You may have heard the term Emotional Intelligence (EI or EQ), but what actually is it? What does it mean in practice? And more importantly, how can you use it to help your clients?

You may have heard the term Emotional Intelligence (EI or EQ), but what actually is it? What does it mean in practice? And more importantly, how can you use it to help your clients?

EI describes an ability or skill to perceive, assess and manage the emotions of yourself and others. This includes interpersonal skills (the ability to build rapport, motivate, influence and get on well with others) and intrapersonal skills (the ability to know, understand and motivate yourself, and be self aware).

If you know yourself and understand others, it helps you to master the effect you have on those around you.

Research indicates that what distinguishes successful business people from their less successful counterparts is not IQ but EI. People with a higher level of EI are likely to have lower levels of stress, be able to build more effective relationships and get better results.

“For leadership positions emotional intelligence competencies account for up to 85% of what sets outstanding managers apart from the average.” - Daniel Goleman

Here are my top 10 steps you can take today to improve your own EI and share with your clients.

1. Take time each day to be in the here and now. We all get caught up in the busy-ness of life. Stop and see what is around you, the colours, smells, feelings and sounds. Be aware of how you feel and take time to be in the present.

2. Think about how you can influence other people's behaviour. Moods are catching and can have a domino affect. What action can you take to draw out positive responses from others?

3. When you are faced with worry, detach. Think about the following questions: What is the evidence for the way you are feeling? What is the worst (and best) thing that could happen? How can you change the way you feel about the thing that is worrying you?

4. Realise when you are stressed. The first step to reducing stress is recognising what it feels like. Many of us spend so much time in an unbalanced state that we've forgotten what it feels like to be calm and relaxed. Once you have recognized your feelings of stress, you can then remember what it feels like to be relaxed and learn how to move to this state.

5. When you make decisions, factor in your emotions. How much do they help or hinder you when you are making a decision?

6. Choose your arguments wisely. Disputes take up time and energy, especially if you want to resolve them in a positive way. Consider what is worth arguing about and what is worth letting go.

7. To be happy, take responsibility for your feelings. Remember that no one can make you feel inferior without your permission.

8. Keep a journal or diary and write in it daily. Keep a record of what you are grateful for and record your achievements.

9. Meditate for a few minutes each day. Go somewhere quiet, slow down your breathing and clear your mind to give yourself greater focus and relaxation.

10. Get feedback from others. What do they believe to be your strengths and limitations? Find out how you can build on areas that may be holding you back and further develop your skills and strengths.

“There is only one corner of the universe that you can be certain of improving; and that is your own self. - Aldous Huxley

By Karen Williams of Self Discovery Coaching


emotional intelligence EI Being Present Feelings Behaviour Stress management Emotions Meditate Leadership success EQ journal


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