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Susan M. Heathfield

How to Develop Your Emotional Intelligence

By September 29, 2013

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Have you ever worked with a manager who seemed smart and capable but constantly missed the majority of information that would tell him about the reactions of employees and coworkers to his communication and behavior?

Not missing these cues on purpose, the manager never appears to be in cinc with the emotional level of his work environment. This severely hampers his success as a manager.

Can managers and other employees develop this emotional intelligence? While some researchers believe that emotional intelligence is an inborn characteristic, others believe that emotional intelligence can be learned and strengthened. I belong to the can be learned and strengthened club because I have experienced many individuals who have enhanced their emotional intelligence when they put their minds to it.

You can develop your emotional intelligence, but it will take persistent focus and practice. Seek and use feedback to round out your own perceptions of your actions and behaviors.

Emotional intelligence is a hallmark of an effective manager or leader. They understand and appropriately react to both the content of a message and the underlying emotional and meaningful components that make a message live and breathe in an organization.

They are able to build sustainable relationships with peers and reporting staff. Without emotional intelligence, a leader is handicapped severely in his or her ability to perceive and react to the emotional component of communication and interaction with other employees. This inability will kill his effectiveness.

Find out how to develop your emotional intelligence.

Image Copyright K Studio/Dean Sanderson / Getty Images

Related to Emotional Intelligence

May 25, 2011 at 9:32 am
(1) Mike Moyer says:

Emotional intelligence can be strengthened. It does take an incredible amount of focus and effort. I have found that writing down examples of interpersonal experiences really helps identify the information missed during the communication process. This has helped me tremendously.

September 25, 2011 at 2:32 pm
(2) Pam Campbell says:

So you do a little transcript of the conversation? Is that how you find the gaps of info? Could you say more?

January 22, 2013 at 5:59 pm
(3) Joe says:

Emotional Intelligence can be increased best by implementing a proven process. The Liautaud Institute at the University of Illinois at Chicago has a 14 wk graduate certificate course available to anyone looking to increase their EI. The process used is proven and published. Showed increase of 23% in EI, and 39.32% superior salary increase.


Cherniss, C., Grimm, L., & Liautaud, J. P. (2010). Process-designed training: A new approach for helping leaders develop emotional and social competence. Journal of Management Development, 29, 413-431.

October 1, 2013 at 9:29 pm
(4) Marissa says:

We’re all believers at Girls Leadership Institute and we’ve been teaching parents and girls these tools for 12+ years in our Parent & Daughter workshops. I love it when parents tell me that they joined for their daughter and walked away with tools for relationships at work and at home.

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