Emotional Competence (Your complete 9 step guide)

Emotional Competence (Your  complete 9 step guide)

In this blog post, we will talk about emotional competences, intrapersonal and interpersonal intelligence, social competences and health problems related to emotional competence.

What is emotional competence?

The term emotional competence is quite close to that of emotional intelligence. The difference between the two lies in the fact that the latter is a kind of the nucleus of the set of abilities to reason with emotions. For its part, emotional competence refers to the achievement of a certain level of emotional accomplishment.

Emotional competence can be learned and trained. And it determines a person’s ability to interact constructively with others. 

We must bear in mind that, for this, we must be able to understand our own emotions, before being able to value those of others.

Emotional Competence (Your  complete 9 step guide)

At least 80% of success in adulthood comes from emotional intelligence” – Daniel Goleman.

Authors like Salovey and Sluyter (1997: 11) point out that emotional competence is made up of five dimensions: cooperation, assertiveness, responsibility, empathy and self-control. 

Saarni (2000) presents this competence as a set of skills that are directly related to social factors, that is, beliefs and values exercise their function in the development of emotional competence. He defines it as a demonstration of self-efficacy in expressing emotions in social transactions, in which they trigger emotional reactions. 

Self-efficacy means that the individual believes that he has the capacity and skills to achieve desired goals. For the achievement of self-efficacy to happen requires knowledge of one’s emotions and the ability to regulate them towards the desired results. The desired results are based on the moral principles that one has.

For her part, Reuven Bar-On (1997) defines emotional intelligence as a range of capacities, competences and non-cognitive abilities that influence one’s ability to successfully face environmental demands and pressures. Bar-On considers emotional intelligence to have five types of components: intrapersonal, interpersonal, adaptability, general affective state and stress management components. In the 1980s, Bar-On began work on creating an instrument to assess emotional and social competence based on self-report.

Intrapersonal and interpersonal intelligence

According to Howard Gardner, there is not a single intelligence, but several. Among them, we find intrapersonal and interpersonal intelligence.

Intrapersonal refers to the emotional knowledge of oneself. That is, the ability to control our emotions, regulate and internalize them. Interpersonal would be intelligence directed towards others, that is, oriented to recognize other people’s emotions and feelings. 

According to Gardner, intelligence is not static but can be developed. Each of us is born with each of this intelligence, however, we are usually trained to develop one or more of them. Emotional competence would reside in both types of intelligence.

Thus, our emotional competence can be improved. And one of the benefits of developing it is the possible substantial improvement that we can perceive in our relationship with ourselves and with others.

Emotional Competence (Your  complete 9 step guide)

Within the intrapersonal components includes different skills such as:

  • The consciousness of one’s emotions refers to the ability to recognize one’s feelings, differentiate them and identify the elements that have caused these emotions.
  • Assertiveness is the ability to express feelings, beliefs and thoughts and defend your rights in a non-destructive way.
  • Self-esteem is the ability to respect and accept oneself by accepting the positive and negative aspects perceived in oneself as possibilities and limitations. This component is associated with the feeling of security and confidence, self-concept and self-esteem and a sense of identity.
  • Self-actualization is the ability to perceive the potential of your own abilities. This skill is related to the ability to carry out activities with enthusiasm and involves the effort to achieve long-term goals.
  • Independence is the ability to self-direct and self-control your own thoughts and actions and to have no emotional dependencies.

The interpersonal components include:

  • Empathy is the ability to be aware, understand and appreciate the feelings of others.
  • Social responsibility refers to the ability to be cooperative, accept others and develop their social role by contributing constructively in a social group.
  • Interpersonal relationships refer to the ability to establish and maintain mutually satisfying relationships that are characterized by intimacy and by giving and receiving affection. It requires sensitivity to others, the desire to establish relationships and the feeling of satisfaction with these relationships.
  •  The adaptability components include problem-solving, reality assessment and flexibility. 
  • Troubleshooting refers to the ability to identify and define problems as well as to generate and implement potentially effective solutions.
  • The evaluation of reality is the analysis of the correspondence between what is experienced and the objective evidence that justifies or supports feelings, perceptions and thoughts. 
  • Flexibility is the ability to adjust your own emotions, thoughts, and behaviours to changing situations and conditions.

In the general components of the affective state includes happiness and optimism:

  • Happiness is the ability to feel satisfied with one’s life, to enjoy oneself and others.
  • Optimism, on the other hand, is the ability to look for and look at the positive side of life and to maintain a positive attitude even in adverse conditions.

And among the components of stress management includes:

  • Stress tolerance and impulse control. It refers to the ability to endure adverse and stressful situations without sinking or feeling overwhelmed through active and positive coping with stress.
  • And impulse control is the ability to resist or retard impulses or the temptation to act and is related to the control of aggressiveness and hostility.
Emotional Competence (Your  complete 9 step guide)

Social competence, necessary for successful relationships

One dimension of emotional competence is social competence. According to studies, this refers to the fulfilment of the demands of the context. That is, the ability to respond in line with what others feel.

Social skills are very important in a work environment.

Without previously knowing your own emotions, it is difficult to identify others, and even help or empathize with other people. Knowing your own emotions allows us to recognize those of others and develop empathy

However, this is something that we are not used to doing, so it is very difficult for us. In fact, learning to know our own emotions is something that is not often paid too much attention at an early age. Consequently, these adults may lack that knowledge of their affective identity as they grow older.

Health problems related to emotional competence

Many experts believe that a lack of emotional competition causes different difficulties, which can lead to a suppression of emotions. Thus, not expressing them can lead to long-term deterioration of the person’s physical and mental health. They also increase stress levels, which can cause hypertension, rapid weight gain or loss, or fatigue, so learning to self-regulate can be effective.

Poor relationships with other people can cause suffering, due to emotional incompetence perceived by the affected person. That, in the end, generates great dissatisfaction and even frustration due to the lack of emotional exchange that it involves.

Although there are many difficulties that can hinder the development of emotional competence, emotional intelligence plays an important role in a person’s ability to learn it.

If you suppress your emotions or have serious difficulties in managing, identifying and expressing them, you should know that this has a solution. See your trusted therapist accompany you on that journey.

Emotional competence is learned, although patience will be necessary because what has been learned may not have an immediate effect. Be patient, because chances are it’s rather progressive. Do not harm your health for fear or fear of facing what can be learned. No one is born knowing everything.

Emotional Competence (Your  complete 9 step guide)

FAQ about Emotional Competence

What does emotional competence mean?

Emotional competence refers to the achievement of a certain level of emotional accomplishment. It can be learned and trained. And it determines a person’s ability to interact constructively with others. 

How do you develop emotional competence?

To develop emotional competence you should develop your empathy, active listening and the ability to show others that you understand their feelings. Emotional competence is made up of five dimensions: cooperation, assertiveness, responsibility, empathy and self-control. 

Why is emotional competence important?

Emotional competence is important because it strengthens the relationships we have with others. Interpersonal relationships refer to the ability to establish and maintain mutually satisfying relationships that are characterized by intimacy and by giving and receiving affection. It requires sensitivity to others, the desire to establish relationships and the feeling of satisfaction with these relationships.

What is meant by emotional intelligence and emotional competence?

Emotional intelligence means all the social skills one have and that help him/her evolve the social ladder. Emotional competence is based on emotional intelligence. Our emotional competence can be improved. And one of the benefits of developing it is the possible substantial improvement that we can perceive in our relationship with ourselves and with others.

What are the 5 characteristics of emotional intelligence?

The 5 characteristics of emotional intelligence, according to the American psychologist Daniel Goleman are:

What are social-emotional competencies?

Social-emotional competencies refer to the fulfilment of the demands of the context. That is, the ability to respond in line with what others feel. Social skills are very important in a work environment. Without previously knowing your own emotions, it is difficult to identify others, and even help or empathize with other people. Knowing your own emotions allows us to recognize those of others and develop empathy. 

Conclusions

In this blog post, we talked about emotional competences, intrapersonal and interpersonal intelligence, social competences and health problems related to emotional competence.

Emotional competence refers to the achievement of a certain level of emotional accomplishment. Emotional competence can be learned and trained. And it determines a person’s ability to interact constructively with others. 

Many experts believe that a lack of emotional competition causes different difficulties, which can lead to a suppression of emotions. Thus, not expressing them can lead to long-term deterioration of the person’s physical and mental health. They also increase stress levels, which can cause hypertension, rapid weight gain or loss, or fatigue, so learning to self-regulate can be effective.

If you have any questions or comments, please let us know!

Further reading

The Development of Emotional Competence (Guilford Series on Social and Emotional Development, by Carolyn Saarni  

Emotional Competence: The secret to getting more out of life!, by Eveline Lonoce  

Tips for Parents: Promoting Emotional Competence In Your Child, Vagaries of Children, child, developmental stages, a crisis (Mom’s Assistant), by Iryna Kitaieva 

How to Promote Children’s Social and Emotional Competence, by Carolyn Webster-Stratton 

References

Cherland E. (2004). The Development of Emotional Competence. The Canadian child and adolescent psychiatry review, 13(4), 121.

Exploringyourmind.com – What is Emotional Competence?

Eiconsortium.org – Emotional Competence Framework

Emotional Competence (Your  complete 9 step guide)

Nadejda Romanciuc

Nadejda Romanciuc holds a Bachelor’s degree in psychology and a diploma in Addiction studies. She is part of the Romanian Association of Integrative Psychotherapy as a psychotherapist under supervision. She's practicing online counselling for over two years and is a strong advocate for mental health.