Developing Emotional Intelligence with CliftonStrengths

Everyone, no matter what job function, has interactions with other people. Your capacity to understand your emotions, to be aware of them and how they impact the way you behave and relate to others, will improve your ‘people‘ skills and help you ultimately be more satisfied and successful.

Defining Emotional Intelligence

Emotional Intelligence (EI) is the capacity to be aware of, control and express one's emotions and to handle interpersonal relationships judiciously and empathetically. It is a set of skills that help us better perceive, understand and manage emotions in ourselves and in others. Collectively, they help us make intelligent responses to and use of emotions. Because it's a set of skills, it also means that you can enhance and get better at these competencies that help us better perceive, understand and manage emotions in ourselves and others. They help us make intelligent responses to and use our emotions. These skills are as important as your intellect.

Utilizing CliftonStrengths to Develop the EI Competencies

CliftonStrengths is a fabulous tool utilized by the Emerson community. Your unique blend of strengths gives you a toolkit to develop the EI skills you need in order to be effective and interact well with others.

Unless otherwise linked, the resources mentioned below can be found in your own CliftonStrengths Google Drive folder!

To access your report and documents: 

  1. Log into your Emerson Google Drive.
  2. Search:  Your Name - CliftonStrengths Documents
  3. Click on your folder to open it.
  4. Click on the folder name, select Organize and then Add Shortcut so you have it saved in your own Drive.
  5. View all of the documents created specifically for you by the Talent Development team!

Note: We recognize that names change or that you may have a preferred name.  If you'd like an update to the name on your strengths documents, please submit a ticket to HR and we'll update them for you!

Emotional Intelligence Competencies

The four competencies we reference here are based on the work of Daniel Goleman.

Let’s look at each EI competency and how your CliftonStrengths development can enhance your emotional intelligence skills. Greater self-awareness and self-management will enable you to self-monitor and apply the most appropriate strength (or set of strengths) in a particular situation. Likewise, having more social awareness and more skills in relationship management will help you manage strengths in the context of others and their strengths.


Self-awareness is the starting point for any EI reflection. It is the ability to know ourselves and understand our feelings. Being aware of the impact feelings can have on decisions, behaviors and performance. It is the ability to see how our emotional state affects our daily living, such as our decision-making or our communication with others.

Resources and Reflection Activity: Utilize your CliftonStrengths Insight Report to answer the following:

  • What words, phrases or sentences describe me well?
  • How do these impact how I react and respond to situations?
  • How do these affect how I connect and relate to others and the emotions of others?

Social Awareness

Social awareness of others is about perceiving, understanding and acknowledging the way others feel. This skill helps us identify the things that make people feel valued, listened to, cared for, consulted, and understood. It also helps us demonstrate empathy, anticipate responses or reactions, and adjust our behavior so that it fits well with others. When we demonstrate this skill effectively, we come across as being empathetic. People who do not demonstrate this skill can come across as being insensitive to the way others feel.

Resources and Reflection Activity: Utilize your Bring/Need CliftonStrengths document to think about your unique contribution to your world as well as what needs you may have because of your strengths. Then answer the following:

  • How might the needs of the person be similar or different to my own?
  • When communicating with others, what should I be considering about my communication style compared to theirs?
  • What are the impact of my words and how I'm saying it?


Self-management is about managing your own mood and emotions, time and behavior, and continuously improving yourself. It is emotional regulation and self-control. Effective self-management can help you keep focused in difficult situations, as well as enable you to be a positive role model to others.

Resources and Reflection Activity: Use the Theme Awareness handout to answer the following:

  • What version of me are people getting in which situations?
  • What's going on around me and what's appropriate for this moment?
  • Do I turn up the intensity for this particular strength or do I need to turn it down?
  • Based on someone’s strengths, what perceptions might they have of me that I do not intend?


In the context of emotional intelligence, relationship management is the ability to collaborate, build trust and manage interpersonal conflicts. It helps increase the effectiveness of our interactions, the ability to influence positively, and improve collaboration. This skill helps people be resilient and manage work demands and stress rather than being temperamental. People who are proficient in managing their own emotions look to find the opportunities and possibilities that exist even in the face of adversity.

Resources and Reflection Activity: “What great leaders have in common is that each truly knows their strengths - and can call on the right strength at the right time.” - Don Clifton. Use the Leadership Guide and the Advantage - Leadership handout in your Google Drive folder to reflect on what you bring to the table when it comes to relationship management and answer the following:

  • Identify a current challenge, need or opportunity in your work. How might your strengths help you improve the relationships with the people you’ll be collaborating with on this?
  • When working through a conflict with a colleague, how might your strengths impact the way you approach the conflict?




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