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Emotional Intelligence

IQ opens door; EQ keeps you there and raises you up

We have an emotional mind that often bypasses our rational mind and operates subconsciously based on our experiences and our feelings. Emotional intelligence is the ability to understand and manage our feelings and the feelings of others to positively mold this instinctive thought and behavior process.

Commonly termed as EQ, this ability is widely rated as one of the most important transcending workplace skills as well as a dominant predictor of our success in life. A person with an average IQ but high EQ will be more productive than a brilliant person who cannot relate well with others.

The good news is that our human brain possesses a high degree of plasticity malleable to EQ development. EQ can be developed and dramatically improved. Besides success in career, people with good EQ will enjoy better relationships, be healthy, happier and have a more fulfilling life.

There are two components of EQ and four core skills:

Intra-personal Intelligence



Inter-personal Intelligence

Social Awareness

Relationship Management

Intra-personal intelligence starts with raising self-awareness and developing self-management skills to achieve personal mastery. Inter-personal intelligence is about becoming a people person, winning friends and influencing people positively.

The key to developing emotional intelligence is to be more conscious of our own emotions and to develop empathy for the emotions of others. Refrain from reacting immediately in response to your instinctive feelings, and exercise your power of choice to process consequential thinking, reframing perspectives, regaining rationality and responding appropriately.

Developing higher self-awareness requires practice and intentionality. By understanding our emotions and constantly evaluating it with our rational mind, we will be in a better position to choose the most appropriate responses and course of action.

EQ development does not mean the eradication of all negative emotions. This may not be possible or even desirable. Emotional pain is a by-product of us as imperfect people living in an imperfect world. Accepting it will not eliminate but will render it less powerful.

EQ is about striking a balance, to our advantage, and using our rational mind to teach the emotional mind. It is a continuous process with constant self-reflection, and the progress we can make is limited only by our own motivation.

Do not conform to the limiting patterns of the past; put off the old man & put on the NEW one.


This article is contributed by Dr Tan Buck Chye, an Associate Trainer at the Management Development & Consultancy, MDIS’ corporate training arm.


Founded in 1956, the Management Development Institute of Singapore (MDIS) is Singapore’s oldest not-for-profit professional institute for lifelong learning. MDIS has two main subsidiaries: Management Development Institute of Singapore Pte Ltd which oversees its Singapore academic operations, and MDIS International Pte Ltd which focuses on MDIS’ globalisation strategy. MDIS offers internationally-accredited courses in Business and Management, Engineering, Fashion and Design, Health and Nursing, Information Technology, Languages and Education, Life Sciences, Media and Communications, Psychology, Tourism and Hospitality Management, and Safety and Environmental Management.

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