Emotional competencies: what are they, what are they for and how many types exist?
Let's see what emotional competencies are and how they influence our quality of life.
The way we experience our emotions determines much of our quality of life, our habits, and our way of seeing reality.
It is normal that this is so, 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 we were able to use reason.
However, even if our emotional side is rooted in ancestral Biological predispositions, that does not mean that we have no capacity 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?
Approximately from the decades of the 70's and 80's, it has been questioning the idea that the labor performance and the facility to develop socially of the people depend mainly on what is normally known as "intelligence".
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 are gathered all the aptitudes and abilities that people have in order to develop their emotional intelligence. all the aptitudes and abilities that people have in relation to the identification, management and expression of emotions..
Thus, the idea that beyond conventional intelligence (based mainly on the ability to reason and to perform verbal or logical-mathematical skills) there is an Emotional Intelligence points out 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 captured in words or numbers.
That is, even in people without psychopathologies or metal 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 affective side, with their emotions and feelings.
In this context, emotional competencies are different types of skills that, together, make up the types of skills that, together, make up a person's Emotional Intelligence.. In other words, 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 embodied in all kinds of situations (because our emotions are always "activated", not only in certain contexts), in practice it is common to emphasize their effects in the work and professional environment, within what is known as "soft skills": the skills that are not acquired through formal education or memorization of theoretical information.
Types of emotional competencies
Here we will see a brief classification of the types of emotional competencies according to psychologist Daniel Goleman.
Self-awareness can be summarized as the capacity for self-awareness as it relates to the emotions.. That is, what we know about the emotions and feelings 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...
The self-regulation is closely linked to the previous emotional competence, and consists of our ability to modulating our emotions, either by performing them in a way that does not harm us or that is in tune with the situation, or by doing what is necessary to maximize our emotions.It consists of our ability to modulate our emotions, either by doing what is necessary to maximize the probabilities of experiencing a certain emotion we are interested in and minimizing the probabilities of experiencing another emotion we are interested in at a given moment.
It does not consist of having the ability to totally control our emotions by suppressing them completely or "invoking" them from scratch; that is impossible.
Empathy is the ability to "connect" emotionally with someone and to be able to adjust our behaviors to their emotional state, so as to increase the possibilities of "connecting" with them.This increases the chances of establishing alliances between both parties or providing support at key moments, without relying on explicit verbal cues.
Self-motivation is the ability to convert our emotions into motivational fuelso that they orient you more towards the accomplishment of tasks that bring us closer to the goals we have set for ourselves. 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 rules of socialization 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, giving to understand 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 professional psychological support?
In psychotherapy processes it is possible to train the emotional abilities we have seen so far, regardless of whether the person who comes to the psychologist has developed a psychopathology or not. Therefore, if you are looking for professional support in this regard, please contact us.
At Avance 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. Sessions can be conducted in person at our center located in Madrid or online via video call.
(Updated at Mar 28 / 2023)