Emotional Competencies: What They Are, What They Are For And How Many Types There Are

emotional competencies

The way we experience our emotions determines a good part of our quality of life, our habits, and our way of seeing reality.

It is normal that this is the case, because although we call ourselves human beings, we are still animals with a lineage of hundreds of thousands of years behind us, and during that time, our behavioral predispositions emerged on the basis of emotions, long before that we were capable of using reason.

However, although our emotional side is rooted in ancestral biological predispositions, that does not mean that we have no ability to modulate our emotions. In fact, today we know that there are certain emotional competencies that can be developed through experience and learning. Let’s see what they consist of.

What are emotional competencies?

Since approximately the 1970s and 1980s, the idea that people’s job performance and ability to function socially depends above all on what is normally known as “intelligence” has been questioned.

That is why psychologists such as Peter Salovey, John D. Mayer and Daniel Goleman have developed and popularized the concept of “Emotional Intelligence”, a psychological construct in which all the skills and abilities that people have regarding the identification, management and expression of emotions

Thus, the idea that beyond conventional intelligence (based above all on the ease of reasoning and carrying out verbal or logical-mathematical skills) there is an Emotional Intelligence tells us that the human mind is much more than a processor. of textual and verbalizable information, but can also manage emotional phenomena that cannot be fully expressed in words or numbers.

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That is to say, even in people without psychopathologies or mental health problems in general, there will be differences in their ability to reach their goals depending on how well they are able to deal with their emotional side, with their emotions and feelings.

In this context, emotional competencies are different types of skills that, together, make up a person’s Emotional Intelligence That is to say, they are skills that are partly independent of each other and partly interconnected, in any case complementary, which depending on their degree of development help us more or less to face the challenges of everyday life and to feel good about our lives.

On the other hand, although emotional competencies are reflected in all types of situations (because our emotions are always “activated”, not only in certain contexts), in practice it is common to place emphasis on their effects in the work and professional sphere. , within what is known as “soft skills”: skills that are not acquired through formal education or memorization of theoretical information.

Types of emotional competencies

Types of emotional competencies

Here we will see a brief classification of the types of emotional competencies according to psychologist Daniel Goleman.

1. Self-awareness

self-awareness It can be summarized as the capacity for self-knowledge regarding emotions That is, what we know about the emotions and feelings that we usually experience, the kind of situations that trigger them in us, the first signs that one of them is going to emerge in our consciousness…

2. Self-regulation

Self-regulation is closely linked to previous emotional competence, and consists of our ability to modulate our emotions, either by performing them in a way that does not harm us or that is in tune with the situation or doing what is necessary to maximize the probabilities of experiencing a certain emotion that interests us and minimize the probabilities of experiencing another that interests us at a given moment.

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Of course, it does not consist of having the ability to completely control our emotions by completely suppressing them or “invoking” them from scratch; that’s impossible

3. Empathy

Empathy is the ability to “connect” emotionally with someone and be able to adjust our behaviors to their emotional state so that the possibilities of establishing alliances between both parties or providing support at key moments increase, without depending on explicit verbal indications.

4. Self-motivation

Self-motivation is the ability to turn our emotions into motivational fuel, so that they guide you more towards carrying out tasks that bring us closer to the objectives that we have set for you. We must not forget that emotions exist as a mechanism of adaptation to the environment.

5. Social skills

This last emotional competence is based both on the knowledge and mastery of the socialization norms that prevail in the social circles in which we move, and on the ability to generate expectations and meanings through our management of emotions and their application to our way of communicating (verbally and non-verbally).

In other words, it has to do with creating a certain emotional tone to the social interactions in which we participate, implying who we are and/or what we want. Therefore, this is a key ingredient in leadership and conflict mediation processes, and also when meeting people.

Do you want to have professional psychological support?

In psychotherapy processes it is possible to train the emotional capacities that we have seen so far, regardless of whether the person who goes to the psychologist has developed psychopathology or not. Therefore, if you are looking for professional support in this regard, contact us.

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In Advance Psychologists We have been offering our psychological therapy services for more than two decades, and currently we also intervene in the areas of speech therapy, sexology, neuropsychology and psychiatry. The sessions can be done in person at our center located in Madrid or online by video call.