Driving Results With Others: 5 Principles

Photo by  Artur Tumasjan

In 1995, author and science journalist Daniel Goleman wrote Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ. The book was groundbreaking but remained on the fringe of business literature for several decades. Now, the concept of emotional intelligence is widely accepted as the practical application of an individual's ability to apply their knowledge of emotions to manage their own behavior and to influence others.

Goleman suggested that emotional intelligence is as important as intellect when considering and an individual’s success. He went on to state that emotional intelligence is a skill that can be taught and outlined a method for incorporating emotional skills using five key principles.

  1. Increase self-awareness. Learn to know what you know and feel what you feel. Sounds simple, but when you deny or are in conflict with your thoughts and feelings, you increase static when connecting with others. People who are comfortable with their own thoughts and feelings and understand how they impact others, connect with others in a way that increases their effectiveness. 

  2. Learn to self-regulate. Control and manage your impulses and emotions. Reacting instead of responding can lead to mistakes, less critical thinking, and can often damage relationships.

  3. Cultivate empathy. Understanding your own emotions is only half of the work in a conversation. Learning how to constructively understand and respond to the emotions of others is also critical to your effectiveness working with others: observe specific behaviors; be curious about the mood or emotion from another person; and, find a way to connect with them. Empathy helps develop your relationship.

  4. Understand your own motivation. There is no direct line to happiness from external definitions of success, like money, titles, rank, and material rewards. Having a sense of mission, passion, or fascination with what you do leads to sustained attachment and motivation with your work. Strong motivation increases clarity of decision making and priorities.

  5. Develop social skills. Social skills are more than just being friendly. Goleman describes them as “friendliness with a purpose.” You are polite and respectful, and also intentional. Healthy relationships can be used for personal and organizational benefit; they can help people advance, develop others, and get things done. 


To perform well while under pressure, we need to train our minds to work more effectively. Making the right decisions, whether that is hashing out how artificial intelligence will evolve or ensuring naval ships are ready on time takes practice.

Driving Results With Others: A pocket guide for learning on the job enables you with all the tools and tactics you need to make your interactions less stressful and more effective.