Continuing from my article “Parachute Incident!” it’s interesting to examine precisely how soft skills had such a powerful and positive impact in that brief snapshot of time.


Author Daniel Goleman PhD has defined 5 skill sets of Emotional Intelligence


  • Self awareness - of feelings, using them as a compass, trusting intuition
  • Controlling emotions - understanding emotions and managing them
  • Motivation - persevering through life’s setbacks
  • Empathy - reading people’s true feelings and connecting with them
  • Social skills - building and enjoying deep, mutually fulfilling relationships

The Sergeant Major used all five of these in his presence, demeanor and few brilliantly chosen words that immediately transformed John’s mental and physical state.


Social skills - As the Sergeant Major he had already developed strong professional relationships with the men under his command


Self awareness - He understood precisely what he had to do to help John


Controlling emotions - He had to be very strong seeing a friend badly injured  

Motivation - “The NEXT time you jump out of a plane Sergeant Smith ..... “  

Empathy - Holding John’s hand, softening his voice and saying with complete certainty “Of course you will John”


Laser Emotional Intelligence.