Healthy Habits

Connect to Your Emotional Intelligence

woman writing in notebook

Content provided by the Health & Wellness Team at GBS Benefits

In a workplace setting, 90% of all top performers score high in emotional intelligence (EQ), making EQ the single biggest predictor of workplace performance. Individuals who score high in EQ compared to those who score low make an average of $29,000 more per year. In fact, “the link between EQ and earnings is so direct that every point increase in EQ adds $1,300 to an annual salary.”

The good news is that anyone can enhance their emotional intelligence with a bit of practice.

There are four aspects of emotional intelligence: self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, and relationship management. Continue reading and complete the associated exercises to strengthen each area and connect to your emotional intelligence.


This skill encompasses awareness of personal qualities and emotions. To be self-aware is to understand the positive and negative aspects of who you are.

Exercise: Consider keeping a journal about your emotions. This can help create an objective perspective, which helps develop self-awareness. With a journal you can record which events trigger emotions and how you react to them. After some time and consideration, this will allow you to see a pattern in emotions and better understand your tendencies.


This is the ability to use emotional awareness when actively choosing what you do and say. This skill builds on self-awareness, involves control of reactivity, and leads to flexibility with positive and productive reactions to various situations.

Exercise: Set aside time for problem-solving. Emotions run rapid all day, every day, and can muddle rational decision making. Set aside a 15-minute window in the day to turn off technology and focus on problem-solving. This will allow space for you to make well-thought-out decisions, instead of decisions that are rushed and emotionally driven.

Social Awareness

This is the ability to recognize and understand the emotions of others. This skill is helpful for assessing social cues to approach a variety of situations aptly.

Exercise: Watch for EQ at the movies. When watching a movie or TV show, practice the art of social awareness by paying attention to social cues during a show. Make it a point to watch a show specifically to observe character interactions, relationships, and conflicts. Use visuals such as body language cues to decode how each character is feeling and observe how they handle conflicts.

Relationship Management

This skill involves the ability to foster relationships and satisfy the needs of both parties involved. Relationship management is important to create fulfilling and meaningful connections.

Exercise: Explain decisions, don’t just make them. Instead of making a change and expecting others to accept it, make a point to shine as much light on the situation as possible by explaining the reasoning behind the decision. Even consider asking for ideas and input before the final decision is made. Transparency and openness can make people feel trusted, respected, and connected.



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