Successful People

2013-1206 FocusDaniel Goleman, author of the book Focus: The Hidden Driver of Excellence, tells The Huffington Post that “life goes much more smoothly if you have good emotional intelligence.” To illustrate the concept of “emotional intelligence,” Carolyn Gregoire writes about emotional intelligence and the traits of successful people in an article published by The Huffington Post. Although the article was not specifically written for people dealing with adversity, the article is definitely relevant to our community.

Please note that the points (success factors) mentioned below are from Gregoire’s article, but I wrote the text next to each success factor. Also, note that you may have strength in some of the following areas while simultaneously having deficits in other areas.

According to Gregoire’s article, the following traits are integral to a good emotional intelligence:

  • You’re curious about people you don’t know. Asking strangers about themselves is a great way to start a conversation and discover opportunities to help each other.
  • You know your strengths and weaknesses. You are less likely to make poor decisions if you do what you do well and you ask others for help with tasks that require your weaker traits.
  • You know how to pay attention. Paying attention makes other people feel appreciated when they are talking. A person who appreciates you is more likely to listen when it is your turn to talk.
  • When you’re upset, you know exactly why. Understanding the source of a problem offers the best opportunity for fixing the problem.
  • You can get along with most people. Unless you live in complete isolation, you will interact with groups of people at work, school, and home or where ever you spend time.
  • You care deeply about being a good, moral person. People are more likely to trust, support, and encourage those who are ethical and care deeply about them.
  • You take time to slow down and help others. This is a sign that you care deeply about other people.
  • After you fall, you get right back up. Emotionally intelligent people spend their time planning to succeed rather than complaining about the past.
  • You’re a good judge of character. Whether you read facial expressions or body language, you are able to make quick decisions about people. You quickly know who can and will help.
  • You know when to say “no.” If you are overwhelmed and out-of-balance, you will likely have difficulty helping other people. To prevent the imbalance from occurring, there are times when you will have to say “no” regardless of how much you want to say “yes.”

What Do You Think?

  • Which of the listed traits do people associate with you?
  • Which of the listed traits would people not associate with you?
  • In which of the listed areas would you like to improve?
  • How do you plan to improve your chances for success?


Thanks to Daniel Goleman for writing the book upon which this post is based, Carolyn Gregoire for identifying the key elements of emotional intelligence, The Huffington Post for publishing Gregoire’s article, Bing for helping me find the article, and all the other people who either directly or indirectly made it possible for me to include the pictures and text I used in this post.

Click here to view the original article written by Carolyn Gregoire and published in The Huffington post.



  1. Your curious about people you don’t know–first, I love to people watch so that might count. Sometimes emotional intelligence includes knowing when not to talk to someone you don’t know (had to say that, as I am a grandma). Curiosity is an important element in psychology.

    You know your strengths and weaknesses–often people think they have certain strengths when they are actual weak in that area. It’s important to step back and really do an honest evalutation in this area. The good news is if you are weak in an area you can always find ways to improve, even in same ways.

    You know how to pay attention–this is sometimes a problem for me. I can get bored, uncomfortable and overwhelmed at times. I can see how I can improve in this area.

    When your upset, you know exactly why–I am about 50/50 on this one. Just they on their day I saw ranting with my husband about the littlest things. About and hour later, I realized I had forgotten to eat.

    You get along with most people–i honestly like most people and I am always looking for the good in others.

    You deeply care about being a good moral person–honesty and loyalty are key characteristics.

    You take time to slow down and help others–helping others is something I always feel good about. Knowing my limits is sometimes an issue and I can see myself helping others instead of thanking care of my own needs.

    When you fall, you get right back up– yikes!! No I am not good in this area. And as I said earlier, I am a grandma so I teach this to my grandkids. Going to look inward and challenge myself to improve here–as I can see the benefits.

    Your a good judge of character–I feel strong in this area. I learned to have a good intuition when I was a bank teller.

    You know when to say NO–sometimes this is a problem for me.

    Doing this personal assessment was really helpful. It brought to light some areas that I can improve on and how these each can improve my emotional intelligence.

    1. Cheryl, thank you for sharing the facts about your strengths and weakness. I definitely have trouble saying “no.” This fact is primarily why I am still awake at 1:30 a.m. knowing I have to wake up in a few hours.

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