How to gain Emotional Intelligence?

Emotional intelligence, also known as EI or EQ (for Emotional Intelligence Quotient), describes a person's ability to recognize emotions, to understand their powerful effect, and to use that information to guide thinking and behavior. Since EI helps you to better understand yourself and others a high EQ increases your chances for successfully achieving goals. But is there a way to increase your emotional intelligence?


In their seminal research and publication, The Emotionally Intelligent Manager, professors David R.Caruso and Peter Salovey broke down four of the core skills involved in developing emotional intelligence:

  1. Identifying your feelings and those of others
  2. Using feelings to guide your own thinking and reasoning, along with others
  3. Understanding how feelings might change and develop as events unfold
  4. Managing to stay open to the data of feelings and integrate this into decisions and actions

The Practical Guide to Emotional Intelligence of emotional discovery, as well as a series of practical steps that can help you develops these core skills, thereby increasing your EQ.

Here are seven of the steps I explore:

  1. Reflect on your own emotions.
  2. Ask others for perspective.
  3. Be observant.
  4. Use "the pause".
  5. Explore the "why".
  6. When criticized, don't take offense. Instead, ask: What can I learn?
  7. Practice, practice, practice.

Better. Of course, it's impossible to have perfect control over your emotions. And learning to improve your emotional intelligence isn't a process that happens overnight. However, consistently practicing these steps will allow you to begin harnessing the power of emotions--and use that power to work for you, instead of against you.