How to Unlock Your Emotional Intelligence

Life experiences have taught you that it’s not enough to possess an important skill, but rather knowing how to use it is what really counts. Getting a high IQ score doesn’t necessarily mean that you are going to be successful unless you learn how to make the most of your abilities. Apart from being ‘book smart’, you also need to have common sense and the ability to use your social skills effectively to connect with the people around you.

In other words, you should be more ‘street smart’. This refers to having situational awareness and being able to assess your environment as well as who is in it and make a fair judgment of every situation you are in.

See Also: Emotional Intelligence Indicates Job Success. Do You Have it?


Now, this is where emotional intelligence (EI) comes in. This special skill can help you better understand, express and manage your emotions as well as make effective decisions and solve problems under pressure. Apart from that, it looks at the way in which you interact with other people and to what extent are you able to understand their emotions.

Understanding EI

In order to get a clearer picture on EI and learn how to use it to your benefit it might be a good idea to look at the way you make decisions. Since effective decision-making requires that you use both logic and emotions, it is important to be able to achieve some sort of a balance between these two. Whenever you feel you have made a bad decision that affected your wellbeing in any way it means that you haven’t balanced reason and emotions, despite this being essential to success. The ability though to understand and facilitate these emotions into rational thinking is what EI essentially is.

Generally, there are 4 aspects that make up EI and these are:

  • The ability to perceive emotions.
  • The ability to understand emotions.
  • The ability to facilitate thought through emotions.
  • The ability to manage emotions.

These 4 facets can essentially help you make well-informed decisions, predict the life outcomes of those decisions and build healthier and stronger relationships.

So, if you want to increase your chances of success and be able to connect with other people effectively, check out these 6 ways to unlock your emotional intelligence:

1. Pay attention to people

Most people don’t listen with the intent to understand and instead are focusing on the reply. However, in order to become more emotionally aware, you have to be able to pay attention to what other people are saying. You need to look deeper by assessing their behaviour, actions and reactions and how these affect you and the people around you.

2. Make them feel comfortable

In order to encourage mutual understanding and open communication, you ought to make other people comfortable when interacting with them. Being able to respond without having to think twice about your answer or measure your words is a great accomplishment and a great positive step towards improving your relationships.

3. Show empathy

Only when you are able to put yourself in someone’s shoes, you will succeed in understanding how they feel and thus be able to make a real connection with them. This will help you improve the quality of your relationship with the other person allowing trust to be built between the two of you.

4. Show respect

Showing respect is another way to unlock and develop your EI. Not only does it show that you care about the people you know but also you appreciate their values and opinions and you are aware of the differences that you two may have. In this sense, EI is vital in the workplace as well, especially if your co-workers come from diverse backgrounds and have different cultural and religious beliefs.

5. Be accountable to yourself

If you learn how to manage your emotions effectively you will automatically be able to distinguish helpful and unhelpful behaviours and emotions that are preventing you from reaching your full potential. In this sense, being accountable to yourself means being able to control yourself and achieve inner balance. This will not only improve your mood and job performance but will also help you avoid making bad decisions.

6. Be a motivator

Keeping your motivation alive will help you and other people who you deal with stay true to their goals. If you are able to assess your own feelings and of others, you can help them distinguish what their short and long-term goals are and make some plans for the future. As a motivator you will be able to help yourself and others by setting important priorities in life.

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Overall, EI describes how effectively you can manage yourself and your relationships. People who have high EI, are usually the most successful as they are better at assessing everyday situations and making decisions. If you manage to unlock your EI your chances of success will definitely improve and you are looking at the prospect of enjoying a highly productive and fulfilling life!

If you want to get more information on how your emotional intelligence can help you improve career wise, check out this video from Carolyn Stern.

See Also: How to Know If You Are Emotionally Intelligent

Do you know of any other ways you can unlock your emotional intelligence so that you better connect with and help other people? Let us know in the comments section below…