I recently had the privilege of experiencing a course first hand with the guru of Emotional Intelligence – Daniel Goleman himself. Yes, there really are some great benefits to Zoom! Emotional Intelligence, or EQ as it is commonly known, is has been needed in LARGE dollops as a global community during the course of 2020. It was fascinating to learn, first-hand from the guru, the tools of how to improve and deepen our capacity for EQ … and they are really quite simple. Let me share some with you … 

As you know from The Authentic Resilience Course, there is a significant and influential difference between reacting and responding. Learning to curb our impulses and develop our Emotional Intelligence is vital. Simply put, EQ is about how we manage ourselves and our relationships. Emotional Intelligence is the lubricant that drives all others aspects of our lives … if you want high-performance leaders, employees, children or relationships, be sure to prioritise EQ. 

Daniel Goleman, is an internationally known psychologist who lectures frequently, as well as being a science journalist and author. He wrote about the brain and behavioural sciences for The New York Times for many years before writing his best-seller “Emotional Intelligence” in 1995. Since then he has gone on to write many other books on EQ. He is the godfather of EQ if you like.. and he makes it very clear that the main ingredient of EQ is self-awareness.  We need to monitor ourselves all of the time to build our sense of self-awareness and agency so that we have the ability to respond rather than react… without it we are on autopilot. 

The bottom line? If you want to develop your EQ then meditate regularly, ground yourself regularly, take stock of your feelings and behaviour throughout the day and literally use every natural opportunity to practise self-awareness. Our habits of mind greatly influence our wellbeing, so to have agency and influence we must know ourselves better and activate the inner observer. 

In his book, Emotional Intelligence, Daniel Goleman discusses the 5 Domains of EQ as follows: 

  1. Self-awareness: the ability to recognise and understand your own emotions and be aware of the effect of your actions, moods, and emotions on other people. To become more self-aware, you must monitor your own emotions, recognise different emotional reactions, and correctly identifying each particular emotion. If you are self-aware you will understand the direct relationship between what you feel and how you behave.
  2. Self-regulation: In addition; emotional intelligence requires you to be able to regulate and manage your emotions. Not hiding or supressing emotions, rather sitting with them, investigating them and waiting for the optimal moment and environment in which to express them. Self-regulation is all about expressing your emotions appropriately.
  3. Self-motivation: Intrinsic self-motivation plays a key role in emotional intelligence. People who are emotionally intelligent are motivated by a passion to fulfil their own inner needs and goals. They seek internal rewards and pursue experiences of self-actualisation and self-growth. 
  4. Social skills: Being able to interact well with others is vital. True emotional understanding involves understanding your own emotions and those of others and then putting this information to work in your daily interactions and communications being able to build relationships and connections of trust and develop a strong rapport with leaders and co-workers. Important social skills include active listening, good verbal communication skills and non-verbal communication skills and leadership skills. 
  5. Empathy: or the ability to understand how others are feeling, is critical to emotional intelligence. But it involves more than just being able to recognize the emotional states of others. It also involves your responses. Being an observer of your head, heart, gut and your environment. Empathetic people listen and feel, but without judging your intentions. Empathetic people have the restraint needed to listen actively. 

If you aren’t someone who loves mediation and journaling them simply make the five breaths grounding practice a part of your daily routine as many times a day as you can; prioritise the pause before responding and become your own witness and observer … you will already be on the road to improving your EQ which will in turn give you a great sense of agency and confidence.

-Written by Gabi Lowe