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Daniel Goleman defines Emotional intelligence as:

“the capacity for recognising our own feelings and those of others, for motivating ourselves, and for managing emotions well in ourselves and in our relationships”.

It’s about managing our emotions, and the emotions of others, to produce positive results rather than allowing them to get in the way of being constructive. There are 5 dimensions of emotional intelligence. Below is a summary of the key points in relation to each dimension.

Dimension 1 – Self awareness

Being aware of your emotions and their significance and your strengths and weaknesses

  • Adopt an “I’m OK, You’re OK” mindset to ensure you take a firm, fair and if possible, friendly view of yourself in relation to other people. With this mindset, you can be more conscious and in control of your emotions.
  • Gain feedback from others regarding your strengths and areas for development. Ensure you utilize your strengths to work effectively with others and attain win-win outcomes.

Dimension 2 – Managing emotions

Being able to control and re-direct inappropriate emotions

  • Beware of the amygdala hijack when we become flooded with negative emotions! Work out what your triggers are and put strategies in place to help you ‘find the gap!’
  • De-construct unhelpful emotions using the ladder of inference and apply different, more helpful meanings.

Dimension 3 – Motivation

Being able to channel emotions effectively to accomplish goals

  • Optimistic thinking is one of the elements that keeps people on track, it provides resilience; the ‘bounce back’ factor.
  • Re-frame negative thoughts and change de-motivating beliefs.
  • Clarify your fundamental values and try to use them to inspire and motivate you.

Dimension 4 – Empathy

The ability to understand the emotional make up of other people

  • Use questions to gain an understanding of a situation from another’s perspective in order to work through conflict.

Dimension 5 – Social skills

Proficiency in managing relationships

  • Hone your social skills in order to communicate with others and manage their emotions effectively.
  • Social skills include assertiveness and conflict resolution behaviours, questioning and listening skills, impact factors, ability to negotiate, ability to develop rapport and engage with others effectively.
  • There are a multitude of social skills at work during effective communication. Work on the areas that can make a difference for you.

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