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Tips for Improving Your Emotional IQ

If you want to be a successful business manager, it’s helpful to have a high emotional IQ.

Everyone knows that leadership is a necessary skill if you want to succeed as a business manager. But what, exactly, makes a good leader? A growing number of business experts are pointing to emotional intelligence (also called emotional IQ) as a key trait.1

According to John D. Mayer, who coined the term emotional IQ, “emotional IQ is the ability to accurately perceive your own and others’ emotions; to understand the signals that emotions send about relationships; and to manage your own and others’ emotions.”2 From a business perspective, managers with a high emotional IQ can do more than direct people toward goals; they can motivate people to excel in their pursuit of those goals. This, in turn, can lead to increased success for everyone involved.

Tips for Improving Your Emotional IQ

If you plan to start or advance a career in management, you want your emotional intelligence to be as high as it can be. Here are some ways you can increase your emotional IQ.

Notice and Consider Your Own Emotions

Emotions are not rational. They arise without our bidding and can vary from the mild to the intense. And they can dramatically affect our perceptions of the world around us.3 Those who don’t consider what they’re feeling and how those feelings might be influencing their perceptions often make decisions based on mood rather than reason. However, if you take the time to notice your emotions and consider how they might be influencing your decision-making, you’ll have a better chance of controlling them—which can help you make better decisions for your team and your business.

Take Responsibility for Your Behavior

Strong emotions can make us react in unproductive ways, such as lashing out in anger or shutting down in a fit of frustration. No matter how high our emotional intelligence, emotions will occasionally get the better of us. But rather than blaming whatever triggered your emotions (and subsequent behavior), you should take responsibility for your actions, recognizing that you let your emotions control your reaction. By taking responsibility, you can learn how to better control your emotions next time, allowing you to be a more effective leader.

Focus on Learning Rather Than Reacting

The modern business world moves fast and, because emotions come faster than reasoned thinking, high-pressure environments can create a lot of room for emotions to drive decision-making. But despite what many think, there’s always time to pause and take a breath before you take an action. Instead of reacting immediately to every event, spend a moment considering why that event has occurred. By asking the question of “why,” you can put yourself in a more rational state of mind and better position yourself to move forward with a reasoned response.

Put Yourself in Other People’s Shoes

Emotional intelligence is also about learning to understand the emotions of others. If you’re a business manager, you’ll likely face many instances when a team member behaves in an unproductive way. In many cases, that behavior will be the result of the team member’s emotional state. Rather than merely reprimanding the team member, try to consider how they’re feeling and why those feelings may have led to the unproductive behavior. That will increase your ability to communicate meaningfully and find a positive solution.

Recognize That Improving Emotional Intelligence Is a Lifelong Pursuit

It’s a good idea to remain humble in the face of your and other’s emotions. No matter how hard we try, we won’t always control how our emotions make us react and we won’t always be able to understand the emotions and reactions of others. If you recognize this truth, you’ll recognize that emotional intelligence isn’t something you can master—it’s only something you can continually hone.

How Else Can You Learn About Succeeding as a Business Manager?

Emotional IQ is just one of many skills you need if you want to succeed in management. And it’s just one of the many areas you’ll study if you choose to earn a Master of Business Administration (MBA). In fact, because an MBA degree is both a business administration degree and a management degree, it’s one of the best business degrees for anyone looking to succeed as a business manager.

Thanks to online education, you don’t even have to take a break from your career to earn your master of business administration. Instead, you can choose an online MBA program and complete your coursework from home, on your schedule. Many of the best business schools now offer an online MBA program, ensuring you can gain a quality education without having to live near a campus or rearrange your schedule to accommodate inconvenient class times.

By raising your emotional intelligence and earning an MBA online, you can put yourself in position to succeed in management.

Walden University is an accredited institution offering a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree program online. Expand your career options and earn your degree using a convenient, flexible learning platform that fits your busy life.


Walden University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission,