Emotional Intelligence Traits

The Fourteen Emotional Intelligence Traits

The detailed research of Psychologists, Medical Doctors and our own research, has found around fourteen key emotional intelligence traits.  These areas have all been observed, tested and discussed during and within our personal and business experience.

EMOTIONAL ENERGY: The amount of energy available to cope with frustration, conflict, or pressure plus the energies poured in to both negative and positive situations.

EMOTIONAL STRESS: The amount of inner stress experienced, the ability to monitor and regulate this inner stress.

OPTIMISM: To consider and recognise what is positive or right; to be learn how to be optimistic.

SELF-ESTEEM: To value the self and to be self-accepting.

COMMITMENT: To work hard; to get things done, to take on responsibility, to be effective.

ATTENTION TO DETAIL: To think things through; to concentrate on details, to be thorough, to have care and to be careful, to strive to be accurate, even handed and fair.

DESIRE FOR CHANGE: To create changes or improvements in one’s own environment, to vary one’s patterns of behaviour.

COURAGE: To do what is challenging, or unfamiliar, to risk injury, loss, hardship, or discomfort to reach a desired goal.

SELF-DIRECTION: To make decisions, to set goals, to set priorities, to initiate own-action.

ASSERTIVENESS: Saying what one thinks, to convince others, to exert influence in a fair and right way, to inform others what one wants, needs, requires, or expects.  Exercising power and authority, to engage in interpersonal conflict, to confront, to openly disagree where apposite, to say yes and to say no, where applicable and appropriate, to take unpopular positions.

TOLERANCE: To be tolerant, patient, accepting, and cooperative.

CONSIDERATION FOR OTHERS: To be considerate, understanding, helpful, honest, supportive and responsible.

SOCIABILITY: To be outgoing and sociable, to seek and to enjoy others’ company and conversation.

AWARENESS: To be emotionally self-aware and aware of others’ emotionality, to be aware of their environment and the host of their own affecting ‘triggers’.

Emotional Intelligence is in the Brain

Like mental intelligence (IQ), emotional intelligence (EI) is a natural function of the brain.

IQ is made up of innate abilities such as mathematical calculation, memory, vocabulary, word use, etc.  It involves primarily the neo cortex or the top portion of the brain.

EI is made up of emotional drives, and behavioural tendencies that are motivated by feelings.  It involves the lower and deeper central emotional section of the brain within the Limbic System and centered in what is called the Amygdala.


What makes people compatible or incompatible with each other?

1.  Comfort Compatibility: Comfort Compatibility occurs when people find comfort and mutual understanding with another person.  Despite popular opinion, opposites do not always attract.   Opposite characteristics initially attract but only about as often as similar qualities attract.

1a. With most areas of EQ, when opposites attract, there is an initial heightened interest in the person who is different.   Yet, conflicts can soon develop.  For example, a quiet, reserved person may initially find a sociable person to be exciting.  However, as time goes on they may find that the sociable person wants to talk more and participate with new people much more than the quiet person is comfortable with.  These differences cause natural conflict but may be resolved as each person is seen as contributing something unique and special to the relationship (team).  The sociable person can come to be seen as the spokesperson while the quiet person can be valued as one who does more low-profile or hands-on types of work.

1b. Usually, people who have similar qualities feel less excitement at first but find more long-term comfort with each other.  Two hard working people both believe in staying on task and in doing a lot of work per day.  Two leisurely people both believe in taking their time and spending more time resting or playing.

The above holds true for the qualities of: energy, optimism, self-esteem, commitment to work, attention to detail, desire for change, courage, consideration, and sociability.

Exception to 1: An exception to the general rule is when both people are very self directed, very assertive, very intolerant, or very inconsiderate ~ all of which leads to power struggles, angry arguments, or abusive behaviour.  However, two people who are low in self-direction, low in assertion, high in tolerance, and high in consideration can still experience comfort in relating to others.

Second, a person low in self direction and assertiveness may continue to be comfortable with someone high in these qualities – if the “high” person is thoughtful of their needs.  The “low” person gains strength, and a feeling of security from the “high” person.  In this relationship, one becomes the leader while the other is the follower.  The leader often enjoys leading as much as the other enjoys following.

2. Role Compatibility: While generally a person may feel more comfortable with a friend or acquaintance that is similar to them within an organisation (company, couple, family, etc.) success usually depends upon different people performing different functions (or roles) as or within a team.

In a company/business/organisation, this typically involves executives who are decisive and assertive – managers who follow structure while getting others to do specified tasks – sales persons who aggressively promote the product – patient yet reasonably assertive customer service representatives – detail-oriented technical workers – manual labourers, etc.

An executive may experience incompatibility with an employee if the employee does not have the EQ characteristics necessary to excel in their job – even if they might naturally like the employee.

In an organisation, obtaining role compatibility is the priority.   Team members should be selected and developed to fill their roles, even if there is some natural comfort incompatibility.  Comfort incompatibility should then be understood and worked through.

Michael Boase

CEO EQ Consultant

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