Increasingly, in the businesses we partner, the concept of having a high IQ is no longer enough to be successful. To paraphrase a good friend, Mike, ” Why do people with average IQs outperform those with the highest IQs 70% of the time?”  A delegate yesterday said to me, that it is because those people with enormous IQs don’t have any “common sense!”  There could be something in that….. BUT emotional intelligence isn’t just about common sense. According to Reuven Bar-On the 15 ways to improve your emotional intelligence are found within 5 key areas or Realms.

The 5 Realms of Emotional Intelligence

  1. Stress Management
  2. People skills
  3. Self Perception
  4. Decision Making
  5. Self Expression

15 Ways to improve your Emotional Intelligence

We can further break these areas down into 15 competencies that we can all improve upon

1 Stress management

The aspects of Stress Management that are within our sphere of influence are

  • Tolerance – to be able to manage stressful situations confidently. To use your skills to influence in a positive manner.
  • Optimism – to keep up a positive attitude, to understand that others will look at your outputs, body language, tone etc and make judgements. To keep that facade even when we are being knocked back.
  • Flexibility – to adjust your feelings and emotions appropriately, relative to the circumstances.


2 People  Skills

  • Networks – NOT a dirty word. Rather the ability to build rapport and relationships, how we get on with others.
  • Empathy – to be conscious that we need to walk in other peoples shoes. This isn’t about feeling sorry for someone (sympathy) but much more about seeing their world, through their eyes.
  • Being Social responsible – this isn’t about going on marches! However the highly emotionally intelligent have a consciousness that feels for and interacts positively with the community.


3 Self Perception

  • Self regard – to understand ones self, recognise the good, the bad and the ugly.  Knowing strengths and weakness’  “Practise things you’re good at, keep on top of things you’re not so good at, but be world-class at your best. Never think, I’m very good at this and that, I can leave those for a bit.” Brian O’Driscoll (click for the full interview)
  • Self awareness – Understand what makes you tick, recognise the causes of personal emotions and the impact they have on your immediate circle of influence.
  • Drive to improve – to fight to get to your potential. Frank Spencer’s motto (from Some Mothers’ Do ‘Ave Em) ” Every day in every way I will get better and better” . The ability to be resolute and persistent.


4 Decision Making

  • Self Control – to keep a grip on your impulsive behaviour, to reign in the free child. Understanding that it is always necessary to know the truth, not always to say it.
  • Looking in the mirror – to match your feelings with real things, to be objective, to understand when objectivity is vanishing..
  • Problem Solving – to understand the influence that emotions have on our ability to make rational, reasoned decisions.


5 Self expression


  • Express your emotions – being open about how you feel, being congruent between what you say and your non verbal communications.
  • Self Motivating – to be self reliant, not emotionally dependent upon the conduct or thinking of others.
  • Assertiveness – to truly understand that you have rights and responsibilities, to stand up for them without violating the rights of those around you.




Now that you recognise these 15 competencies of emotional intelligence, would you like to improve them?

Give Paula or Richard a call 08712349873 we would LOVE to help you, your team or your organisation. TWITTER @richardjonesPDP