Stress Management

Here we are at our 7th and final post of this blog mini-series. I hope you have enjoyed reading about the basic EQi2.0 model and about the constituent parts of emotional intelligence. Even though this is the final blog in this mini-series, there is much more to discuss with regards to emotional intelligence. I will be back with another mini-series that we can view as ‘putting it altogether.’ For now, have fun with this last post of this series!

There are mountains of articles and books on stress management. Everyone has some information about why it is good for you, why it is bad for you and how to manage it. Here we will specifically be looking at how emotional intelligence can help you manage stress. The ream of Stress Management within the EQi2.0 model is about your ability to be flexible, tolerate stress and be optimistic. Being good in this area means that you are able to remain calm, focused and be flexible in the face of changing circumstances (you might even find yourself enjoying change!). You are able to demonstrate resilience, keep a positive attitude, deal with unfavorable happenings and manage conflicting emotions. Besides the long-term health benefits of managing stress, in the short term these skills are important to manage tight deadlines and unexpected challenges. 

Take a minute and think of a stressful situation you recently experienced. What made you feel stressed? Were you expected to be flexible and didn’t want to? Did you develop negative physical or emotional reactions to the situation? Were you able to remain optimistic? These are the three components of the Stress Management realm.  

If you feel you could be better in this area, try this exercise: No More Shutdowns. It will take you about 30 min. Take the handout attached here and have all the participants work in pairs. Have one person read the SD (shutdown) statement and the other the P (possibility) statement in each category. After each category, the partners should discuss how they felt and what they were thinking after each statement.  
• How did it feel to say no, or to hear no?
• How did it feel when new possibilities were invited using the positive statement?
Finally, lead a team/group discussion on how their insights can be used in the workplace going forward. This exercise is from ‘Emotional Intelligence in Action (2012),’ by Marcia Hughes and James Bradford Terrell.

That brings us to the end of this blog mini-series. Thank you for participating! I would love to hear your thoughts and ideas about emotional intelligence, leadership and cultural intelligence. I will be back soon with another exciting mini-series!  

If you are interested in diving in deeper into your own emotional intelligence and taking the EQi 2.0 assessment, please contact Catherine.

Decision Making

Welcome back! Part 6 of 7 already in our blog mini-series on emotional intelligence. 

The title of this post is Decision Making. How is decision making related to emotional intelligence, you might ask. Let’s start by saying that the Decision Making and Stress Management realms are the so-called functional realms of the EQi 2.0 model. They are the applications of emotional intelligence, where you can use EQ to improve performance in any area of your life. The Decision Making realm specifically concerns our ability to use our emotions in the best way that helps us solve problems and make optimal choices. 

The three sub-areas of Decision Making are: Reality Testing, Problem Solving and Impulse Control. Reality Testing is essentially the ability to remain objective and not see situations in a way we wish they were or fear them to be. Problem Solving is the ability to find solutions to problems where emotions are involved and to understand how emotions affect decision making. Impulse Control is the ability to resist or delay an impulse or temptation to act; avoiding rash behavior or decision making. 

Take a moment to think to your life, either work or private life. Have you ever made a rash decision? Have you ever impulsively lashed out at someone in a meeting? What effect did that behavior have on you or others?

Here is a fantastic TED talk by Dan Ariely on emotions and decision-making:

If you are interested in diving in deeper into your own emotional intelligence and taking the EQi 2.0 assessment, please contact Catherine.



Here we are, already at part 5 of 7 in our blog mini-series on emotional intelligence. 

Welcome back! Have you been working on your emotional intelligence? What have you been doing differently? What results have you achieved? Please do share in the comments. I would love to hear.

In this post, we move from focusing on oneself to the Interpersonal realm. That is, emotional intelligence as it relates to interpersonal relationships. You could also call this area people skills. Someone with high interpersonal EQ is someone who understand, interact and relate well to others is various situations. They inspire trust and are good team players. The sub-areas of the Interpersonal realm are: interpersonal relationships, empathy and social responsibility. By the term interpersonal relationships is meant the ability to have mutually satisfying relationships where give and take is the norm. There is trust and compassion present. Empathy is meant the capability of being aware of, understanding and appreciating the feelings and thoughts of others. I would venture to say that the area of empathy is the area which many people think of as emotional intelligence. With social responsibility is meant the desire and ability to willingly contribute to society or the welfare of others. 

To better understand social responsibility, have a look at this video and reflect on the questions below:

– Write down 3-5 emotions you felt while watching the video clip.


– What does it mean to focus on something bigger than yourself?
– What is the value of caring about something bigger than yourself?
– How is that experience relevant for your day-to-day life?
– How does it feel to be altruistic and to express caring about others?
– Ideas for how you can be more socially responsible?

Please share your reflections on these questions. 

If you are interested in learning more about the Interpersonal realm and your own level of EQ, please contact Catherine. 


Self Expression 

Hi! Happy to see you here again. This is part 4 of 7 in our blog mini-series on emotional intelligence. The second realm of the EQi 2.0 model is Self-Expression. 

As the title suggests, this realm is about emotional self-expression and is made up of three sub-areas: Emotional Expression, Independence and Assertiveness. Emotional expression involves one’s ability to express emotions both verbally and non-verbally in an open and congruent way. Independence is about being self-directed and self-controlled in your thinking and actions and to be free of emotional dependency. * Assertiveness has to do with the ability to express feelings and beliefs in an assertive way without being aggressive or abusive. Assertive people are not either passive, withholding their feelings and beliefs. All of these abilities can be done while taking into account the feelings and reactions of others. 

Why is it interesting to be aware of our own emotional self-expression? Isn’t EQ about empathy for others? We send out messages, either consciously or unconsciously, to others is many ways. Being aware of and congruent with our own messages is one aspect of emotional intelligence. I’m sure you can think of a time when you were affected by someone else’s emotions. I definitely can, most poignantly at home with my children. They are mirror of my own emotions, especially when they were small. Adults may not show how they are affected by your emotions, especially in cultures that are trained not to show emotions, but make no mistake, recipients of our emotional messages are affected. Being more effective, especially as a leader, and developing deep relationships with other people, is so much easier when we are consistent and congruent with our own emotional messages. 

You may or may not feel that you have an emotional vocabulary. Maybe you use the word ‘happy’ or ‘irritated’ to actually mean many different emotions. This can be especially challenging if you are speaking in a foreign language, even when you are fluent. One good way to increase your emotional vocabulary is to review and try to use the Plutchik wheel of emotions.

Try also the attached exercise in practicing resistance!  

Have fun with it! I’m sure you can think of places in your life you can be better at expressing your own emotions in an assertive way. 

If you are interested in the full EQi 2.0 assessment, please contact Catherine. 
Kindly, Catherine
* The EQ Edge, by Steven J. Stein and Howard E. Book, M.D.


Welcome to Part 3 of our blog mini-series on Emotional Intelligence. In this post, we will delve into the realm of Self-Perception according to the EQi 2.0 model. 

The Self-Perception realm is about your inner self. It is about how in touch you are with your feelings, how you feel about yourself and about what you are doing with your life. Having high self-perception means you are aware of your feelings, you feel strong and you have confidence in pursuing your life goals. You are resilient and able to view mistakes as learning situations. You are able to adapt to change easily and accept your own strengths and weaknesses.

Learning to take initiative and demonstrate passion shows others that we care about doing our best work. When we take initiative even with mundane tasks, it demonstrates we are able to overcome emotions of boredom or frustration and commit ourselves to higher goals. Overcoming disappointment also shows resilience. 

Activity for increasing our self-perception:
Watch this video and then discuss with a partner or a team the reflection questions.

1. How could Phoebe have reacted to Monica’s request?
2. What happened when Phoebe turned her energy towards cups and ice?
3. How would you describe Phoebe’s performance related to cups and ice?
4. What lessons can you take away from this video?
5. What is the potential benefit if you approach your work in a similar manner to Phoebe?

Would you like to learn more about your own self-perception? Contact Catherine for more information about the EQi 2.0 assessment. 

Mindfulness First

Hi and welcome to Part 2 of our blog mini-series on Emotional Intelligence. The rainy season is upon us here in Bangkok, very early this year. The torrential downpours outside make it easier to sit inside and work.  

Before I go deeper into the main areas of the EQi 2.0 model, I would like to bring up the topic of mindfulness. Mindfulness is not a new topic nor am I a mindfulness expert. I do my best to intentionally practice mindfulness a few times a week, similar to many people. What I would like to introduce is the idea of mindfulness as a pre-requisite for working on increasing your emotional intelligence. The author, Google engineer and founder of ‘Search Inside Yourself’, Chade-Meng Tan, suggests that in order to become more emotionally self-aware, we need to be able to pay attention. He states, “attention is the basis of all higher cognitive and emotional abilities. Therefore, any curriculum for training emotional intelligence has to begin with attention training.” When you are able to pay attention you can observe yourself and your own thought and behavior processes.  

Chade-Meng Tan offers a very simple way to begin to practice mindfulness. First identify an intention with wanting to improve your attention span, for example, stress reduction or perhaps getting along with a specific person. Then sitting in a comfortable position, with your eyes closed, focus on your breath. And keep focusing on your breath. If you get distracted, bring your attention back to your breath, being kind to yourself and reminding yourself of your intention with practicing mindfulness. Try it. 10 minutes a day will feel wonderful. 

How has mindfulness helped you? How has mindfulness made you more emotional intelligent? Please share in the comments, we would love to hear from you!

Photo from the book Search Inside Yourself, courtesy of Chade-Meng Tan and Philippe Goldin.

Would you like to learn more about your own self-perception? Contact Catherine for more information about the EQi 2.0 assessment. 



Emotional Intelligence mini-series

Happy Summer everyone! Whether you are working or off for the summer, I hope this post finds you curious and interested in Emotional Intelligence. 

 This post is part 1 of a 7-part blog mini-series on Emotional Intelligence, a subject that is interesting to many of us. This post will be an introduction and the subsequent posts will move on to more detail topics.
The interest in Emotional Intelligence (EQ) has increased significantly over the past few years. Having high EQ is relevant and helpful to most of us, no matter what our day-to-day lives are about. No matter whether you are a volunteer, an employee, a leader, a parent, a friend, a teammate, a sibling, a child, an expat or living in your own home town, we can all benefit from increasing our EQ. There are many articles and books on the subject demonstrating that good leadership is not only IQ, but also EQ. Some authors propose that good leadership is more about EQ than IQ. There are ROI calculations from companies that have invested in increasing the EQ of their management and employees. High emotional intelligence is also, and perhaps more compelling for most of us, associated with being more effective, having deeper relationships and achieving our goals. For me, as an expat in a culture that is far different from my own background, having high emotional intelligence helps me to adapt culturally. There is a strong case for increasing our emotional intelligence.

But, what is Emotional Intelligence? Can you define it? It is so much more than ‘being nice to other people’ or ‘controlling your emotions’. Emotional Intelligence has been defined by many and in many ways. I’m not sure there is agreement on the exact definition. One definition is (from The EQ Edge by Steven J. Stein, PhD and Howard E. Book M.D.): a set of emotional and social skills that influence the way we perceive and express ourselves, develop and maintain social relationships, cope with challenges, and use emotional information in an effective and meaningful way. 

There are several models for emotional intelligence. Four of those are: EQi 2.0/EQ360, TESI, MSCEIT and EISA. There are several books that discuss the relative benefits and drawbacks of each of these models. The model I am most familiar with is the EQi2.0 and an overview is shown in the attachment. It is primarily a self-assessment that is both valid and reliable and there are many activities and exercises available to work on each of the areas and sub-dimensions. To find out where you are strong and which are your focus areas, the EQi2.0 assessment is readily available. In this mini-series, I will dive into some detail about each of the main areas and share with you exercises and activities. Speak soon!