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Emotional Intelligence at Work - Training course in LondonEmotional Intelligence in workplace training

Training in Emotional Intelligence courses UK

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Emotional Intelligence is recognised to be as important if not more so than IQ. It can be the difference between being good at what you do, and excelling at what you do. Training in Emotional Intelligence informs your choices and decisions, drives your responses and directs your motivation. It is an essential ingredient in the success of all relationships be it with colleagues, clients, friends or family. It also helps you manage your own emotions and responses effectively improving how you deal with situations.

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Below are some extracts from our Emotional Intelligence at Work manual.

Emotional Intelligence at Work

Understanding Emotions

The source of emotions:

What are emotions and where do they come from?

While definitions vary, most identify multiple aspects: – thoughts, beliefs, and expectations trigger them and the feelings, physical sensations and actions that arise as a result.

Daniel Goleman in “Emotional Intelligence”, 1995 says:

I take emotion to refer to a feeling and its distinctive thoughts, psychological and biological states, and range of propensities to act. There are hundreds of emotions along with their blends, variations, mutations, and nuances. Indeed, there are many more subtleties of emotion than we have words for.

Thinking of emotions in the context of all of their components enables us to experiment and change them by adjusting one or more of the variables. For example, would a different thought trigger a different emotion? Would changing a context (working at home v at the office) make it easier to feel differently about the work in question? By deliberately being physically relaxed we may reduce the impact of fear emotions (as the body can’t be both tense and relaxed simultaneously).

Emotions in the workplace

Workplaces have in the past been designed to neutralise or at least minimise some emotions. Standardised furniture, clocks on the wall, functional lighting etc. Trends are changing and some working environments are very stimulating now. Yet our experience tells us that many emotions remain inappropriate and unwelcome in the workplace. This doesn’t mean emotions are bad at work necessarily but perhaps implies that more than in other contexts there is an expectation that we are able to regulate and manage our own emotions. Indeed that we are responsible to do so.


Managing your emotions

Self-management can sometimes be a hard quality to tame if self-awareness produces a very arrogant and self-centered result. The path to self-management and self-awareness lies in the balance between the two. Understanding who you are, the role you play and the authority you possess, are all very important but when these things overshadow your ability to be consistent and accountable, this could cause a poor outcome. By the same token, if one lacks understanding of whom they are and their importance, this could also hinder their ability to be consistent and accountable. People who are aware of their methods of dealing with conflict and understand the bearing of their way of doing things are less likely to make matters worse than those who are not aware of themselves.

The following is a list of five key points to remember to help you master the art of self-management.

  • Be consistent. Part of managing oneself is the ability to be stable. The values you hold dear should always be transparent. Always changing can cause others to question your beliefs and leave you confused about what you truly believe. Refine in increments.
  • Stick to the plan. If you are scheduled to complete a particular task, do it. Don’t just do it, but make sure it is done in a timely manner. It is easy to feel out of control when you disregard the plan you are to follow. Learn what is realistic for you.
  • Be accountable. There are times when things don’t work out as you plan, but you have to be able to admit that and then use your flexibility to get things back on track. The ideal result is that you easily bounce back and complete the task, but even during those times when this is not the case, you are expected to adjust.
  • Educate yourself. We live in an ever-changing world and you want to be able to keep up with it. Don’t let change pass you by, embrace it. Be an avid reader. Talk and listen to mentors and peers. They may know something that could help you along your journey.
  • Stay physically fit. Many people don’t think of staying fit when they talk about self-management, but it is a very important part of being able to practice the four preceding points. Exercising your body is just as crucial to self-management as exercising your mind. A body that is not well rested, nutritionally fed or physically exercised can lead to emotional and physical illnesses.



Empathy has been defined by others as:

  • Alvin Goldman: The ability to put oneself into the mental shoes of another person to understand her emotions and feelings.
  • Martin Hoffman: An effective response more appropriate to another's situation than one's own
  • Carl Rogers: To perceive the internal frame of reference of another with accuracy and with the emotional components and meanings which pertain thereto as if one were the person, but without ever losing the 'as if' condition. Thus, it means to sense the hurt or the pleasure of another as he senses it and to perceive the causes thereof as he perceives them, but without ever losing the recognition that it is as if I were hurt or pleased and so forth.

Empathy is most useful when the one empathising has experienced a variety of feelings. For example, the boss who was once passed over for a promotion generally finds it easier to identify with another person who is passed over for a promotion. Not only is this comforting for the person who is going through the situation, but it’s also good for empathizer because it strengthens their ability to positively react to negative situations.

Empathy is not as simple as it sounds. The ideal situation would be for a person to express their issues and you empathize with them, but the fact is, people aren’t always as forthcoming with their problems, even though it is obvious that there is something wrong. Since this is the case, you may be forced to ask probing questions or read between the lines of what is said. You can also focus on non-verbal cues such as body language.

According to Stephen Covey in “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People”, empathetic listening involves five basic tasks:

  • Repeat verbatim the content of the communication; the words, not the feelings
  • Rephrase content; summarize the meaning of the words in your own words
  • Reflect feelings; look more deeply and begin to capture feelings in your own words. Look beyond words for body language and tone to indicate feelings.
  • Rephrase contents and reflect feelings; express both their words and feelings in your own words.
  • Discern when empathy is not necessary – or appropriate.

Managing emotional boundaries

Disagreeing Constructively

The workplace is a place where disagreeing is a common occurrence. Companies look for the most effective ways to carry out operations and therefore invest in process improvement strategies, which opens the floor for discussion and compromise.

Constructively disagreeing involves acknowledging and confirming someone else’s ideas before presenting your own. Listening first then seeking to understand allows us to spot if we have missed something or at least misunderstood what is being proposed.


Possessing the quality of ‘optimism’ is the ability to find the bright side of every situation.

Like every other entity, businesses suffer losses and setbacks, but an effective manager knows how to look past the current problem to find a resolution and possibly a new opportunity.

Optimism can also be good for your health. Researchers have found that optimists were less likely to develop heart disease.


Pessimism is the exact opposite of optimism. Instead of viewing the glass as ‘half full’ or having a positive outlook on situations, pessimists can only see the downside of the issue.

As you would expect, pessimism in the workplace can be very detrimental to the individual’s career growth and the well-being of the company as a whole. A pessimist who holds a leadership role can bring down the productivity and morale of the team, just by his or her very nature. An individual contributor with this type of attitude may never get promoted to leadership positions.

The Balance between Optimism and Pessimism

Extremes of either optimism or pessimism can cause problems because of their impact on our actions. Being overly reckless or unnecessarily cautious can hamper our ability to be effective.

Instead, then we can experiment with small adjustments. We could ask ourselves how we would feel if we were a little more optimistic or what we would do if we were slightly less pessimistic? Seeking a small adjustment makes it easier to proceed.

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