Emotional Intelligence 2.0

By Jim LaDoux
Emotional Intelligence 2.0 by Travis Bradberry and Jean Greaves is a book that explores the importance of emotional intelligence (EQ) and offers strategies to improve it. Emotional intelligence is your ability to recognize and understand emotions in yourself and others, and your ability to use this awareness to manage your behavior and relationships.

IQ, personality, and EQ are distinct qualities we all possess. Together, they determine how we think and act. People may be intelligent but not emotionally intelligent, and people of all types of personalities can be high in EQ and/or IQ. Of the three, EQ is the only quality that is flexible and able to change. Emotions always serve a purpose.The only way to genuinely understand your emotions is to spend enough time thinking through them to figure out where they come from and why they are there.

We can control the thoughts that follow an emotion, and we have a great deal of say in how we react - as long as we are aware of it.  Most people are unable to accurately identify their emotions as they happen. All emotions are derivations of five core feelings: happiness, sadness, anger, fear, and shame. As our EQ skills grow, we learn to spot our triggers and then. can practice productive ways of responding that will become second nature.

The 4 EQ Skills

Emotional Intelligence (EQ) is essential for personal and professional success. The EQ skills include:
  • Social Awareness. Self-awareness is your ability to accurately perceive your own emotions in the moment and understand your tendencies across situations. This skill involves recognizing and understanding your own emotions, strengths, weaknesses, values, and motivations. It's the foundation of emotional intelligence and enables you to have a clear perception of your own emotional state and how it affects your behavior.
  • Self-management. This skill is the ability to regulate and control your emotions, impulses, and behaviors in a way that allows you to adapt to changing circumstances and achieve your goals. It involves emotional self-control, adaptability, and a positive outlook.
  • Social awareness. Social awareness is about perceiving and understanding the emotions and needs of others. It involves empathy, which is the capacity to step into someone else's shoes and understand their feelings, as well as having a keen awareness of the dynamics of social situations. 
  • Relationship management. This skill is focused on using your awareness of your own emotions and those of others to manage interpersonal relationships effectively. It encompasses skills such as communication, conflict resolution, building and maintaining relationships, and inspiring and influencing others positively.

    Developing and balancing these four EQ skills can lead to improved personal and professional relationships, effective communication, and overall emotional well-being.

Strategies for Addressing the 4 EQ Skills

  1. Keep a Journal.  Reflect on your thoughts and emotions regularly to gain insight into your feelings and triggers.
  2. Ask for Feedback. Seek input from trusted friends or colleagues to understand how your actions and emotions affect others.
  3. Mindfulness Meditation. Practice mindfulness to become more aware of your thoughts, emotions, and reactions in the moment.
  4. Use Self-Assessments. Take self-assessment tests or quizzes to better understand your personality and emotional tendencies.
  5. Pause and Reflect. Develop the habit of taking a moment before reacting to assess your emotions and consider alternative responses.

  • Stress Reduction Techniques. Learn to manage stress through techniques like deep breathing, exercise, or time management.
  • Goal Setting. Set clear and achievable goals to help you stay focused and motivated.
  • Emotion Regulation. Practice controlling your emotional responses, especially in high-pressure situations.
  • Conflict Resolution Skills. Develop the ability to resolve conflicts calmly and constructively.
  • Positive Self-Talk. Replace negative self-talk with positive affirmations and a growth mindset.

Social Awareness:
  1. Empathy Practice. Work on understanding and sharing the feelings of others.
  2. Active Listening. Pay full attention to others when they speak to comprehend their emotions and perspectives.
  3. Cultural Sensitivity. Learn about and respect the cultural differences and backgrounds of those you interact with.
  4. Observation Skills. Notice non-verbal cues like body language and facial expressions to understand people's emotions.
  5. Ask Open-Ended Questions. Encourage others to express themselves by asking questions that promote deeper conversations.

Relationship Management:
  1. Effective Communication.  Develop strong communication skills to express yourself clearly and listen actively.
  2.  Conflict Resolution: Master the art of resolving conflicts and disputes in a way that maintains relationships.
  3. Collaboration. Work well in teams by contributing your strengths and understanding the strengths of others.
  4. Influence and Persuasion. Learn how to persuade and influence others positively to achieve common goals.
  5. Feedback and Recognition. Provide constructive feedback and acknowledge the efforts and achievements of others to strengthen relationships.


  1. Can you share an example of a time when your emotional intelligence (or lack thereof) had a significant impact on a situation?
  2. How do you currently assess and develop your emotional intelligence skills?
  3. Which of the four emotional intelligence skills do you believe is your strongest, and why?
  4. Which strategies will you employ to improve each of the four EQ skills?
  5. Share a specific strategy you've used to enhance your self-awareness or self-management. 
  6.  What challenges do you face when trying to improve your social awareness and relationship management skills?
  7. How can you apply the strategies discussed in this blog to your personal and professional life?

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