The Ten Habits of Emotionally Intelligent People

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Copyright 1999 Steve Hein, The EQ Institute - May be copied for educational uses.

High EQ people:

1. Label their feelings, rather than labeling people or situations. "I feel impatient." vs "This is ridiculous."

"I feel hurt and bitter". vs. "You are an insensitive jerk."

"I feel afraid." vs. "You are driving like a idiot."

2. Distinguish between thoughts and feelings. Thoughts: I feel like...& I feel as if.... & I feel that

Feelings: I feel: (feeling word)

3. Take responsibility for their feelings. "I feel jealous." vs. "You are making me jealous."
4. Use their feelings to help them make decisions. "How will I feel if I do this?" "How will I feel if I don't"
5. Show respect for other people's feelings. They ask "How will you feel if I do this?" "How will you feel if I don't."
6. Feel energized, not angry. They use what others call "anger" to help them feel energized to take productive action.
7. Validate other people's feelings. They show empathy, understanding, and acceptance of other people's feelings.
8. Practice getting a positive value from their negative emotions. They ask themselves: "How do I feel?" and "What would help me feel better?"

They ask others "How do you feel?" and "What would help you feel better?"

9. Don't advise, command, control, criticize, judge or lecture to others. They realize it doesn't feel good to be on the receiving end of such behavior, so they avoid it.
10. Avoid people who invalidate them, or don't respect their feelings. As much as possible, they choose to associate only with other people with high EQ.


"A learned capability based on emotional intelligence that results in outstanding performance at work. Our emotional intelligence determines our potential for learning the practical skills based on the five elements : self-awareness, motivation, self-regulation, empathy, and adeptness in relationships. Our emotional competence shows how much of that potential we have translated into on-the-job capabilities." (Goleman, Working with Emotional Intelligence)

The table below lists Golemans' 5 dimensions of emotional intelligence and the 25 emotional competencies.

The emotional intelligence capabilities are Independent (each contributes to job performance);Interdependent (each draws to some extent on certain others with strong interactions);Hierarchical (the emotional intelligence capabilities build upon one another);Necessary, but not sufficient (having an emotional intelligence doesn't guarantee the competencies will be demonstrated); Generic (different jobs make differing competence demands.



Personal Competence



Emotional Awareness:recognizing one's emotions and their effect

Accurate Self-assessment: knowing one's strengths and limits

Self-confidence: A strong sense of one's self-worth and capabilities


Self-control: Keeping disruptive emotions and impulses in check

Trustworthiness: Maintaining standards of honesty and integrity

Conscientiousness: Taking responsibility for personal performance

Adaptability: Flexibility in handling change

Innovation: Being comfortable with novel ideas, approaches and new information


Achievement drive: Striving to improve or meet a standard of excellence

Commitment: Aligning with the goals of the group or organization

Initiative: Readiness to act on opportunities

Optimism: Persistence in pursuing goals despite obstacles and setbacks

Social Competence



Understanding others: sensing others' feelings and perspectives, taking an active interest in their concerns

Developing others: Sensing others development needs and bolstering their abilities

Service orientation: Anticipating, recognizing, and meeting customers' needs

Leveraging diversity: Cultivating opportunities through different kinds of people

Political Awareness: Reading a group's emotional currents and power relationships


Influence: Wielding effective tactics for persuasion

Communication: Listening openly and sending convincing messages

Conflict management: Negotiating and resolving disagreements

Leadership: Inspiring and guiding individuals and groups

Change Catalyst: Initiating or managing change

Building bonds: Nurturing instrumental relationships

Collaboration and cooperation: Working with others toward shared goals

Team capabilities: creating group synergy in pursuing collective goals