Do you know what your Emotional IQ is?

I am super excited to dive into this topic with you today because I happen to be obsessed with my own emotional IQ and with helping others raise theirs because it’s incredibly important to achieving happiness and success in life.

In fact, there are decades of research that point to emotional intelligence as THE critical factor that sets the super successful high achievers apart from the rest.

The good news is that emotional intelligence is absolutely a skillset that you can learn and build.

This week’s episode is all about what it is, why it’s important and how you can raise your Emotional IQ, commonly referred to as EQ, to positively impact your success and wellbeing in all aspects of your life. Watch the accompanying video below. 


Emotional intelligence is “the capacity to be aware of, to control and to express your emotions and to handle interpersonal relationships judiciously and empathically.”

Having a high emotional IQ means you have mastery of your own emotions and you have the ability to recognize and monitor the emotions of others. It’s knowing yourself and being attuned to the world and the people around you.

The concept of emotional intelligence is a relatively new one in the world of psychology and wellness. Only as recently as 1995, did the theory of emotional intelligence hit the scene. Daniel Goleman published the first book, Emotional Intelligence, introducing the concept and theorizing that how well we are able to understand and manage our emotions is directly correlated to how successful one is both professionally and personally.

Goleman identifies four components of emotional intelligence¹ and they are:

  1. Self-Awareness – knowing what we’re feeling, why, and the effects of our emotions. Knowing our own strengths and limitations. Realistic self-confidence.
  2. Self-Management – handling your distressing and your positive emotions in an effective way and learning what you need to know from them. Applying that knowledge.
  3. Empathy and Social Awareness – knowing what someone else is feeling and anticipating the needs of others.
  4. Relationship Management – engaging in interpersonal relationships, positive leadership and conflict management. Teamwork and collaboration.

More recently, Goleman’s work goes even further in breaking down areas of competency in each of these categories, and I’ve included more resources for you in this week’s cheat sheet if you’re interested in exploring the research, so be sure to download that right here.

All that said, putting the pieces of emotional intelligence into practice in real life can be a little bit heady and hard to grasp, so I’ve put together my own list of traits and strategies around Emotional IQ to help you better understand and build your skillset!

1. You Are Aware

When you have a high emotional IQ, you’re aware of yourself and you have the ability to recognize emotions and their impact. It’s the ability to self-reflect. You have the ability for self-inquiry. Ask yourself:

  • What are my emotional strengths?
  • What are my emotional weaknesses?
  • How does my current mood affect my thoughts and my decision-making abilities?

It’s having the ability to wonder and to pursue what’s going on under the surface within yourself, and also within others. The awareness piece also includes social awareness, so it’s having the ability to recognize the emotions of others and their impact on both you and on people out there in the world.

2. You Respond Instead of React

You have the ability to pause and take a moment to stop and think before you speak or act. Having a dedicated meditation practice changed my life in this regard. Just 5-20 minutes a day can increase your response time and create more internal expansion.

When you knee-jerk react to an emotionally charged situation, it’s generally not your best self at that moment. When you cultivate the capacity to take a breath and pause, you can respond with greater emotional intelligence and presence.

3. You Can Handle Criticism

This is emotional resilience. In the face of criticism (even when it’s harsh and not necessarily constructive) can you find the gems of wisdom that might be in there for you? Can you keep your emotions in check and really listen to what the other person is saying without getting defensive?

4. You Are Empathetic

You sense and seek to understand the emotions of others and hold space for them. It’s making a connection with another and actively listening without trying to fix or save them.

5. You Are Generous with Praise for Others

You give praise willingly and joyfully to others. You express your authentic appreciation and give credit where credit is due.

6. You Give Helpful Feedback

Helpful feedback is different than criticism. It’s taking the time to learn how to reframe a criticism in a way that is helpful, compassionate and constructive. This skill requires you to not be so attached to your own judgments or opinions. How can you give feedback in a way that will add value to someone else’s life?

7. You’re Able to Apologize

It takes strength and courage to be able to say you’re sorry. You own your mistakes with humility and are willing to learn from them as well as accept others apologies. This creates an environment in your relationships in which other people feel more comfortable to be authentic and if they make a mistake or misunderstand…it’s not the end of the world. It cultivates honesty.

8. You Don’t Hold on to Resentment

You’re able to let go of resentment when you get hurt. You don’t hold grudges. You can forgive and move on.

9. You Keep Your Word

You are someone who if you say you’re gonna do something, you do it. You become someone that others can look to as reliable and trustworthy. You also become that to yourself. When you keep your word to yourself…the sky’s the limit.

10. You’re Willing to Help Others Generously (Not Codependently)

You positively impact others and their emotional state when you’re willing to help them. Giving generously without expecting something in return builds trust and inspires others to do the same. Be generous with your heart without taking on someone else’s problem.

11. You Know How to Protect Yourself

You have the ability to protect yourself emotionally and energetically. You have healthy, transparent and flexible boundaries.

I’m curious to know what you think about all this! How did you do when you looked at these 11 points? Do you have a high emotional IQ? Are there points on this list that you feel might want to work to get better at?

And why not when the research tells us that 90% of top performers have high emotional intelligence? Am I right? I believe that raising your emotional IQ is how to have not only a successful life but a truly whole-hearted one.

I know this was a lot, but don’t worry, I’ve put it all in your little cheat sheet for this week for you and you can download that right here.

I’d love to know what you think and if this episode added value to your life, so leave me a comment here or join the discussion over in our Facebook group.

If it did add value (and now you’re as obsessed with your emotional IQ as I am!), do me a favor and please share this episode on all your social media platforms with all your people, because when we raise awareness around emotional intelligence, the whole world benefits from it.

I so appreciate you watching, reading, listening, and sharing. I hope you have an amazing week and as always, take care of you.

Terri Cole is a licensed psychotherapist, transformation coach, and an expert at turning fear into freedom. Sign up for Terri’s weekly Newsletter, check out her blog and follow her on Twitter.