Understanding the 5 domains of Emotional Intelligence

Greenwood Village, Colorado, 80111

Understanding the 5 domains of Emotional Intelligence

I love helping others build their emotional intelligence and solve problems. I also feel rewarded in developing my own emotional intelligence. I notice the difference in others when they have spent time developing the 5 domains of emotional intelligence. In order to start building your EI, you first have to understand what I am talking about. Emotional intelligence has become somewhat of a buzzword both in our personal lives and at the office. The goal I have for you by the end of this blog is to have an understanding of what emotional intelligence means.

Greenwood Village, Colorado, 80111


I want to take a second to differentiate between self-awareness and self-consciousness. Self-awareness is objectively recognizing something of yourself. It is more of an observation of what is happening and how you are reacting to your environment. Self-consciousness is when you apply an opinion, usually a negative one, to yourself. It is not objective but more of a judgment. Now that we have discussed the difference between these two concepts, let’s help you understand self-awareness.

Self-awareness is the ability to recognize and understand your emotions. It comes down to how well you understand yourself and can accurately label your emotional reactions. In simple terms, how well can you identify your emotions when they occur? This will help you acknowledge your strengths and weaknesses. This will guide you to make decisions from a place of strength which allows you to always put yourself in the best positions possible. Those with a high level of self-awareness are confident in themselves, have a good sense of humor, are aware of how others perceive them, and seemingly never lose their cool.

Greenwood Village, Colorado, 80111


I want you to understand that self-regulation does not mean how well you can stuff your emotions down during the day. That bottling technique is not what self-regulation is. Self-regulation is your ability to express your emotions when the time and place are right. So if you become angry at work and stuff your anger down until never o’clock that is not self-regulation. Self-regulation occurs when you find time to let your anger out in a way that leaves you feeling better than you did before. 

Greenwood Village, Colorado, 80111

Social Skills

How well do you build relationships with others? This is a marker of strong social skills. How much time does it take for people to begin trusting you? Having strong social skills allows you to understand other people. This will give you both quantity and quality relationships both personally and professionally. In management positions, emotional intelligence helps you defuse conflict between employees, and in your personal life, it will help you maintain healthy connections with friends and family due to your ability to diffuse uncomfortable situations. This promotes leadership skills, your ability to be persuasive, and how many people have a high opinion of you. 

Greenwood Village, Colorado, 80111Empathy

Empathy and sympathy are two different reactions. Sympathy is feeling for another person such as feeling pity for their troubles. Empathy is your ability to understand the emotions of others. This is important because empathy allows you to respond with strategy in social situations. This ties back into social skills and your ability to diffuse conflict. Empathy requires you to acknowledge and understand the experiences of other people. 

Greenwood Village, Colorado, 80111


There are two ways to feel motivated. Extrinsic motivation and intrinsic motivation. Extrinsic motivation is when something outside of you gives you the energy to get something done. Money, material possessions, fame, recognition, and power are just some examples of external motivators. Those with high EI use intrinsic motivation or internal forces to stay motivated. 

Being internally motivated is a marker of emotional intelligence because it is self-sustaining. Those who only rely on external motivators risk losing motivation since the source is something external. If there is no chance of promotion, no money to be had, no fame to gain, then there is no motivation. 

A Real-Life Example

One example of how this has applied to me is a time during my graduate program when I became overwhelmed with anxiety. I had many doubts and was losing confidence each week during this time. In the span of a month, I was convinced I was going to drop out. I decided to use all of my anxiety and use that energy that kept me from sleeping to engage more in my passion. I took a paid course outside of my program to learn about Solution Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT) and I bought books on Gestalt Psychotherapy. All the while I was going to school full time and working. Through emotional intelligence, I understood I was feeling fear in my ability to make a career in mental health. I decided to self-regulate so I could focus during my classes and read extra books and do extra training outside of class. I stayed motivated and kept my grades up despite everything. I used my social skills to talk to my classmates about my struggles and using empathy I realized one person, in particular, felt exactly the same. Through my social skills and empathy I persuaded her to take the same paid training I signed up for to learn more about SFBT. We both completed the class and used those skills to outperform our classmates in a group therapy class. This example from my life is how I learned to utilize emotional intelligence. Now I want you to go do the same for yourself. 

Learn more about Emotional Intelligence here

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Greenwood Village, CO 80111


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