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How to use emotional intelligence?

Updated: May 10

Emotional intelligence, also known as emotional-social intelligence, is an increasingly sought-after skill in today's organizations, especially at the level of leaders and managers.

What do we mean by “emotional intelligence”?

Developed in the early 1980s by Reuven Bar-On, an Israeli-Canadian psychologist and researcher, it refers to a person's ability to recognize, understand and manage their own emotions, as well as those of others.

The 5 key principles of emotional intelligence:

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  1. Self-awareness is the first step to understanding the impact we have on others and to improving our emotional management and reactions.

It is essential to know yourself by identifying

  • our forces,

  • our weaknesses,

  • our personal values,

  • and our emotional triggers.

In practice

  • A leader demonstrates self-awareness by recognizing their own limitations and asking for help when needed, thereby showing humility and authenticity.

  • A person with strong self-awareness knows how to recognize and manage their own emotions during stressful situations, which allows them to maintain calm and make thoughtful decisions.

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2. Self-control involves regulating and managing our own emotions, impulses, and behaviors appropriately, even in stressful or difficult situations.

This implies the ability

  • to delay gratification,

  • to control impulsive reactions,

  • and manage stress effectively.

In practice

  • In a stressful work environment, an individual with self-control will avoid reacting impulsively or aggressively, but rather maintain composure and find solutions calmly.

  • A person demonstrating self-control can deal with criticism or professional failures without letting their negative emotions take over, allowing them to bounce back more quickly.


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3. Social awareness , also called empathy , involves understanding and perceiving the emotions of others, as well as their perspectives and feelings.

It is important

  • to be attentive to the emotional cues of others,

  • to be able to put yourself in their place,

  • and respond with compassion and sensitivity.

In practice

  • A socially conscious leader is attentive to the needs of their team members, recognizes their emotions , and takes steps to support them during difficult times.

  • A person with high social awareness demonstrates empathy by understanding the concerns and perspectives of colleagues , which helps create an inclusive and collaborative work environment.


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4. Relationship management involves establishing and maintaining positive and productive interpersonal relationships with others.

This includes

  • effective communication,

  • conflict resolution,

  • Cooperation,

  • the collaboration,

  • and the development of support networks.

In practice

  • A person who excels in relationship management is able to resolve interpersonal conflicts by fostering open dialogue and finding solutions that satisfy the stakeholders involved.

  • A leader with strong relationship management skills knows how to establish and maintain relationships of trust with their colleagues, thus promoting open communication and effective collaboration within the team.


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5. Emotional adaptability involves adjusting and adapting to emotional changes, different situations and various people encountered in daily life.

That implies

  • emotional flexibility,

  • resilience,

  • and the ability to learn lessons to adapt and grow as an individual.

In practice

  • A leader with great emotional adaptability is able to adjust quickly to unexpected changes and maintain positivity , which helps inspire confidence and maintain motivation in their team.

  • In the context of a crisis or intense stress, a person with strong emotional adaptability is able to manage their own negative emotions and remain calm , allowing them to make rational decisions and lead effectively during difficult times.

By developing our emotional intelligence, we can improve

  • our relationships,

  • our professional efficiency,

  • and our personal well-being.

It is a key skill for succeeding in today's workplace and for creating a harmonious and productive work environment.

What principle will you develop today?


For further

  • Professional training

    • Emotional intelligence at the heart of impactful leadership

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