Emotional Competence Framework

The Consortium for Research on Emotional Intelligence in Organizations EI Framework
( www.eiconsortium.org )

  The Emotional Competence Framework

SOURCES: This generic competence framework distills findings from: MOSAIC
competencies for professional and administrative occupations (U.S. Office of Personnel
Management); Spencer and Spencer, Competence at Work; and top performance and
leadership competence studies published in Richard H. Rosier (ed.), The Competency
Model Handbook, Volumes One and Two (Boston : Linkage, 1994 and 1995), especially
those from Cigna, Sprint, American Express, Sandoz Pharmaceuticals; Wisconsin Power
and Light; and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Maryland. Much of the material that
follows comes from Working with Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman (Bantam,

  Personal Competence

Emotional awareness: Recognizing one’s emotions and their effects. People with this
• Know which emotions they are feeling and why
• Realize the links between their feelings and what they think, do, and say
• Recognize how their feelings affect their performance
• Have a guiding awareness of their values and goals
Accurate self-assessment: Knowing one’s strengths and limits. People with this
competence are:
• Aware of their strengths and weaknesses
• Reflective, learning from experience
• Open to candid feedback, new perspectives, continuous learning, and selfdevelopment
• Able to show a sense of humor and perspective about themselves
Self-confidence: Sureness about one’s self-worth and capabilities. People with this
• Present themselves with self-assurance; have “presence”
• Can voice views that are unpopular and go out on a limb for what is right
• Are decisive, able to make sound decisions despite uncertainties and pressures

The Consortium for Research on Emotional Intelligence in Organizations EI Framework
( www.eiconsortium.org )


Self-control: Managing disruptive emotions and impulses. People with this competence:
• Manage their impulsive feelings and distressing emotions well
• Stay composed, positive, and unflappable even in trying moments
• Think clearly and stay focused under pressure
Trustworthiness: Maintaining standards of honesty and integrity. People with this
• Act ethically and are above reproach
• Build trust through their reliability and authenticity
• Admit their own mistakes and confront unethical actions in others
• Take tough, principled stands even if they are unpopular
Conscientiousness: Taking responsibility for personal performance. People with this
• Meet commitments and keep promises
• Hold themselves accountable for meeting their objectives
• Are organized and careful in their work
Adaptability: Flexibility in handling change. People with this competence:
• Smoothly handle multiple demands, shifting priorities, and rapid change
• Adapt their responses and tactics to fit fluid circumstances
• Are flexible in how they see events
Innovativeness: Being comfortable with and open to novel ideas and new information.
People with this competence:
• Seek out fresh ideas from a wide variety of sources
• Entertain original solutions to problems
• Generate new ideas
• Take fresh perspectives and risks in their thinking
Achievement drive: Striving to improve or meet a standard of excellence. People with
this competence:
• Are results-oriented, with a high drive to meet their objectives and standards
• Set challenging goals and take calculated risks
• Pursue information to reduce uncertainty and find ways to do better
• Learn how to improve their performance
The Consortium for Research on Emotional Intelligence in Organizations EI Framework
( www.eiconsortium.org )

Commitment: Aligning with the goals of the group or organization. People with this

• Readily make personal or group sacrifices to meet a larger organizational goal
• Find a sense of purpose in the larger mission
• Use the group’s core values in making decisions and clarifying choices
• Actively seek out opportunities to fulfill the group’s mission
Initiative: Readiness to act on opportunities. People with this competence:
• Are ready to seize opportunities
• Pursue goals beyond what’s required or expected of them
• Cut through red tape and bend the rules when necessary to get the job done
• Mobilize others through unusual, enterprising efforts
Optimism: Persistence in pursuing goals despite obstacles and setbacks. People with this
• Persist in seeking goals despite obstacles and setbacks
• Operate from hope of success rather than fear of failure
• See setbacks as due to manageable circumstance rather than a personal flaw

  Social Competence

Empathy: Sensing others’ feelings and perspective, and taking an active interest in their
concerns. People with this competence:
• Are attentive to emotional cues and listen well
• Show sensitivity and understand others’ perspectives
• Help out based on understanding other people’s needs and feelings
Service orientation: Anticipating, recognizing, and meeting customers’ needs. People
with this competence:
• Understand customers’ needs and match them to services or products
• Seek ways to increase customers’ satisfaction and loyalty
• Gladly offer appropriate assistance
• Grasp a customer’s perspective, acting as a trusted advisor
The Consortium for Research on Emotional Intelligence in Organizations EI Framework
( www.eiconsortium.org )
Developing others: Sensing what others need in order to develop, and bolstering their
abilities. People with this competence:
• Acknowledge and reward people’s strengths, accomplishments, and development
• Offer useful feedback and identify people’s needs for development
• Mentor, give timely coaching, and offer assignments that challenge and grow a
person’s skills.
Leveraging diversity: Cultivating opportunities through diverse people. People with this
• Respect and relate well to people from varied backgrounds
• Understand diverse worldviews and are sensitive to group differences
• See diversity as opportunity, creating an environment where diverse people can
• Challenge bias and intolerance
Political awareness: Reading a group’s emotional currents and power relationships.
People with this competence:
• Accurately read key power relationships
• Detect crucial social networks
• Understand the forces that shape views and actions of clients, customers, or
• Accurately read situations and organizational and external realities


Influence: Wielding effective tactics for persuasion. People with this competence:
• Are skilled at persuasion
• Fine-tune presentations to appeal to the listener
• Use complex strategies like indirect influence to build consensus and support
• Orchestrate dramatic events to effectively make a point
Communication: Sending clear and convincing messages. People with this competence:
• Are effective in give-and-take, registering emotional cues in attuning their
• Deal with difficult issues straightforwardly
• Listen well, seek mutual understanding, and welcome sharing of information fully
• Foster open communication and stay receptive to bad news as well as good
The Consortium for Research on Emotional Intelligence in Organizations EI Framework
( www.eiconsortium.org )

Leadership: Inspiring and guiding groups and people. People with this competence:
• Articulate and arouse enthusiasm for a shared vision and mission
• Step forward to lead as needed, regardless of position
• Guide the performance of others while holding them accountable
• Lead by example
Change catalyst: Initiating or managing change. People with this competence:
• Recognize the need for change and remove barriers
• Challenge the status quo to acknowledge the need for change
• Champion the change and enlist others in its pursuit
• Model the change expected of others
Conflict management: Negotiating and resolving disagreements. People with this
• Handle difficult people and tense situations with diplomacy and tact
• Spot potential conflict, bring disagreements into the open, and help deescalate
• Encourage debate and open discussion
• Orchestrate win-win solutions
Building bonds: Nurturing instrumental relationships. People with this competence:
• Cultivate and maintain extensive informal networks
• Seek out relationships that are mutually beneficial
• Build rapport and keep others in the loop
• Make and maintain personal friendships among work associates
Collaboration and cooperation: Working with others toward shared goals. People with
this competence:
• Balance a focus on task with attention to relationships
• Collaborate, sharing plans, information, and resources
• Promote a friendly, cooperative climate
• Spot and nurture opportunities for collaboration
Team capabilities: Creating group synergy in pursuing collective goals. People with this
• Model team qualities like respect, helpfulness, and cooperation
• Draw all members into active and enthusiastic participation
• Build team identity, esprit de corps, and commitment

The Consortium for Research on Emotional Intelligence in Organizations EI Framework
( www.eiconsortium.org )

• Protect the group and its reputation; share credit