Build Your Emotional Intelligence Muscle!

Build Your Emotional Intelligence Muscles!

Emotional Intelligence skills–understanding and managing your own emotions, recognizing others’ emotions, interacting successfully with other people, and building resilience–can all be improved.

Like any skill–developing a great golf swing, sketching a decent portrait, adding a killer serve to your tennis game, or learning to read Mandarin Chinese–learning Emotional Intelligence skills takes time, practice, and motivation.

Now you can learn and practice the Emotional Intelligence skills that will result in your greater success, satisfaction, and well-being.  The self-directed, online course, EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE 101, available anytime, anywhere at your convenience, helps you build your “Emotional Intelligence muscles” through engaging text, photos, videos, reflections, and exercises including more than 40 practical suggestions for building Emotional Intelligence skills.

You CAN build your Emotional Intelligence skills.  Learn more at  Discounts available for teams/groups of 8 or more.

What Can I Do About Low Emotional Intelligence?

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After a recent presentation to introduce the crucial importance of Emotional Intelligence skills in the workplace, Leslie, an audience member, came up to thank me and to express her excitement about the concepts of Emotional Intelligence.  “This all helps explain what is going on in our department!  As a manager, I now have a better understanding  of  the situation and how my own behaviors may be making it worse.  But now I need to know—what do I do about it!”

Unlike IQ, which probably can’t be improved much (especially as an adult), the skills of Emotional Intelligence (EQ or EI) can be improved for greater satisfaction, success, and well-being.  A healthy level of Emotional Intelligence among leaders and managers can positively affect a team, a department, and an entire organization.  Even better is providing opportunities for all employees to evaluate and improve their own EI skills.

How Can I Provide Emotional Intelligence Training to My Team?

It may seem the ideal situation to have plentiful time and resources to provide face-to-face, facilitated workshops to train leaders, managers, and employees.  And I have given many such workshops—of varying lengths–to a wide variety of teams and organizations.  But almost invariably I hear from participants that although the workshop or presentation was right on and provided great information:  “it would have been better if it could have been longer.”  People recognize how significant the skills of EI are in the workplace, and they understand that it can take some time to gain those skills.

So here at Emotional Intelligence Insights, we took on the challenge to create an interactive, engaging, informative, and useful course that is also affordable in terms of both time and capital.  The result is the online, on-demand course, Emotional Intelligence 101.  The course includes 7 online lessons (about 60 to 90 minutes each), that can be taken anywhere, anytime as long as you have access to the internet.  Emotional Intelligence 101 includes a brief self-assessment, an understandable introduction to the concepts of EI including the recent research in the neurosciences, provocative photos and videos, downloadable exercises, opportunities for interacting (with the facilitator and other course participants), and guided reflections for choosing among over 50 suggested ideas for improving Emotional Intelligence skills.

Leslie, the audience member who was excited about these ideas, decided to sign up her management team to take the course.  As they interact and learn together, they are expanding their own Emotional Intelligence, which will allow them to create a workplace environment that supports the success, the satisfaction, and the well-being of all employees.

Want to Learn More about Emotional Intelligence 101?

Is this a good fit for your organization?  The course is an amazing way to increase EI skills at your own pace and at your convenience.  Discounts are available for teams/groups of 8 or more, and you can choose the start date.  For a complete course outline and more information about Emotional Intelligence 101, see our website: or contact us at  We’d love to help you and your team get started on a journey to greater Emotional Intelligence for greater success, satisfaction, and well-being.

Eight Ways to Improve Your Self-Awareness

Self-awareness is the foundational building block of Emotional Intelligence.  The first step in enhancing or building your overall Emotional Intelligence is achieving a healthy level of self-awareness—which is the ability to identify emotions in the self and to perceive the impact you have on others at home, in the workplace, within the local community, and beyond that if you happen to have a wider sphere of influence.  
More specifically, being self-aware means that you can
  • identify your own feelings
  • recognize how people perceive you
  • recognize how you respond to people in a variety of situations
  • identify your intent and attitude as you communicate with others
Following are a few practical suggestions for enhancing your Emotional Intelligence skills in self-awareness.
1.  Take a few minutes to list the feelingsyou had in a single day–or a week, if you have time for that!
The ability to identify how you are feeling is the first step in managing (not “controlling”) your emotions.  It’s not always easy to identify what you are feeling, especially if you experience more than one emotion–anger and love for a wayward teenager for example.  By writing down your feelings, you may see a pattern emerge, and that recognition will help you grow in self-awareness.
2.  At your next meeting (with an individual or with a group), observe the impact that your words, facial expressions, tone of voice, and body language have on others.
Try out your powers of observation!  Take close notice of how the other person’s facial expression and body language change as you are speaking.  Then, at another meeting, try doing one thing differently–perhaps speaking in a softer tone, for example.  Or looking more directly at the person as you speak.  Can you notice any change?
3.  Ask a trusted colleague to be a “shadow coach” to observe you and then give you constructive feedback about your interactions, your facial expressions, and your body language.
Being aware of how you feel and how others perceive you is a foundational aspect of Emotional Intelligence.  Hiring a coach or just asking someone you trust to observe you in meetings, for example, can provide you with new information about how your words, expressions, behaviors, and decisions affect the people you work with every day. 
4.  Participate in a 360-degree feedback survey with your colleagues, boss, and direct reports to compare how you perceive your behavior and actions with how others perceive those same behaviors and actions.
It takes courage to participate in a 360-degree feedback survey, but you will learn a great deal about how others see you–and increase your awareness of self.  Do others feel that you have what it takes to be a leader?  Are you an empathetic listener?  Do you seem indecisive to those around you?  Can people trust you to do what you say you will do?
5.  Before a presentation, video yourself as you practice speaking before a group.
What do your facial expressions, your body language, and your voice say about you when you speak at a meeting, during a discussion, or presenting at a conference?  Be your own helpful observer and critic as you watch a video of your rehearsal.  You will learn some interesting things about yourself and how you come across to others.
6.  After a difficult encounter with an employee, take time to analyze what you are feeling.
Being aware of what you are feeling as you are feeling it is the first step to being able to manage that feeling.  Pay attention to what your body is telling you (upset stomach?  headache?  hands shaking?) as you try to name the feeling.  There are over 3000 words in the English language to describe feelings–but we use so few of them!
7.  Take time to list your values (adventure, connection, peace, financial security?)–whatever matters most to you–for the next “chapter” of your life.
Taking the time to list your values for “the next chapter” (that can be six months, six years, however you define it) can help you gain clarity around what is really important to you.  Any decision you make, whether concerning relationships, business, or what to do in your free time is more likely to be informed by these values if you’ve taken the time to think about them and write them down. 
8.  Take a survey of your strengths and plan to consciously use them more on a daily basis.
There are any number of surveys that you can buy or find on the Internet for free.  Try taking the VIA Survey of Character Strengths at:  Knowing and using your strengths can be just as important as improving upon those areas where you are weak.
These suggestions are excerpted from our soon-to-be-released online, self-paced course, Emotional Intelligence 101, which provides an introduction to the concepts of Emotional Intelligence, a brief self-assessment, and many practical suggestions for strengthening skills in all dimensions of Emotional Intelligence.  The course uses photos, videos, and fun exercises to engage participants in a dynamic learning environment.   Email me if you want to be contacted when the course if available:  

Six Ways You Can Build Resilience

 Six Ways You Can Build Resilience

Are you resilient?

How can we increase Emotional Intelligence skills?
This brief presentation suggests several ways to build your resilience–and thus to increase Emotional Intelligence and emotional well-being.  Just click on the link below to learn more.