Emotional Intelligence

There are five core components of emotional intelligence

“Experience is not what happens to you — it’s how you interpret what happens to you.”   Aldous Huxley

Every person has their own set of preferences, desires and needs. You all also have a variety of different ways of expressing yourself emotionally. To percieve, acknowledge, understand and relate to this vast array of difference requires a particular kind of intelligence if you are to progress in your life.

Emotional intelligence is the level to which you are able to be aware of, regulate, and express your emotions. It is also the extent to which you are able to navigate your way through interpersonal relationships and interactions progressively and with empathy for your fellow citizens. Having an enhanced emotional intelligence opens the door to both personal and professional success. So what are the 5 domains then and how can you improve your EQ?

1. Self-Awareness

The ability to perceive, understand acknowledge and accept yourself. It’s also about generating an understanding as to your impact on others and identifying your strengths and development areas. It includes:

Close up of a man's hand holding a compass

a) Knowledge of self: Having an understanding of self, including physical & emotional state, values, beliefs, preferences and personality, and recognising their impact.

b) Realistic self-assessment: Accurately perceiving your strengths and development areas, your impact in interactions, and how your perceptions compare with the perspectives of others’.

c) Self-confidence: The degree to which you have a sense of your self-esteem, influence, skills and knowledge.

d) Emotional awareness: Perceiving and understanding the variety of different emotional states within and acknowledging when you are experiencing them.

2. Self-Regulation

The ability to regulate your emotions, manage your stress, control your impulses and remain productive, progressive and proactive. It includes:

A single swan floating across still water

a) Physical & Emotional self-control: Managing triggers and instinctive responses to limit negative or destructive impact on others or self.

b) Integrity: Being transparent; behaving in line with values and beliefs; taking personal responsibility for your behaviour and performance; promoting and maintaining trust.

c) Flexibility: Adapting to changing situations or overcoming obstacles. Flexing style and preferences when appropriate and being resilient where necessary. Embracing change and innovation, being creative and accepting difference.

e) Conscientiousness: going about your work professionally and thoroughly; being personally effective, organized and appropriate.

3. Self-Motivation

The ability to identify how to unlock potential, manage your will-power and remain optimistic when presented with challenge. It includes:

The silhouette of a man with a galaxy of stars in the sky behind him

a) Will to succeed: Persevering to achieve excellence. Having the ability to set goals and reach them; to manage set-backs and keep on track.

b) Commitment: Being able to make commitments and follow through on them. Taking full responsibility for any outcomes. Continually working on self-development.

c) Taking the initiative: Ability and willingness to identify solutions and act on opportunities.

d) Optimism: Maintaining an ongoing positive outlook even when faced with adversity.

4. Empathy

The ability to visualise a variety of perspectives or put yourself in another person's shoes, without judging them as to whether they are right or wrong to feel the way they do. It includes:

Aerial shot of a pair of shoes on a wooden floor

a) Relating to others: Developing a sense of other peoples' needs, desires, preferences and personalities; being genuinely curious of and interested in others. Valuing all contributions, perceptions and experiences.

b) Connecting with others: Connecting with your own emotional experiences. Sharing the response and building emotional connection.

b) Compassion: Perceiving, anticipating and acknowledging the needs of others. Taking action to meet, solve or address these needs.

c) Organisational empathy: Relating to and generating an understanding of what influences the organisation, including leadership, vision, strategy, values, beliefs and external pressures.

5. Social Skills

The ability to manage healthy, progressive relationships. To assertively express your needs, emotions and desires with complete respect and consideration for the needs, emotions and desires of others.

A man and a woman shaking hands

a) Communication: Connecting effectively with others; being differentiated in interactions; influencing and persuading others with an appropriate and progressive approach.

b) Collaboration and Teamwork: Promoting synergy by working collectively. Creating and nurturing robust, collaborative relationships and networks.

c) Enabling others: Developing others' capabilities through progressive, empowering support. Facilitating disagreement progressively, enabling others to find solutions themselves.

d) Leadership: Establishing targets and strategies. Inspiring and motivating buy-in to the goals and vision of the organisation.

Emotional intelligence is now considered an absolute necessity for success in any organisation and at any stage in your career. So can anyone develop emotional intelligence?

Although your EQ levels are to some degree influenced by experience and upbringing, it is always possible to further develop emotional intelligence. If you are open to the idea of self improvement and have the will to change and grow, the benefits of enhancing your EQ  mean for greater contentment, improved mental and physical health, more progressive relationships, and a significant lowering of stress and anxiety.

Some initial suggestions to help with developing your emotional intelligence:-


Practice gauging how you feel

Notice how you behave at different times

Observe how others respond to you

Become aware of your triggers

Visualise how you might feel or respond

Encourage and invite feedback from others


Eat well and get enough sleep

Create and maintain a schedule

Find an appropriate physical outlet

Take responsibility for how you feel

Remember to breath and choose your response

Review your opinions and be prepared to change them


Regularly get out of your comfort zone

Explore and discover what motivates you

Set yourself appropriate and realistic goals

Practise positive thinking and re-framing

Celebrate your successes and learn from set-backs

Never stop exploring what drives you


Make yourself approachable

Acknowledge others and their responses

Get a sense of others' perspectives

Resist and reserve judgement

Really listen and be genuinely interested

Open up emotionally yourself

Social skills

Make sure your words are aligned with your 'non-verbals'

Observe the greats and notice what they do

Engage brain before opening mouth

Make your interactions face-to-face

Practice on the population

Get into networking

Emotional intelligence for everyone

 We are passionate about developing emotional intelligence in anyone and everyone, including ourselves. Each Avery Mind programme and all of the material we use is always framed within the 5 domains of emotional intelligence. Our aim is to help you develop the skills you need for a fulfilling and successful life.