding the Four Attributes of Emotional Intelligence – Part 1: Self-Awareness

In a previous blog I highlighted the four attributes that make up Emotional Intelligence (EQ). In this four part blog series, I will further expand on each of these attributes and their importance in the workplace.

To recap: EQ is the ability to recognize not only your emotions but also the emotions of those around you while being able to adjust your emotions and influence those of others. EQ is how you behave and interact with others not only during normal daily interactions, but also during stressful and uncomfortable situations, times of celebration, and times of sadness.

Emotional Intelligence is comprised of four attributes:

  • Self-awareness
  • Self-management
  • Social awareness
  • Relationship management

As discussed by Chris Musselwhite in the article Self-Awareness and the Effective Leader, “self-awareness is being conscious of what you’re good at while acknowledging what you still have yet to learn”. Musselwhite further explains that being self-aware means to acknowledge weaknesses and shortcomings and develop ways in which to improve rather than defend or even hide them. Instead of viewing this as what could be a painful process of self-evaluation, rather take that as an opportunity to grow and learn. By doing so, you are illustrating to those around you that it’s ok not to know everything and therefore helps to foster a learning environment.

How can you become more self-aware?

Psychologist and author Sherrie Campbell shares these seven tips:

  1. Keep an open mind
  2. Be mindful of your strengths and weaknesses
  3. Stay focused
  4. Set boundaries
  5. Know your emotional triggers
  6. Embrace your intuition
  7. Practice self-discipline

Why is this important in the workplace?

Being a top performer and having a high EQ go hand in hand. These individuals are able to understand their emotions, act and react (or not) as appropriate, and can pick up on non-verbal cues of others. As the foundation of the four EQ attributes, self-awareness plays a pivotal role in the workplace. Campbell elaborates “when leaders are grounded, they are able to be efficient and deliberate in staying on task and being attuned to those around them”. A self-aware leader is one who is able to illicit this type of behavior with their team, allowing for an environment that supports continuous learning, constructive rather than toxic conflict, and positive collaboration.

“Being self-aware is not the absence of mistake, but the ability to learn and correct them” – Daniel Chiiac

Join me in Part 2 of this series where I will discuss self-management and its role in emotional intelligence.

Becca Usher

Becca joined Aureus Group Healthcare Leadership in September 2013 and has more than 15 years of experience in the healthcare industry. With experience on the provider, payer, and insurance broker sides of healthcare, she possesses the operational, clinical, and regulatory knowledge necessary to adequately assess and screen candidates. As a recruiter, Becca focuses on healthcare administration searches across the United States with a priority focus in the Midwest. Becca graduated from East Carolina University in Greenville, NC with a bachelor’s degree in exercise sport science. She also earned a Master of Healthcare Administration as well as an MBA from the University of Maryland University College in Adelphi, MD.



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