Take Home: 10 ways to improve your emotional intelligence

UTSC alumnus Dr. Steven Stein (BSc, 1972) is a clinical psychologist and an expert on emotional intelligence, or EQ. According to Stein, being aware of and in control of your emotions are key to leading a happy and successful life (see "The Divine Secrets of Emotionnal Intelligence.")

Improve your own EQ by considering these tips adapted from Stein’s book, Emotional Intelligence for Dummies (with permission from the author):

1. Become more self-aware.
Pay attention to your own emotions. Learn to meditate or record your feelings in a notebook. The more self-aware you are, the more you’ll understand others.

2. Express yourself.
Don’t bottle up your thoughts and feelings, but don’t blather either. Aim for assertiveness, saying the appropriate things to the appropriate people.

3. Discover your inner passions.
Figure out what you’re passionate about, whether it’s music or tennis or management—and then do something about it.

4. Know your strengths and weaknesses.
Be honest about what you’re good at and what you struggle with. Make decisions accordingly.

5. Walk in the other person’s moccasins.
Be more empathetic. Pay attention to others and figure out what they’re really trying to say.

6. Manage another person’s emotions.
It sounds manipulative, but what it really means is empathizing with the other person and giving a response that you’d like to receive yourself.

7. Be socially responsible.
This is one of the highest levels of achievement with emotional intelligence. Donate to charity, volunteer for a cause—get personally involved.

8. Manage your own impulses.
When feeling impulsive, distract yourself by counting to 10. Analyze your thoughts and learn coping strategies.

9. Be more flexible.
Know when to stick with what works, and when to be ready for change.

10. Be happy.
Always down in the dumps? Know Realize when it’s appropriate to be sad, but also when you should be happy. Emotional intelligence will help you get there.