Developing Emotional Intelligence

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Developing emotional intelligence can help you to connect with your feelings, manage stress and make rational decisions. It also allows you to recognise and understand what others are feeling emotionally.

Emotional intelligence is the ability to understand and manage emotions. It enables you to understand and use your emotions in a positive way. Developing your emotional intelligence plays an important role in your success at work and by doing so you will be able to:

  • Recognise feelings, behaviours and situations
  • Regulate your response accordingly

The first step in building your emotional intelligence is to recognise and understand your emotions. Greater self-awareness allows you to recognise your own strengths and limitations and encourages you to learn from others and new experiences. Ask yourself if an emotion is proportional to the situation; this allows you to make a decision to continue or to refrain from reacting, based on the emotion felt. If you are aware of the effect of your own actions and moods, you will recognise the emotions of other people around you.


Developing emotional intelligence requires you to be able to manage and regulate your emotions. This involves making a decision about how you are going to behave, based on your understanding of your emotions and those of others around you. This means you avoid acting on any negative emotions. Rather than reacting to every feeling, you wait to understand your emotions so you can understand how to respond reasonably.

Developing Emotional Intelligence at work – A Powerful Combination

IQ is not enough on its own to achieve success at work. It is your emotional intelligence that helps you to manage stress and emotions when facing difficult situations and challenging tasks.

People bring all manner of events, emotions and experiences into work with them. When you are able to recognise and regulate your emotions you can take action to feel happy, calm and confident. You can have a positive impact not just on yourself but on those around you. Developing your emotional intelligence in the workplace allows you to navigate social complexities much more effectively, to lead and motivate others, and to excel with better communication skills.

You can experience a less stressful day if you can manage negative emotions. If you feel frustrated, angry or upset, try to reframe your thinking. It won’t solve the underlying cause, but it will help you to identify and isolate why you feel the way that you do.

Here are some tips if you are struggling with negative emotions at work:

  1. Stop what you are doing and if you can, find a quiet spot.
  2. Ask yourself:
  • What you are feeling?
  • What is causing it?
  • Why am I still feeling this way?
  • Can I do anything to change how I feel?
  • How might I appear to my colleagues?
  • Am I affecting them in a negative way?
  • How can I change how I feel right now for the better?
  1. Write it down.
  1. Count backwards from 10 and breathe again.
  2. Calm yourself down e.g. ‘I am frustrated about xxx. The good thing is I don’t have to think about it right now and I am going to put this to one side for the time being and give myself time to think about this later.’
  3. Smile, even if you don’t feel like it. A smile will release endorphins in your brain.

Developing emotional intelligence enables you to build good relationships with others. By recognising your emotions and how to regulate them, you are better able to express how you feel and understand how others are feeling, helping to forge stronger and more effective relationships.

eqflow® from flowprofiler® helps teams and individuals to explore, understand and improve their emotional intelligence. Find out more here.

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