Diadem CEO, Nicole Soames was honoured to talk about the power of emotional intelligence at the Girl Up Leadership Summit, which has featured talks from Michelle Obama, Sheryl Sandberg and Hilary Clinton. Girl Up was founded by the United Nations Foundation in 2010 to advance the skills, rights and opportunities of girls everywhere, a cause very close to Diadem’s heart.


What exactly is Emotional Intelligence?

Emotional intelligence is often referred to as a soft skill – when in fact there is nothing soft about it. It is defined as the set of emotional and social skills that are most effective at influencing others.” When combined with your technical knowledge and know-how, emotional intelligence is the catalyst that will accelerate your performance. In fact, research carried out by the Carnegie Institute of Technology shows that 85 percent of your financial success is due to skills in “human engineering” – your personality and ability to communicate, negotiate, and lead. Surprisingly, only 15 percent is due to technical knowledge, highlighting the crucial role emotional intelligence plays in success in life.


How to develop your Emotional Intelligence

Let’s now delve into EQ in greater detail to understand exactly how it can set you up for success. There are 3 core areas of EQ to focus on: the inner you, how you interact with others and how you see the world.




Your Inner Focus

These EQ skills include self-knowing, self-confidence, self-reliance and self-control. Take the time to really understand what makes you tick. It’s only by knowing who you are that you can strive to be the best version of yourself. You’ll boost your self-confidence by identifying what you’re good at and committing to honing these skills over time. Have the confidence to back yourself. This means taking control of the decision-making process and accepting responsibility for the choices you make. Don’t underestimate the importance of harnessing your self-control. Learn to respond rather than react to challenging situations and you will go far.


Your Other Focus

Empathy, relationship skills and straightforwardness are key EQ skills that enable you to build meaningful relationships with those around you. Your goal should be to develop your social skills to create balanced relationships that are mutually beneficial. Empathy is often described as the emotional glue that holds relationships together. Be curious about others and actively listen to what they have to say so you can truly understand their perspective. Lastly, you need to be straightforward and honest in your interactions with others as this will build trust over the long term.


Your Outer Focus

Adaptability, optimism and self-actualisation are the three EQ skills that relate to the way you view the world around you.  Be open minded and say ‘yes’ to learning something new. Draw on your optimism to seek out opportunities, maintain a positive mood and be resilient in the face of setbacks. This isn’t about blind faith or wearing rose tinted spectacles – it’s about being appropriately optimistic and finding the positive in every situation. Finally, remember to follow your passion. If you love what you do and who you do it with, at work and at play, you will achieve true fulfilment in life.


By committing to hone these EQ skills on a daily basis, you will boost your self-confidence, build more meaningful relationships and live a more fulfilled life, for as Maya Angelou said, “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did but people will never forget how you made them feel.”