Posts Taged assertiveness

15 ways to improve your Emotional Intelligence

emotional intelligence


Increasingly, in the businesses we partner, the concept of having a high IQ is no longer enough to be successful. To paraphrase a good friend, Mike, ” Why do people with average IQs outperform those with the highest IQs 70% of the time?”  A delegate yesterday said to me, that it is because those people with enormous IQs don’t have any “common sense!”  There could be something in that….. BUT emotional intelligence isn’t just about common sense. According to Reuven Bar-On the 15 ways to improve your emotional intelligence are found within 5 key areas or Realms.

The 5 Realms of Emotional Intelligence

  1. Stress Managementei3
  2. People skills
  3. Self Perception
  4. Decision Making
  5. Self Expression

15 Ways to improve your Emotional Intelligence

We can further break these areas down into 15 competencies that we can all improve upon

1 Stress management

The aspects of Stress Management that are within our sphere of influence arestress management

  • Tolerance – to be able to manage stressful situations confidently. To use your skills to influence in a positive manner. (click here to link to a previous Blog on influencing)
  • Optimism – to keep up a positive attitude, to understand that others will look at your outputs, body language, tone etc and make judgements. To keep that facade even when we are being knocked back.
  • Flexibility – to adjust your feelings and emotions appropriately, relative to the circumstances.


2 People  Skills

  • Networks – NOT a dirty word. Rather the ability to build rapport and relationships, how we get on with others.
  • Empathy – to be conscious that we need to walk in other peoples shoes. This isn’t about feeling sorry for someone (sympathy) but much more about seeing their world, through their eyes.
  • Being Social responsible – this isn’t about going on marches! However the highly emotionally intelligent have a consciousness that feels for and interacts positively with the community.


3 Self Perception

  • Self regard – to understand ones self, recognise the good, the bad and the ugly.  Knowing strengths and weakness’  “Practise things you’re good at, keep on top of things you’re not so good at, but be world-class at your best. Never think, I’m very good at this and that, I can leave those for a bit.” Brian O’Driscoll (click for the full interview)
  • Self awareness – Understand what makes you tick, recognise the causes of personal emotions and the impact they have on your immediate circle of influence.
  • Drive to improve – to fight to get to your potential. Frank Spencer’s motto (from Some Mothers’ Do ‘Ave Em) ” Every day in every way I will get better and better” . The ability to be resolute and persistent.


4 Decision Making

  • Self Control – to keep a grip on your impulsive behaviour, to reign in the free child. Understanding that it is always necessary to know the truth, not always to say it.
  • Looking in the mirror – to match your feelings with real things, to be objective, to understand when objectivity is vanishing..
  • Problem Solving – to understand the influence that emotions have on our ability to make rational, reasoned decisions.


5 Self expression


  • Express your emotions – being open about how you feel, being congruent between what you say and your non verbal communications.
  • Self Motivating – to be self reliant, not emotionally dependent upon the conduct or thinking of others.
  • Assertiveness – to truly understand that you have rights and responsibilities, to stand up for them without violating the rights of those around you. (click here for our Blog on this)




Now that you recognise these 15 competencies of emotional intelligence, would you like to improve them?

Give Paula or Richard a call 08712349873 we would LOVE to help you, your team or your organisation. TWITTER @richardjonesPDP


Rights and assertion


As we mentioned in a previous blog you cannot be assertive without knowing what your rights are and knowing the rights of those you communicate with. It’s a pretty common thing to hear “I know my rights!” very popular in every school up and down the land and also in many work places. What are these rights?

Historical Rights and Assertion

We can look back 800 years to the first bill of rights and the signing of the Magna Carta or even a bit closer to 1998 and the Human Rights act. I suppose that if you felt you had your Human Rights violated there would be a legal route for you to seek redress. But we aren’t talking about those legal rights.

Choose a life context, the work place? The pub? The home?

Ask yourself what rights do you have, that might not be covered in law? For example at work you have the right to say “no”, and so does everyone else. You have the right to be adequately resourced to conduct your job. You have the right to work hard. You have the right to be managed. You have the right to manage.

Interestingly along with these rights come a couple of other things. Responsibilities and Consequences. So if you assert your right to say “no” at work you have a responsibility to do that in a way that does not violate the rights of others. You should also look at the consequences of your assertion. I have the right to say no, the responsibility to do it in an appropriate way, the consequences…… be sure you know them before you assert yourself, it puts you in a powerful position, regardless of your seniority. It might also allow you to select the right time, place and media for your rights and assertion.rights and assertion

Understanding this is central to influencing, communicating effectively and managing people. When those around you violate your rights you need to be clear about the violation, your responsibilities and the consequences, permitting yourself to be assertive and get good outcomes.

Frequently we see people misunderstanding and defaulting to the aggressive “just do it!” the submissive “yes”. Maybe it would be useful to explore what happens, classically people put up with the aggressive because it’s about power abuse, and people fail to recognise the application of power. Would it be really helpful to understand, recognise and deal with the 6 most common power plays?


Power coming soon……..

Self Esteem, Self Confidence, Assertiveness. What are they? Do you have them? Are they important?

Today I tweeted and asked what is the difference between self esteem, self confidence and assertiveness.  These are key attributes that everyone needs in order to feel positive about themselves and to allow you to establish and maintain good working relationships with others, regardless of whether these are business or personal relationships.

Self esteem is “a realistic respect for, or favourable impression of oneself, or self-respect” , and at times could be “an inordinately or exaggeratedly favourable impression of oneself”

Do you have a healthy respect for yourself?  Do you recognise your favourable qualities?  If you do, you can refer to these qualities when you are feeling low, rejected or when someone has made a negative comment about you.  The problem occurs if you have a negative self-image and so low self esteem.   If you think you’re unattractive, too fat, too thin, aren’t very clever etc, then you have no positive reserves to fall back on, and this can stop you taking risks or pushing yourself forward, whether in a job or a relationship.      self-confidence

In my career of teaching, training and coaching, I have used an idea of   Jenny Mosley’s (Quality Circle Time), to get people to really think about   how they see themselves.  Take a moment now, and think of all the positive things about you and imagine each one as a gold coin.  Do you have a hefty pile in your hand or only one or two to fall back on. If the latter is the case, why would you take a risk and possibly fail?  All it would do, is confirm that you were unattractive, s/he wouldn’t like you etc.  If it was the former, then you would most probably say oh well, it was worth a try and dust yourself off and move on!

Self confidence is “realistic confidence in one’s own judgement, ability, power etc” or “an excessive or inflated confidence ” in oneself  I was discussing the ability to come across as confident, yet still have low self esteem, and low self-confidence in some areas of life, with a group of people the other day, and each outlined an area where they felt they wouldn’t succeed in, including having an intimate relationship with someone.  From an outsiders’ perspective, these women appeared confident and assertive in their ability to take on challenges, most had well paid jobs, and made sound judgements regarding work and areas of their personal life.  However, each was quick to point out that “I’ve never been very good at…”, or “I can’t…”.  and quickly became irritated or despondent when questioned further and encouraged to see beyond this potential stumbling block.  confidence


You may have low self esteem in the area of relationships, but be very self confident in other things such as your ability to organise a house move, or to negotiate the best price when buying a new car.  You KNOW and TRUST in your ability and judgment in these areas, and will appear confident to others and they will assume this confidence applies to all areas of your life.  Where are you less confident?  Do others know about this?  If not, how do you mask it and is it to your detriment?
assetivenessAssertiveness focuses on your actions, words and interaction with another person. Do others see you as confident, self-assured, or bordering on being aggressive.  There is a fine line between assertiveness and aggression and often it is down to the other person’s perception of you as to which type of behaviour they think they have seen.  It is very subjective and is a key skill that can be taught and is often a component of company management training programmes, as well as individual coaching.

Assertiveness is knowing your rights and responsibilities and standing up for them.  This means understanding the potential consequences of your actions, and in my next blog, I will explore some of the rights and responsibilities we all have. Crucially, assertiveness is also about understanding that other people have rights and making sure you don’t violate those.