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Emotional Intelligence



A. be able to define what emotional intelligence is;
B. analyze your own emotional intelligence level;
C. increase your emotional intelligence, by applying the suggestions regarding the development of EQ.

Many of us find it increasingly difficult to connect in the modern world, both with others and ourselves. An important factor in our ability to successfully connect is emotional intelligence. When it comes to happiness and success in our relationships or career and personal goals, emotional intelligence (EQ) matters just as much as the more well known, intellectual ability (IQ). We need emotional intelligence to turn intention into action, in order to make informed decisions about the things that matter most to us, and to connect to others in productive and nurturing ways.

Time needed to review this content: 30 MIN
Emotional intelligence (EQ) is the ability to identify, use, understand, and manage your own emotions in positive ways to:
- relieve stress,
- communicate effectively,
- empathize with others,
- overcome challenges and
- defuse conflict.
This ability also allows us to recognize and understand what others are experiencing emotionally. This recognition and understanding is, for the most part, a nonverbal process, that informs thinking and influences how well you connect with others.

(photo source:

Emotional intelligence differs from how we think of intellectual ability, in that emotional intelligence is a learned—not acquired.
This learning can take place at any time of life so the social and emotional skill set, known as emotional intelligence, is something
we can all have.
It is important to remember that there is a difference, however, between learning about emotional intelligence and applying that knowledge to your life. Just because you know you should do something does not mean you will—especially when you become overwhelmed by stress, which can override your best intentions. In order to permanently change behavior in
ways that stand up under pressure, you need to learn how to overcome stress in the moment and in your relationships in order to remain emotionally aware.

Emotional intelligence is the ability to recognize our own feelings and those of others, for motivating ourselves and for managing emotions effectively in others and ourselves. An emotional and social competency is a learned ability, based on emotional intelligence, which contributes to effective performance at work.

The key skills for building your EQ and improving your ability to manage emotions and connect with others are:
1. Self-awareness
2. Self-regulation – Managing emotions
3. Self-motivation
4. Empathy
5. Social Skills – Handling Relationships

These five factors can best be summarized in the model bellow:


Self-awareness is the skill of being aware of and understanding your emotions as they occur and as they evolve. It is wrong to think of emotions as either positive or negative. Instead, you should think of them as appropriate or inappropriate.
For example, anger is usually associated with being a negative emotion. However, it can be a completely reasonable and appropriate emotion in certain circumstances – emotional intelligence allows us to recognize our anger and understand why this emotion has occurred.
Effective self-assessment of feelings and emotions will help to improve your confidence and self-esteem.

Self-regulation or Self-management
Having learned to be aware of your emotions, the skill of self-regulation relates to managing them appropriately and proportionately.
Self-management skills relate to the emotions you are feeling at any given time or in any given circumstance and how well you manage them. Self-control is a fundamental part of this, but other aspects relate to what you do: whether you behave in a way that is recognized as ‘good’ or ‘virtuous’ or not.

The final personal skill in the aspect of emotional intelligence is Motivation. Self-motivation includes our personal drive to improve and achieve commitment to our goals, initiative, or readiness to act on opportunities, optimism and resilience.
Self-motivation and personal time management are key skills in this area. Do not create unreasonable demands for yourself; learn to be assertive rather than just saying, ‘Yes’ to the demands of others.

Empathy is an awareness of the needs and feelings of others both individually and in groups, and being able to see things from the others’ point of view. Empathy helps us to develop a stronger understanding of other people’s position. It includes understanding others, developing others, having a service orientation, leveraging diversity, and political awareness.
Empathy may often be difficult to achieve. Learn to listen effectively to both the verbal and non-verbal messages of others, including body movements, gestures and physical signs of emotion. Use questions to find out more about other people and their feelings, and give feedback to ensure that you have correctly understood their feelings. Acknowledge and respect the feelings of others even if you disagree, and avoid making judgmental, belittling, rejecting or undermining comments or statements.

Social Skills
Social skills encompass a wide range of relationship and interpersonal skills. These range from leadership through to influencing and persuading, and managing conflict, as well as working in a team.
The term ‘social skills’ covers a wide variety of skills and competencies, many of which are rooted in self-esteem and personal confidence. By developing your social skills, being easy to talk to, being a good listener, being sharing and trustworthy, you will also become more charismatic and attractive to others. This in turn improves self-esteem and confidence, which makes positive personal dialogue and a greater understanding and acceptance of your own emotions easier.

How do we improve our emotional intelligence?

The ventilation myth - Venting when you are angry prolongs your mood rather than end it.

It is only human to get upset or angry in the office, but it is important to note that venting it on others around you may end up aggravating you more.
Instead of fueling the tension, there are three easy tricks to relieve your bad mood:

• Take deep breaths. Simply take a minute to breath

• Reframe your thoughts. For example, you missed a deadline – instead of panicking about possibly losing your job, try thinking reassuring yourself that you only made a mistake and that you will not let happen again in the future.

• Go for a walk! Even getting out of your room for a minute can help relieve this irate mood.

Don’t Ruminate When Sad, Distract Yourself Instead.

A large part of EQ is the ability to be in control of your emotions. When an unexpected emotion arises, try to distract yourself. Exercising before or after work proved to be the perfect distraction. Another distraction can be lending your efforts to someone else, maybe helping another employee with a task. This promotes your own happiness and creates a stronger team.

Daniel Goleman offers 4 solutions to managing sadness:
1. Exercise
2. Complete small tasks
3. Re-frame the situation – What can I learn from it?
4. Help others

The art of critique – How to criticize in the right way?

Criticism is detrimental to the work force, but it is important to note the right and wrong ways to criticize a colleague.

For example, say a fellow employee messed up on a particular task, instead of saying “way to go” in a sarcastic manner, try addressing the issue by saying: “The difficulty is________ because ______so you could do this instead _______.” Proper criticism should be specific, offer a solution, be done face-to-face, and, most importantly, be empathetic.

Emotional Contagion – Set the emotional tone

This final step involves setting an emotional tone. Mood, similar to a virus, is extremely contagious. If an employee is excited and engaged, this mood is most likely to be reflected on the employees around him or her.

While the importance of IQ is not to be neglected in this article by any means, it is emphasized instead, that the combination of both rational and emotional skills is key to any business and the success of its employees. This combination provides higher performance and better overall engagement in the office.

Daniel Goleman, one of the lead researchers on the field of emotional intelligence, talks about why we are cooperative in one situation, while in another we are not.


How to develop Emotional Intelligence – Step by step

Part 1: Tapping into your emotions

1. Note your emotional reactions to events throughout the day
2. Pay attention to your body
3. Observe how your emotions and behavior are connected
4. Avoid judging your own emotions
5. Notice patterns in your emotional history
6. Practice deciding how to behave
7. Notice patterns in your emotional history
8. Practice deciding how to behave

Part 2: Connecting with other people

1. Be open-minded and agreeable
2. Improve your empathy skills
3. Read people’s body language
4. See the effect you have on others
5. Practice being emotionally honest

Part 3: Putting EQ to practical use

1. See where you have room for improvement
2. Lower your stress level by raising your EQ
3. Be more light-hearted at home and at work



Emotional intelligence is as important part of our success as is cognitive intelligence, or in fact, it may be even more important. In recent years, science has has increasingly focused on this area. The training material will teach us what we mean emotional intelligence, what the main areas of development are, and how these processes and practices can help us.


Think about your place on the five areas of emotional intelligence! (Self-awareness, self-management, self-motivation, empathy, handling relationship)


Do an emotional intelligence test, and compare the result with your previously defined self-image! (Many types of questionnaires are available in your own language as well, here is one in English:


Based on what you have learned make plans on how you will start to develop your emotional intelligence and get it started now!


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