Emotional intelligence basically refers to self-mastery skills—the ability to perceive, control, and improve the connection between what we feel and the way we act. The previous chapter focused on empathy—a person's ability to pick up on the emotional cues of others. Emotional intelligence, by contrast, refers to how well a person is attuned to himself or herself.

Emotional intelligence has received a lot of attention in recent decades. In fact, for some scholars, such as Daniel Goleman, it is the most important component of leadership.2 Goleman analyzed competency models from 188 companies, including Lucent Technologies, British Airways, and Credit Suisse. What he found is that emotional intelligence is at least ...

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