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10 signs of low emotional intelligence

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Emotionally intelligent people are a pleasure to be around. They are socially competent and comfortable in their own skin. This enables them to keep their cool and manage stress, develop strong working relationships, make good decisions and focus on productivity.

Unfortunately, there are too many people who display low levels of emotional intelligence and therefore only succeed in upsetting and annoying people which has a negative impact on productivity and relationships. Here are 15 signs to watch out for:

  1. Attacks, criticises, invalidates, lectures, advises and judges others.
  2. Is highly egotistical.
  3. Is reactive rather than proactive.
  4. Plays games; is indirect or evasive. 

  5. Has little empathy and is insensitive and often unaware of their impact on others. 

  6. Is defensive and finds it hard to admit mistakes or apologise sincerely. 

  7. Holds many distorted and self-destructive beliefs which cause persistent negative emotions. 


  8. Frequently feels inadequate, resentful, bitter or victimised. 


  9. Is a poor listener. Interrupts and/or invalidates others’ contributions. 

  10. Has limited strategies for dealing with stress and stressful situations.

If you can spot some of these tendencies, think about how you might counteract them eg. Stop interrupting others when they speak or ask more questions to understand how your actions impact others.

Remember that emotionally intelligent people:

  • Stop negative self-talk – they replace any negative thoughts and self talk with something more positive, motivating or solution focused.
  • Let go of their mistakes – they don’t beat themselves up, they take responsibility, and then focus on what they would do next time or find a solution to the problem.
  • Know their strengths and weaknesses – they appreciate that they’re not good at everything so play to their strengths and delegate or find support for areas of weakness.
  • Neutralize toxic people – they don’t engage in negative talk, complaining or whining. Neither do they tolerate it from others, instead they cut it off or re-direct the conversation.
  • Disconnect and decompress – they have numerous strategies to let off steam and relax both in the workplace and outside so they don’t take their stresses home.
  • Are curious about others – they are genuinely interested in other people’s views, ideas and opinions and so ask lots of questions and are prepared to listen to the answers.
  • Are difficult to offend/upset – they feel secure about themselves and have a good level of self awareness, understand how they impact on others and can rationalize situations to remain objective – especially where emotion is involved.
  • Use assertive communication – they ensure their communication is objective, two-way, clear, concise and appropriate for the situation.

By doing more of these things your EI levels, and in tun, your relationships and results will improve.

For more information about Emotional intelligence training contact us on 1300 850 959

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JEM Management Training

JEM Management Training designs and delivers flexible, in-house management training courses to help  organisations in Perth engage their staff fully in the workplace.

As time is often limited, JEM Training offers flexible half-day management training courses which focus on a specific area of management expertise. These short courses build upon each other over a period of time, chosen by you, to provide ongoing management development.

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