MHS, Inc., the company that administers the Emotional Quotient (EQ) Inventory, (EQ-i 2.0® and EQ 360®) defines emotional intelligence as:

“A set of emotional and social skills that influence the way we perceive and express ourselves, develop and maintain social relationships, cope with challenges, and use emotional information in an effective and meaningful way.”

Both of their assessments apply decades of research in five composite areas: Self-Perception, Self-Expression, Interpersonal, Decision-Making, and Stress Management each with three core competencies.

  • Self-Perception: Self-Regard, Self-Actualization, Emotional Self-Awareness
  • Self-Expression: Emotional Expression, Assertiveness, Independence
  • Interpersonal: Interpersonal Relationships, Empathy, Social Responsibility
  • Decision Making: Problem Solving, Reality Testing, Impulse Control
  • Stress Management: Flexibility, Stress Tolerance, Optimism

Knowing how and when to use these interconnected proficiencies is crucial for self-leadership, performance, and managing interpersonal relationships. Plus, these capabilities can help you enhance the way you show up, adapt, and interact with others, bolstering your overall effectiveness.

Discover the optimal level that works.

Tapping into your EQ enables you to intensify your awarenesskeenly observing your surroundings and picking up on verbal and nonverbal cues from others—to determine what works best for the situation. Like a music technician finding the ideal mix between tone, sound, and volume at different venues, you may need to pivot in the moment—increasing or decreasing usage of skills—based on the output you want.

For example, if you’re leading a team through change, being transparent and direct about what you know and don’t know can help reduce the stress of the unknown. Additionally, outlining what you’re doing to deal with uncertainty, e.g., focusing on what’s in your control until advised otherwise, can foster trust and empower others to share their concerns and find ways to manage through their discomfort.

Expand your peripheral view to lead by example.

When you enter a work collaboration—by choice or not—you can’t assume that your values, beliefs, wants, and needs are the same as someone else’s. Also, your colleagues’ preferences may impact their style and comfort level when speaking up and sharing.

Since the only person you have agency over is YOU, stay alert so you can assess what’s going on, adapt as needed, and demonstrate your EQ acumen.

To guide you, here are some ways you can:

Express yourself authentically.

For many reasons, you may not always be 100% truthful or upfront when interacting with others. Whether you’re protecting yourself or others from negative feelings, uncertainty, or the fear of the unknown, ultimately, you’re hiding the facts, even if you don’t realize it. When you’re in tune with your emotional state—EQ Emotional Self-Awareness—you can be more objective and real in your communication and amp up your EQ Emotional Expression.

Approach colleagues with empathy and confidence.

Your colleagues want to be valued for their contributions. When you exhibit the EQ competency, Empathy, you ask questions to understand. You respect how other people feel and their perceptions, regardless of whether you agree with them. Cultivating successful collaborations means establishing trust by delivering on your commitments and honoring what matters most. That’s why believing in yourself, accepting all parts of you, and nurturing self-confidence (EQ Self-Regard) is vital. Those who struggle with low self-esteem tend to be harder on themselves and suffer from “impostor syndrome,” which can surface as criticism, judgment, or projection when connecting with others.

Assert yourself with kindness.

The words you use significantly impact how your message is received by yourself and others. WHAT you say, HOW you say it, and WHEN you say it can transmit positive energy and be uplifting and inspiring, or can spread negative energy, demotivating and discouraging yourself and those around you. Assertiveness means expressing your sentiments or views in an honest and direct way with care and allowing others to do the same. By fostering courageous conversations, you can openly discuss opposing beliefs, “agree to disagree,” and find a workable solution, (EQ Problem-Solving). Sometimes, you may need to “say no kindly” or delay the urge to react instantly to consider a polite response, (EQ Impulse Control) especially when emotions run high or you’re dealing with an antagonist.

Promote objectivity by engaging all four mental functions.

Decision-making requires gathering intelligence from several sources and objectively evaluating that information (EQ Reality Testing). The Myers-Briggs® “Zig Zag Process” is a type-based approach to making better choices and problem-solving. By using all four MBTI® functions in a specific order—Sensing, Intuition, Thinking, and Feeling—and not just your preferred ones, you can make sure you’re considering all aspects. By doing this, you can help the team to focus on what’s in their control versus trying to change what isn’t.

Embrace optimism to drive creativity and reduce stress.

Self-regulation isn’t always about being calm and knowing how to respond. Many times, it’s about creating balance within to temper your nerves, instincts, and behaviors when you’re feeling triggered or out of sorts. By noticing what affects you negatively—in your heart, mind, and body—you can deploy strategies to circumvent issues or bounce back if you fall off track. By strengthening your resiliency, you can increase your EQ Stress Tolerance, reclaim your authority, manage your emotional waves, and release your creativity. Furthermore, with a positive attitude and outlook (EQ Optimism), you can see things from multiple angles and possibilities.

Devote as much time to yourself as you would to someone else.

Self-leadership is all about getting to know yourself better and applying that knowledge to how you act, think, and feel. With an open mindset, practice, and self-discipline, you can make small shifts to demonstrate your EQ acumen, elevate your executive presence, and accentuate your assets. There is no right or wrong to learning new skills. It’s about discovering what works best for you and those involved to attain the outcome you’re looking for.

Deepen your perspective to activate your best.

As a lifelong student, certified professional coach, and consultant, activating the best in others through self-leadership, interpersonal relations, and team dynamics are passions of mine. My approach is personalized and customized, tapping into various assessments, disciplines, modalities, and techniques. To learn more, schedule a free consultation. I’d be delighted to partner with you.

Share This