Emotional Intelligence for Assistants

Emotional Intelligence for Administrative Assistants

I have grown to love speaking on and teaching assistants about emotional intelligence. This definitely is a skill every assistant needs to know. This is a skill you can use every single day!

In our World Class Assistant course, we cover this topic and participants work on real work world case studies. They are scenarios that assistants can relate to. I reference Daniel Goleman for my classes and want to share this with you. Please quickly evaluate your level of emotional intelligence in each of the four dimensions.

Daniel Goleman, author of Working with Emotional Intelligence says, “Emotional intelligence is the ability to sense, understand, and effectively apply the power and acumen of emotions as a source of human energy, information, connection, and influence.

Daniel also says:


  • The common view is that emotions are things that happen to us.
  • Emotions don’t belong in business.


  • Emotions are an inner source of energy, influence, and information.
  • They are inherently neither good nor bad. It is what we do with emotions that make the difference.

The 4 Dimensions:

#1:    Self-Awareness (I know me.)

  • Recognize how your feelings affect your performance.
  • You are open to candid feedback.

#2:    Self-Management (I manage me.)

  • Self-control.
  • Admit mistakes.

#3:    Social Awareness (I try to know you.0

  • Pay attention to emotional cues.
  • Adapt communication style to compliment others.

#4:    Relationship Management (I attempt to facilitate situations for a positive outcome.0

  • Step forward as needed, regardless of your position.
  • Model the change you expect from others.

One of our top trainers, Julie Reed, has been teaching several of our World Class Assistant™ certification/designation courses. When I asked Julie, what were her favorite lessons from emotional intelligence, she shared the following:

  • I manage me. I am in charge of my attitude.
  • I choose to not react.
  • I am resilient; I practice positive self-esteem, and I chose to ignore the haters.
  • I am confident in my skills and aware of my weaknesses.
  • I stay true to my North Star.
  • I manage me – I hold myself accountable and, I mitigate risks to my reputation and build my credibility equity. This, in turn, has gotten me invited to the table, as an active participant, confidant, and leader.

Emotional intelligence is a crucial skill for assistants to have in order to effectively manage their own emotions and interact with others in a positive and productive way. By understanding and practicing the four dimensions of emotional intelligence – self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, and relationship management – you can become a more effective and influential assistant in the workplace and in your personal life. Whether you are just starting to learn about emotional intelligence or are looking to improve upon your existing skills, there is always room for growth and development. By actively working on your emotional intelligence, you can not only improve your own well-being and success but also contribute to a more positive and harmonious work environment for all.

Which dimensions of emotional intelligence do you need to work on? Why not start today?

Joan Burge


What it means to be a World Class Assistant™:

  • You’re a career-minded administrative professional looking to build powerful partnerships with your executive(s) and organization.
  • You’re a power player who wants to reap more rewards from your efforts – and you’re not afraid to do what it takes to get there.
  • You’re committed to the administrative profession as well as your career growth and you’re eager to demonstrate this.
  • You’re a high-performing individual who wants to succeed both in your professional and personal life.
  • You’re ready to have the kind of breakthrough experience that takes you off the sidelines and puts you right in the middle of the game.

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