Five Components of Emotional Intelligence

Five Components of Emotional Intelligence


The definition of emotional intelligence is the capacity to be aware of, control, and express ones emotions, and the ability to handle interpersonal relationships judiciously and with empathy. Or in other words, it’s the ability to recognize your own emotions and the emotions of others. In business and in sales, it’s how you interact with people and the way in which your emotions affect your business relationships.

It’s what allows you, as a sales person, to connect and understand your prospect’s perspective so you can better understand their pain points and how your product or service can help solve them. The importance of building trust with your customer is especially important for inside sales reps, because no one is going to purchase something over the phone from someone they don’t trust. As a leader, you can give better constructive feedback and motive your team if you can empathize with their situation. And as an employee, you can improve faster and increase your value if you have the ability to remove knee-jerk emotional reactions after making a mistake or receiving constructive criticism.

The old adage that “emotions have no place in business,” no longer rings true.  Instead, we believe that the following quote from Friedrich Durrenmatt is more appropriate, “emotions have no place in business…unless you do business with them.”

When we talk about emotional intelligence, we talk about five different aspects

  1. self awareness
  2. self regulation
  3. motivation
  4. empathy
  5. social skill

Self Awareness

The first component of emotional intelligence is self awareness. It’s knowing what your actions and reactions are going to be and how they are going to affect other people, especially when making decisions. A person who can give themself an honest self assessment is going to be better prepared to handle whatever is thrown at them. And understand not only why they make a decision, but the fallout it may have for other people.

Self Regulation

The next component is self regulation which is the ability to control disruptive impulses, especially in high-stress situations. Controlling those impulsive, emotional reactions is what allows professionals to formulate a constructive and appropriate response. Think of it as the bumpers on a bowling lane. They help the ball stay on track.


The third key aspect of emotional intelligence is motivation. Someone who is motivated is committed to the work itself. They’re driven to achieve, and committed to their organization. A motivated employee is going to stand out.


Empathy is the fourth component and is incredibly important when thinking about emotional intelligence. It’s a driving force in every conversation and interaction, and it can make or break a relationship. Whether it’s a prospect, client, colleague, or manager, empathy is the ability to understand what they are going through. It’s what allows the other person to feel understood, which is incredibly important when building any type of relationship.

Social Skills

The fifth and final component is social skill, which is the culmination of all of the above. It’s taking the other components and organizing them so they can be put into practice.

Emotional Intelligence doesn’t come easy for everyone, but it is a skill that can be practiced and improved. Acquirent covers emotional intelligence in greater depth in our Sales 201 training course, which is coming out later this year. Subscribe to our free sales training platform to access our library of top tier sales training, and to receive an alert when new training courses go live.