The Four Skills of Emotional Intelligence

 Reading about emotional intelligence and being emotionally intelligent in certain situations is two different things. It’s kind of like a lot of things, including nursing for instance. There are nurses who are book smart and there are nurses who become great nurses who continually learn throughout their nursing career, becoming better and better. Another great example is music. It’s one thing to learn music theory. It’s another to be a musician. I think the same is true for emotional intelligence.

What is really great about Emotional Intelligence 2.0 is that it focuses less on theory and more on systems they have developed by studying the emotional intelligence of hundreds of thousands people. Through their studies they developed a test called the Emotional Intelligence Appraisal. Tomorrow I’ll talk about this test and share with you my individual results. But for now, I want to talk about the four emotional intelligence skills that Travis Bradberry and Jean Greaves review in their book, Emotional Intelligence 2.0. Here’s how Travis and Jean describe the four skills:

“The four emotional intelligence skills pair up under two primary competencies: personal competence and social competence. Personal competence is made up of your self-awareness and self-management skills, which focus more on you individually than on your interactions with other people. Personal competence is your ability to stay aware of your emotions and manage your behavior and tendencies. Social competence is made up of your social awareness and relationship management skills; social competence is your ability to understand other people’s moods, behavior and motives in order to improve the quality of your relationships.”¹

Here are some more specific definitions:

Two Skills of Personal Competence

1. Self-Awareness

“Your ability to accurately perceive your own emotions in the movement and understand your tendencies across situations.”¹

2. Self-Management

“Self-Management is your ability to use your awareness of your emotions to stay flexible and direct your behavior positively. This means managing your emotional reactions to situations and people.”²

Emotional Intelligence, EQ, Emotional Intelligence 2.0

Photo Credits: James Maher. Used By Permission.

Two Skills of Social Competence

1. Social Awareness

“Social awareness is your ability to accurately pick up on emotions in other people and understand what is really going on with them. This often means perceiving what other people are thinking and feeling, even if you do not feel the same way.”³

2. Relationship Management

“Relationship management is your ability to use your awareness of your own emotions and those of others to manage interactions successfully. This ensure clear communication and effective handling of conflict.”4

Tomorrow I’ll share with you what test results look like.

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Sarah Jackson

Vigilant Poster Girl


Every week I talk about a book that we’re reading on leadership and self-development. You can follow along by going to the Book of the Week page at the top. And order a book (either kindle, audible, or paperback) by clicking on the photo of that book. When you do that, it also helps fund this site. 


  1. Emotional Intelligence 2.0 by Travis Bradberry & Jean Greaves pgs 23-24
  2. Emotional Intelligence 2.0 by Travis Bradberry & Jean Greaves pg 32
  3. Emotional Intelligence 2.0 by Travis Bradberry & Jean Greaves pg 38
  4. Emotional Intelligence 2.0 by Travis Bradberry & Jean Greaves pg 44

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