emotional intelligence

Emotional Intelligence Tips

In a recent webinar exploring the external elements of emotional intelligence, David Rowan and Michelle Western shared their top Do’s and Don’ts.


Empathy is a key element of social awareness. It’s about understanding how others might be feeling, and how groups of people might react to changes and challenges.

Empathy is the ability and action of noticing, being sensitive to, and sitting with the feelings, thoughts, and experience of another, whether or not they have explained their experience.

1. Don’t Assume You Understand. Instead…

  • Pause to ask questions.
  • Summarize what you hear being said.
  • Use a reflection to name the emotion you see in the other person.

2. Don’t Offer a “Quick Fix.” Instead…

  • Acknowledge the challenge.
  • Be curious — turn up the “thinking” part of your brain.
  • Lean into the discomfort.

3. Don’t Expect People to Be Two-Dimensional. Instead…

  • Remind yourself: People are complex.
  • Anticipate that people will change.


Teamwork is an essential relationship management skill. It’s about using your insights to influence others in a positive way, coach others to use self-management skills, work thought conflict without letting emotions take over, use your adaptability to work with a diverse team, and your develop your motivation and optimism to inspire others.

Teamwork is the ability to proactively use a wide range of social skills and behaviors to gain, build, and sustain balanced, meaningful, and complex interpersonal connections in the workplace.

1. Don’t Only Think About the Individual. Instead…

  • Think about your team as a whole.
  • Set the tone — you are in charge of the “emotional thermostat in the room.
  • Spark a “virtuous cycle” — listen, ask questions, summarize, reflect and reframe, and offer optimism and hope.

2. Don’t Avoid Having Expectations. Instead…

  • Have balanced expectations — set a simple goal.
  • Promote “share the load” — don’t try to do it alone.
  • Show confidence in people.

3. Don’t Stop Giving Feedback. Instead…

  • Give feedback compassionately.
  • Confront problems — showing emotional intelligence isn’t an excuse for avoiding difficult conversations.
  • Hold one another accountable.

Click to learn more about how emotional intelligence training could benefit your team.

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