Emotional Self-Awareness Competency

Emotional Self-Awareness is the keystone of the Emotional and Social Intelligence Model. Without self-awareness, proficiency in the other competencies becomes difficult to deploy consistently.

Each competency consists of two parts: the intent (or purpose) and the behaviors (what it looks like). Self-Awareness is the capacity to tune into your own feelings, sense inner signals, and recognize how your feelings affect you and your performance.

The intent (or purpose) of developing Self-Awareness is that it allows us to understand how our bodily sensations and our emotions impact self, others, and our environment. Each moment is an opportunity to be self-aware. Thus, the more we practice it, the more proficient we become and the greater our capacity to recognize the space between stimuli and our response to that stimuli, ensuring a more conscious and skillful approach.

Here are some of the resources we have available to help you develop Emotional Self-Awareness:

Books & Media

Emotional Self-Awareness: A Primer

For the first time ever, bestselling author Daniel Goleman provides in-depth insights into the first and foundational competency of Emotional and Social Intelligence: Self-Awareness.

With this Primer, you’ll learn what self-awareness is, why it’s essential in high-performance leadership, and how to develop it. Expert contributors in emotional intelligence, leadership development, and research include Richard Boyatzis, Richard J. Davidson, George Kohlrieser, and Vanessa Druskat. Get the details!



Emotiona Intelligence Leadership podcast

Podcast Episode: Managing Expectations with Mindfulness

Emotional Self-Awareness does not operate in a vacuum. Things like vision, values, influence, systems, and expectations all come into play to impact the effectiveness of a leader.

In our newly relaunched podcast, Hanuman Goleman speaks with author and high-level Project Manager George Pitagorsky on the impact that Emotional Self-Awareness makes in leadership. Listen here!





mindful self-awareness leadership researchMindful Self-Awareness as the Basis of Effective Leadership (new research)

by Matthew Lippincott

“Emotional Self-Awareness is our ability to recognize our emotions, how our experience affects our feelings, and discern the relationship between how we are feeling and our actions. In this context, mindfulness enhances your self-awareness capabilities by helping you develop the ability to monitor and understand emotions as they arise.” Read it!



How Self-Aware Are You As a Leader?

By George Kohlrieser

“The first time I was held hostage, my self-awareness and ability to manage my emotions saved my life. After a psychotic man rushed at me and held a pair of scissors against my throat, I chose to talk rather than call for force to be used against him. I focused on each word, using them to build a connection and shift the man’s focus away from despair. In that moment, I had to communicate from my heart, not just my mind.” Read it!



Improving Attention Span Through Self-Awareness

By Ann Flanagan Petry

““You think because you understand ”˜one’ you must also understand ”˜two’, because one and one make two. But you must also understand ”˜and’.” – Rumi

In the workplace, we often fall into just the trap that Rumi describes. We think that because we understand how to be busy accomplishing tasks (one) we also understand how to be effective in our work (two).” Read it!

Quick Takeaways


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