Emotional Intelligence: Self-Management Exercises

This article is an excerpt from the Shortform book guide to "Emotional Intelligence 2.0" by Travis Bradberry and Jean Greaves. Shortform has the world's best summaries and analyses of books you should be reading.

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Do you struggle with emotional self-control? What are some emotional intelligence self-management exercises you can practice?

Self-management is like a pause button on your emotional remote control. If you want to improve your emotional intelligence, self-management exercises are a great place to start.

Here are some emotional intelligence self-management exercises you can practice.

Emotional Intelligence: Self-Management Exercises

Self-management is the ability to use your self-awareness to manage your emotions and stay in control of your behavior. Use these EQ self-management exercises to think of better ways to manage any emotionally-charged situations that you are facing.

Exercise 1: Make an Emotion Vs Logic List

Differentiating between your emotional and rational brain will help you discover the best route forward when faced with a difficult situation. Use this exercise to make the distinction and clarify your decision-making process.

  1. Think of an issue you’re currently experiencing that requires you to make a decision. Describe it.
  2. What is your emotional brain telling you to do? List your options.
  3. What is your rational brain telling you to do? List your options.
  4. Compare the two lists you just made. How are your emotions clouding your rationality? Where is your rationality ignoring important cues from your emotions?

Exercise 2: Visualize success

Visualizing yourself managing a situation well allows your brain to develop EQ skills before difficult situations arise.

  1. Think of a recurring situation in which you have trouble managing your emotions. Describe it.
  2. Now think of a way that you would ideally handle this situation.
  3. Now close your eyes and visualize yourself handling the situation well. Be specific in your imagination and take the time to play out the entire scenario. Describe your visualization.

Using these seven exercises, you should be able to boost your self-management skills, better control your emotions, and improve your EQ capabilities overall.

Emotional Intelligence: Self-Management Exercises

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Here's what you'll find in our full Emotional Intelligence 2.0 summary :

  • What emotional intelligence is and why it's essential for your workplace success
  • The 4 reasons you need to work on your EQ
  • How you can use EQ to better manage relationships

Darya Sinusoid

Darya’s love for reading started with fantasy novels (The LOTR trilogy is still her all-time-favorite). Growing up, however, she found herself transitioning to non-fiction, psychological, and self-help books. She has a degree in Psychology and a deep passion for the subject. She likes reading research-informed books that distill the workings of the human brain/mind/consciousness and thinking of ways to apply the insights to her own life. Some of her favorites include Thinking, Fast and Slow, How We Decide, and The Wisdom of the Enneagram.

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