The Fourth Pillar of Emotional Intelligence: Relationship Management

Relationship management is our fourth and final pillar of emotional intelligence. Relationship is a critical component of work within institutions. Whether we examine the professor-student relationship or the peer relationship between colleagues, good interpersonal skills and social intelligence helps us generate positive results. Relationship management involves deploying the empathy and organizational awareness I wrote about in the previous essay. Good relationship management skills show up as collegiality, leadership ability and influence, conflict management and negotiation, teamwork, and change leadership.

There are 6 total competencies in the literature underneath the “Relationship Management” pillar.


The Third Pillar of Emotional Intelligence: Social Awareness

In earlier posts, I summarized the first two pillars of Emotional Intelligence (EQ), following Daniel Goleman’s model: self-awareness and self-management. Now we’re at the third pillar of strong EQ: social awareness. Having a high degree of social awareness contributes to your own success and well being, as well as that of those around you. For you, social awareness helps you navigate your world successfully by being able to “read the room” and take the emotional temperature of a group interaction. For the people who work with you, your social awareness skills increase…


An organization I’m working for is going through a radical restructuring initiative, prompted by a budget crisis. The budget crisis was pre-COVID, so the past year has been really hard on this organization, its employees and leaders. While most people understand the urgent rationale for the proposed changes, there is not a lot of positive feeling, or cooperation, around how the change initiatives are being prioritized, communicated, or evaluated.

The dissatisfaction with the roll-out and consultation around major change illustrates the importance of three key leadership mindsets that influence successful change initiatives: the being mindset, the relationship mindset, and the…


Are you in touch with the spark of joy that propels your career?

Many of us aren’t. And, especially during fluctuating COVID-19-related working arrangements, that makes perfect sense. But even in the best of times, administrivia and distractions can pull us away from the work we know we are meant to be doing.

Answering email is not the work you are meant to be doing. Neither is writing reports.

The work you are meant to be doing is work that fulfills you. You look forward to it. I’m not suggesting this is “do what you love and you’ll never work…


White man with angry facial expression, pounding on a wooden desk with his fist.
White man with angry facial expression, pounding on a wooden desk with his fist.

This essay explained the concept of Emotional Intelligence, as popularized in North America by Daniel Goleman, and provided an introduction to the first pillar of EQ: self-awareness. If you’ve read that piece, you’ve had a chance to think about where you fall on a scale from low to high self-awareness. The second pillar of EQ, self-management, is clearly related to self-awareness and offers us the additional opportunity to think about what we do with the emotional information we gather from being self-aware!

Briefly, self-management skills refer to those abilities that allow us to pursue our goals with integrity and trustworthiness…


What do you think of when you hear “group work?” The traumas of middle school? Or the focused and coordinated teams you work on in your job? Groups and teams, although used interchangeably as organizational vocabulary, actually represent two different collectives, according to research by Meredith Belbin. Groups, according to Belbin, consist of more than eight people working in a more-or-less coordinated fashion in a particular area of an organization. They may not share goals or deliverables, but find it useful to coordinate communication and efforts. Teams, on the other hand, are optimally four to six people working together to…


What do you think of when you hear “group work?” The traumas of middle school? Or the focused and coordinated teams you work on in your job? Because, as it turns out, adult working life is largely team work! We work in teams all the time: on joint projects, in labs, on committees, when writing and editing, when sharing our results with others and getting feedback — almost nothing in academic life is a solo job.

But it will come as no surprise that, even though teams and group work are the norm for many, if not most of us…


Your Emotional Intelligence, or EQ, is a two-sided coin: on one side, you awareness of and intentional behavior toward yourself; on the other, your awareness of and intentional behavior toward others.

Woman holding two coins in front of her eyes.

Self-awareness is the beginning of all serious work on personal growth. Your awareness of your motivations, your triggers, your values, and how you react under stress and in times of joy gives you essential information about how you show up in the world — to yourself, to others, to your work.

Awareness comes before control or influence. So, self-awareness speaks to our ability to observe and identify our thoughts…


As we enter the second month of something akin to a global game of FREEZE, most of us, and most institutions, have realized that “business as usual” is months away and are adapting our teaching and research and meeting habits to accommodate our new online-all-the-time reality. This adjustment has been rocky for many, especially those undertaking it without robust personal or institutional supports. …


Beginner’s mind is one of the most beautiful concepts in meditation. It provides the practitioner with a sense of being held by the traditions of a practice that don’t expect them to achieve or do anything, but just to be. This permission to just be, to let go of the pressure to achieve results, to demonstrate competence, is a powerful motivator for me to return to meditation practice.

Picture: Nolan Pelletier

Slowly, too, I am beginning to see the connections between what I learn while meditating and the rest of my life. I am learning about the patterns of my own mind —…

Jennifer Askey

Academic Leadership coach working with emotional intelligence & positive psychology to help scholars and administrators flourish.

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