Layers of Emotional Intelligence

selfawarenessRapport Leadership International uses processes to help student learn important lessons. In order to be a great leader – you need Emotional Intelligence.

If you are a team leader, below is a process you can use to uncover the layers of emotional intelligence with your team.


Understand how Emotional Intelligence influences all levels of your life effectiveness. Clarify and develop your Emotional Intelligence (EI) skills at four levels: Self Awareness, Self Management, Social Awareness and Relationship Management.


Leadership growth begins with personal growth.  Effective leaders are extremely aware and attuned to themselves. They are conscious of their own thoughts, feelings and actions and how these immediately impact those around them. Great leaders also consider the longer term ripple effect of every thing they do; i.e. an organization’s culture, the community and society. This deep awareness and presence of being allows leaders to self manage, make better choices, motivate others and inspire growth. This leads to greater social awareness and relationship management. A leader’s success is rooted in personal mastery and evolves into relationship mastery.

Set up:

Explain the four levels of Emotional Intelligence (EI) to the group. Provide two copies of the “Layers of Emotional Intelligence” to each member of the group (model below).

Process-Layers of EI_V1

Phase 1

Prepare four flip charts and label each with the four EI domains. Break participants into four groups and have each group discuss their assigned EI domain and associated competencies. List all actions and applications of the EI domain in relation to an individual’s business and personal life and why they are important to the success of any endeavor.

1. Self Awareness

Self confidence, strengths, growth opportunities, intuition, emotional awareness

2. Self Management

Adaptability, achievement, initiative, optimism, trustworthiness, self control

3. Social Awareness

Empathy, compassion, service orientation, organizational awareness, community awareness

4. Relationship Management

Listening, inspirational leadership, influence, developing others, conflict management, teamwork, collaboration, connecting with others, change catalyst

Phase 2

Have each group share their insights listed on the flip chart to the entire group. Add any additional thoughts and insights from the group dialogue.  Show everyone the Layers of EI model. Using ropes or tape, draw this model the floor of the room. Begin with the inner circle of Self Awareness and discuss the influence this core level has on the outer three levels. Have the participants physically stand in the inner circle and move into the outer levels as they share their insights. (Depending on the size of the room this may be done individually or as a group.)  Move to Self Management and discuss its impact on the outer two layers. Repeat with Social Awareness while continuing to physically move through the Layers of EI.

Phase 3

Ask each participant to complete an individual assessment of their EI competencies. On one copy of the Layers of EI model, identify your strengths at each level and how they assist you in your effectiveness as a leader. On the second copy of the model, identify your opportunities for growth and the action steps you will take to improve all four EI domains. Once everyone has completed, open the discussion for individuals to share both strengths and growth opportunities.


We all have the ability to become more effective leaders – it is a choice. We must be willing to assess ourselves and be open to feedback to create ongoing growth and development. Change is constant and inevitable – create intentional transformation by taking the action to unleash your leadership potential. Our philosophy at Rapport Leadership International is simple: When you improve the person, you improve the performance. When you improve the performance, you improve the business, the family, and the community. Enjoy the journey.

 Sources: Primal Leadership by Daniel Goleman, Richard Boyatzis, Annie McKee.  Resonant Leadership by Richard Boyatzis and Annie McKee