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Improving Emotional Intelligence: What, Why, and How


What is Emotional Intelligence?

Emotional Intelligence (EQ) is the extent to which you can accurately reason about emotions and use emotions and emotional knowledge to enhance your thinking. This means it is the ability to leverage the interplay between your thoughts and your feelings.

There are various models and subscales, but all find a foundation in Daniel Goleman’s original conceptualization of EQ with five different aspects:

  • Knowing your emotions – recognition of your emotions, as well as associated strengths, and limitations.
  • Managing your emotions – your appropriate use of your emotions and impulses.
  • Motivating yourself – your level of focus on meeting intrinsic needs.
  • Recognizing and understanding other people’s emotions – your application of empathy.
  • Managing relationships (others’ emotions) – your ability to foster co-operation and buy-in.

Why is Emotional Intelligence Important?

Research shows that higher Emotional Intelligence is related to lower instances of poor outcomes such as drug use, and depression. In addition, those with higher EQ are perceived more positively by others, experience higher-quality interactions and have higher life satisfaction and self-esteem. This means your level of emotional intelligence is strongly associated with your quality of life. Since evidence also indicates that EQ can be improved over time, developing these qualities can be key to improving your overall experience.

How can you develop your Emotional Intelligence?

One proven way is to identify the elements of your subconscious that run from fear-based associations and then rewrite them in terms of more loving truth. These principles of self-command are at the core of the Positive Intelligence Program. This mental fitness program is designed to support the identification of your Saboteurs and provide simple techniques to switch to engaging through Sage.

Using Positive Intelligence coaching techniques you can proactively target the interplay between your thoughts and feelings. It also supports the ability to more effectively recognize this interplay in others. With this greater awareness of negative, self-defeating, and limiting thoughts/feelings you can intentionally edit your experience. This process of catching and reframing radically improves your awareness and your self-management. The Positive Intelligence Program applies principles of neuroscience, positive psychology, performance science, and cognitive psychology.

The five aspects of EQ are often broken down according to four quadrants each with subcategories.

Self: Personal CompetenceOther: Social Competence
Emotional Self-Awareness (97%)
Accurate Self-Assessment (98%)
Self-Confidence (83%)
Empathy (97%)
Service Orientation (84%)
Emotional Self-Control (91%)
Transparency (82%)
Adaptability (90%)
Achievement (85%)
Initiative (86%)
Optimism (91%)
Relationship Management
Developing Others (76%)
Inspirational Leadership (79%)
Change Catalyst (78%)
Influence (76%)
Conflict Management (84%)
Teamwork & Collaboration (92%)

17 out of 18 EQ competencies improve after partaking in the 6-week Positive Intelligence Program. Percentages of participants with improvement are indicated. This occurs through a combination of intercepting the negative Saboteurs and activating Self-Command and the 5 positive Sage Powers.

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay