Can I grow my Emotional Intelligence?

Can I grow my Emotional Intelligence?

One question I get asked fairly consistently is, “Is it actually possible to grow my emotional intelligence?” The short answer is yes. The longer answer requires having an idea of what the tenets of emotional intelligence are. There are several models out there that breakdown emotional intelligence into it’s parts and I find that the one put forward by Daniel Goleman is the easiest to understand:
1. Self-awareness – the ability to understand what’s going on for me, my own emotions, and put those emotions into words that are clear and descriptive (for an example of the breadth of those emotions check out this emotional literacy wheel).
2. Self-regulation – the ability to make a choice around how I’m going to show-up in a situation, including the awareness around the difference between reacting and responding.
3. Motivation – the ability to create and maintain my own intrinsic motivation.
4. Empathy – the ability to understand what’s going on for others, understand their perspective, and respond to their feelings.
5. Social skills – the ability to communicate and behave appropriately in a variety of situations.

The cool thing is that each of these areas are connected to specific behaviours that when practiced become habits, and overtime shift our beliefs and attitudes around how we see the world – growing our emotional intelligence. One of the best books on the market is Daniel Goleman’s 2005 book, Working with Emotional Intelligence.
Mike Desjardins
Mike Desjardins
miked@virtusinc.com

Mike is a a graduate of UBC’s Sauder School of Business with a Bachelors of Commerce, Mike has spent the past 17 years transforming businesses.

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