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27 Sep, 2009

Ten Steps to Improve your Emotional Intelligence

Posted by: The Coaching Academy In: Coach Plus Articles|Coaching Articles

Ten Steps to Improve your Emotional Intelligence - Coaching Blog

You may have heard the term Emotional Intelligence (EI or EQ), but what actually is it? What does it mean in practice? And more importantly, how can you use it to help your clients?

EI describes an ability or skill to perceive, assess and manage the emotions of yourself and others. This includes interpersonal skills (the ability to build rapport, motivate, influence and get on well with others) and intrapersonal skills (the ability to know, understand and motivate yourself, and be self aware).

If you know yourself and understand others, it helps you to master the effect you have on those around you.

Research indicates that what distinguishes successful business people from their less successful counterparts is not IQ but EI. People with a higher level of EI are likely to have lower levels of stress, be able to build more effective relationships and get better results.

“For leadership positions emotional intelligence competencies account for up to 85% of what sets outstanding managers apart from the average.” – Daniel Goleman, Working with Emotional Intelligence, 1998.

Here are my top 10 steps you can take today to improve your own EI and share with your clients.

1. Take time each day to be in the here and now. We all get caught up in the busy-ness of life. Stop and see what is around you, the colours, smells, feelings and sounds. Be aware of how you feel and take time to be in the present.

2. Think about how you can influence other people’s behaviour. Moods are catching and can have a domino affect. What action can you take to draw out positive responses from others?

3. When you are faced with worry, detach. Think about the following questions: What is the evidence for the way you are feeling? What is the worst (and best) thing that could happen? How can you change the way you feel about the thing that is worrying you?

4. Realise when you are stressed. The first step to reducing stress is recognising what it feels like. Many of us spend so much time in an unbalanced state that we’ve forgotten what it feels like to be calm and relaxed. Once you have recognized your feelings of stress, you can then remember what it feels like to be relaxed and learn how to move to this state.

5. When you make decisions, factor in your emotions. How much do they help or hinder you when you are making a decision?

6. Choose your arguments wisely. Disputes take up time and energy, especially if you want to resolve them in a positive way. Consider what is worth arguing about and what is worth letting go.

7. To be happy, take responsibility for your feelings. Remember that no one can make you feel inferior without your permission.

8. Keep a journal or diary and write in it daily. Keep a record of what you are grateful for and record your achievements.

9. Mediate for a few minutes each day. Go somewhere quiet, slow down your breathing and clear your mind to give yourself greater focus and relaxation.

10. Get feedback from others. What do they believe to be your strengths and limitations? Find out how you can build on areas that may be holding you back and further develop your skills and strengths.

“There is only one corner of the universe that you can be certain of improving; and that is your own self. – Aldous Huxley

By Karen Williams of Self Discovery Coaching

7 Responses to "Ten Steps to Improve your Emotional Intelligence"

1 | Hylton Forrester

September 30th, 2009 at 9:49 am


I very much enjoyed reading the articles and it is a wonderful website.

2 | Michael

September 30th, 2009 at 10:47 am


Thanks for that Karen. Finding ways to be in the here and now are so important for self awareness I find. Simply witnessing what thoughts, emotions and even situations that arise in the present can bring a greater sense of understanding about ones own and others emotional temperature. Meditation is also something I consdier as very important. Great tips, thank you.

3 | Jacqueline Pigdon

September 30th, 2009 at 12:06 pm


I agree EI is paramount to being a great leader. But becoming a great leader you must first be able to lead yourself.

To learn how to do this simply download our free report on the “7 Keys to Spiritual Enlightment” to take your first easy step go to:

Live Your Best Life!

Jacqueline Pigdon
Existentialist Spiritual Coach

4 | Janet Elwin

September 30th, 2009 at 6:56 pm


I Had no idea these articles were in my spam mail thank you so much ..

Number one is my favorite , taking time each day to be in the here and now. This really helped it’s so true we all get caught up in the busy-ness of life.

It’s nice when your a leader you can have someone tell you to Stop and see what is around you, the colours, smells, feelings and sounds and to be aware of how you feel and take time to be in the present.

Thank you I’m taking immediate action bye bye!

5 | John Dooner

October 2nd, 2009 at 1:13 am


I do a lot of work surrounding Emotional Intelligence and young people with issues about their behaviour, motivation and attendant challenges. It’s powerful and very rewarding stuff!
They very little opportunity to stop, reflect, take stock and adjust and too many opportunities to reject, challenge and dismiss the efforts of others to influence their behaviour. The irony is that many of the kids I work with “get it” before the adults!

6 | Existentialism. Coaching

November 1st, 2009 at 1:30 pm


just what I have been studying at the moment and thinking about

7 | Tom Godwin

September 16th, 2010 at 4:03 pm


Hi All,

Awesome post, i think that the importance of EI is vastly under rated!

Well written and informative article!



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