“Emotional intelligence is the ability to identify and manage your own emotions and the emotions of others. It’s empathy, persuasion, observation and understanding; it’s the ability to motivate a team, dodge political hot buttons and identify the right people for the right roles.”

What’s more important: IQ or emotional intelligence?

What differentiates most of the successful people with the other is actually having high EI. It’s even more important to our success than cognitive intelligence especially now with AI’s where the only thing that cannot be copied or replaced by robots is people management, compassion, caring and ‘reading’ people’s feelings.

EI involves recognizing, understanding, and managing our own emotions which help us to recognize, understand, and influence the emotions of others. It means being aware that your emotions can have an impact on others in a negative or positive manner and understanding how to manage those emotions under stress and pressure.

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There are 5 elements of emotional intelligence:

  • Self-awareness.
  • Self-regulation.
  • Motivation.
  • Empathy.
  • Social skills.

So, do you use your emotional information to guide your thinking and behaviour?

Several signs that could help you answer if you have good EI are:

  • You Have a Robust Emotional Vocabulary.
  • You’re Curious about People.
  • You Embrace Change.
  • You Know Your Strengths and Weaknesses.
  • You’re a Good Judge of Character.
  • You Are Difficult to Offend.
  • You Know How to Say No (to Yourself and Others)
  • You Let Go of Mistakes.

Even if you have good usage of EI, maintaining emotional intelligence means having a good life balance and it involves constant self-learning and self-development and this is a lifestyle, not a one time only project. It’s a habit that needs to be cultivated.

How to be more aware and improve your Emotional Intelligence:

  1. Questions for increasing self-awareness (besides the personality tests):

What are my emotional strengths?

What are my weaknesses?

How does my current mood affect my thoughts and decision making?

What’s going on under the surface that influences what others say or do?

2. Reflect on your own emotions

3. Ask others for perspective

4. Be observant (of your own emotions)

5. Use pause

6. Explore the “why”

7. When criticized, don’t take offence.

8. Instead, ask: What can I learn?

9. Practice, practice, practice

Great practical things that help for cultivating Emotional Intelligence are:

Mindfulness is one solution. We can use mindfulness to build and maintain our emotional intelligence through enhanced self-awareness and self-regulation. Mindfulness meditation and appreciation has been shown to work wonders on reducing or eliminating your distress when faced with tense situations.

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Keep a journal of your daily activities and dreams and see which emotion triggered within your day and in your dream. Ask yourself questions and understand how your surroundings influence your feelings.


  1. Observe how you react to others, make a concerted effort to put yourself in other people’s shoes, and commit to being more open and accepting of the perspectives and needs of others;
  2. Take a look at your work environment and work behaviour. If you’re seeking attention for your accomplishments, try practising humility;
  3. Engage in self-evaluation to identify your weaknesses and get an honest picture of yourself;
  4. Examine how you react to stressful situations and work on staying calm, collected, and under control;
  5. Take responsibility for your actions—this includes facing your mistakes head-on, apologizing, and trying to make things right;
  6. Examine how your actions will affect others before taking those actions and putting yourself in others’ shoes to fully understand the consequences of those actions.

Here are 10 further tips for Emotional Intelligence:

  1.  Getting fluent in the “language of emotions,” or learning how to identify, differentiate between, and discuss different-but related-emotions;
  2.  Naming your emotions (this means not just identifying or recognizing them, but literally naming or labelling them);
  3. Using the third person to distance ourselves from our emotions—but without trying to deny or push them away;
  4. Observing our own emotions without trying to fix them. No emotions are bad, and it’s important to recognize that and embrace our emotions;
  5. Feel your emotions in your physical body, whether that’s sweaty palms, tense muscles, heart pounding, etc. It’s vital to feel our emotions in order to better understand and regulate them;
  6. Bust the myth of “bad” emotions. There are no bad emotions and we should not be suppressing or fighting any of them;
  7. Notice the build-up of emotions before we’re “triggered.” This means we should pay attention to the incremental contributors to our big emotions before they become really big emotions;
  8. Recognizing recurring patterns. This can take place in this form: “When [stimulus happens], I [typical reaction].” For example, you might say “When I get angry, I bottle it up”;
  9. Write down your feelings throughout the day. Keeping a journal is a great idea for a lot of reasons, and this is one of them;
  10. Remind yourself that emotions are data. This means that emotions are actually valuable information that can help you see from a new perspective, find the truth, and make better decisions (Freedman, 2018).

As you can see, many of these tips and strategies boil down to a couple of simple not easy ideas:

Pay attention to your own feelings, try to remain objective and accepting of them, and think about how your actions affect others.

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Additional activities that could help you in the improvement of your EI are:


  • Working with Emotional intelligence – Daniel Goleman
  • The power of Emotional Intelligence – Daniel Goleman
  • Go suck a Lemon – Michael Cornwall
  • Inner Engineering – Sadhguru
  • Subtle Art of Not Giving a f.ck – Mark Manson

Movies/Video Recommendations:

  • The next karate kid – Mr. Miyagi (4 parts)
  • Animated Movies for Children: Up, Inside Out, Dambo, Wall-e
  • Anger Management (2003)
  • La Vita e Bella (1997)
  • Mirror has two faces (1996)
  • Think Fast, Talk Smart: Communication Techniques (YouTube)
  • Simon Sinek (YouTube)
  • Gary Vaynerchuk (YouTube)

P.S. Feel free to comment and add more suggestions!