DMin, Leadership and Global Perspectives: Crafting Ministry in an Interconnected World

The Languages of Emotional Intelligence

Written by: on October 23, 2014

On our very first date with my husband, Willy brought with him an emotional intelligence test (yes, it’s true. He tested my EQ on our first date). Within the first hour of our first-ever meeting, he explained to me the Five Love Languages by Dr. Gary Chapman, and then promptly asked me to guess his top two love languages. What followed was my first prayer of the relationship, and God answered it. Somehow I managed to guess them correctly and earned myself into a second date.

In many ways I admire my husband who chooses carefully who he spends his time with, not just in personal relationships, but also in his work environment. Whenever he goes through the process of employing someone new, all final applicants are put through several tests including MBTI and IP assessments. He understands well the importance of emotional intelligence and competencies in the workplace.

Although EQ was initially invented by David McClelland, it was popularised by Daniel Goleman, founder of the Hay Group. In his book, Working with Emotional Intelligence, Goleman sets out a framework of emotional intelligence that reflects how an individual’s potential for mastering the skills of Self-Awareness, Self-Management, Social Awareness, and Relationship Management translates into on-the-job success. According to Goleman, an emotional competence is “a learned capability based on emotional intelligence that results in outstanding performance at work” [1] (Goleman, 1998b). For Goleman, emotional intelligence ability does not necessarily translate into emotional competencies. Emotional competencies are job skills that can, and indeed must, be learned as the following table illustrates.

Framework of emotional competencies [2]

  Self Personal Competence OtherSocial Competence






– Emotional self-awareness

– Accurate self-assessment

– Self-confidence


Social Awareness

– Empathy
– Service orientation

– Organizational awareness









– Self-control
– Trustworthiness
– Conscientiousness

– Adaptability
– Achievement drive

– Initiative


Relationship Management

– Developing others
– Influence
– Communication
– Conflict management

– Leadership

– Change catalyst
– Building bonds
– Teamwork & collaboration


Given the statistical fact that a significant of people quit their jobs due to poor working relationship with their boss, EQ and the ‘internal theater’ that De Vries talks about, is something not to be ignored. As De Vries writes, “[EQ] means being realistic about self and others, accepting humanity with all its varied dimensions, and using emotions appropriately. And the rewards for emotional intelligence are great: having a high EQ leads to more appropriate decision making, contributes to greater realism in interactions with others, and prevents disappointments in relationships.” [3] In other words, EQ focuses on the need to understand how people and organizations behave, about how to create relationships, build commitment, and adapt one’s behavior to lead in a creative and motivating way.

According to De Vries (and worth noting), some of the competencies that are most crucial to leadership effectiveness include:

  • Surgency – people who have a more assertive character.
  • Sociability – people with considerable social skills
  • Receptivity – those who are open to new ideas and experiences
  • Agreeableness – leaders who are cooperative, flexible and likeable
  • Dependability – Conscientious individuals who are reliable and follow through
  • Analytical intelligence – Most effective leaders possess more than average analytical intelligence
  • Emotional intelligence – Successful leaders know how to manage their emotions and read the emotions of others. [4]

It really is all about human behaviour. Since our first date, self-awareness and emotional intelligence are two subjects that we have talked about considerably as both our jobs revolve around developing people. The Leadership Mystique has enabled me to realise that although I think I may possess emotional intelligence ability, it does not necessarily translate into emotional intelligence competencies. It’s left me thinking, what EQ competencies do I need to work on? Something, no doubt, my husband will have something to say on!


[1] Daniel Goleman, Working With Emotional Intelligence (New York, NY: Random House, 1998).

[2] Daniel Goleman, An EI-Based Theory of Performance From the book The Emotionally Intelligent Workplace, 2 (Consortium for Research on Emotional Intelligence in Organizations). Accessed 23rd October 2014 at

[3] Manfred Kets De Vries, The Leadership Mystique: Leading Behavior In The Human Enterprise (Harlow, UK: Prentice Hall, 2006), 34

[4] De Vries, 172-3

About the Author


Liz Linssen