What’s it about?

Emotional Intelligence 2.0 (2009) gives you expert insight into which skills you need to read others and build better relations. It breaks down the four aspects of emotional intelligence, or EQ, and gives advice on what you can do to improve your own skills.

About the author

Travis Bradberry and Jean Greaves have written several award-winning books, such as The Emotional Intelligence Quick Book and Leadership 2.0. They’re also the authors of TalentSmart, an international consultancy for emotional intelligence training in business.


This is emotional intelligence: knowing yourself, behaving yourself, knowing others, and forming bonds:

Some people are exceptionally good at reading body language, judging what someone is thinking at a glance, and responding accordingly. They can soothe an irritated coworker or reassure a worried friend.

Why are some people so skilled at this? The answer is emotional intelligence, also known as EQ.

Emotional intelligence is the ability to recognize and understand your feelings and the feelings of others and use that knowledge to your advantage. A person with high emotional intelligence is adept at “reading” people.

EQ is a combination of four different elements.

The first is self-awareness, or the ability to recognize and understand one’s own emotions and behaviors.

The second concept is self-management. Self-management entails putting yourself in situations where you know you’ll be able to behave appropriately.

The third factor is social consciousness. You’ll be able to read the emotions of others once you’ve learned how to manage your behavior and understand your feelings. You’ll understand what makes people angry, sad, or excited, and you’ll be able to read body language more effectively.

Relationship management is the fourth and final component. Understanding your behavior and those around you allows you to build stronger relationships with the essential people in your life.

For example, if you know that one of your employees gets angry when he is chastised, you will learn how to provide feedback, to which he will be able to respond more effectively.

Let us take a closer look at the four components of emotional intelligence. Keep reading!


Get to know yourself – the good, the bad, and the ugly – to increase your self-awareness:

What is your level of self-awareness?

You may be aware of what you like and dislike, but self-awareness is more than that. It is about truly knowing your emotions so that they do not overwhelm you.

It’s critical to understand why you feel the way you do, even when you’re upset or irritated. Being in a poor mood does not always imply having a horrible day.

Perhaps you left your briefcase at home, spilled coffee all over your desk, or struggled to keep your coworkers on focus. On days like this, you may begin to feel pessimistic about everything and even strike out trivial matters, exacerbating the situation.

When you’re in a lousy mood, realize that such sentiments will pass. What has made you unhappy can’t possibly be the end of the world, so why overreact?

On good days, don’t lose sight of your self-awareness. When we’re in a good mood, we prefer to get into things head forward.

Assume your favorite store is having a sale with markdowns of up to 75% off. You might be tempted to buy everything you see!

Your excitement takes precedence over your other feelings at that time. You could neglect to pause and consider if you truly need the items you’re purchasing – and your pleasant mood will most likely turn sour when those credit card payments come due!

So, when you become thrilled, check yourself and think again – don’t make reckless decisions just because you’re in the moment.

Remember to always think about the implications of your actions.


It will help if you balance your emotional and rational sides to exercise greater self-management:

Many of us find it difficult to manage ourselves. When we strive to impose control, we frequently become sidetracked if how we feel on the inside compels us to act otherwise. We also tend to give up when things become too complicated.

Self-management is an essential component of having vital emotional intelligence.

Making an emotion versus reason list is a valuable tool when presented with a difficult decision.

Create a two-column table. The first column is for writing down what your emotions tell you to do, and the second column is for writing down what your logical reasoning tells you to do. This practice assists you in balancing each side and preventing one from overpowering the other.

Determine which list has the most points. Are your emotions interfering with your decision-making? Are there any flaws in your reasoning?

Assume you’re faced with the decision of whether or not to fire an employee. His work isn’t up to par, but you like him as a person a lot. This is an excellent opportunity to create a list of emotions versus reasons.

Informing your friends and family about your goals is another effective self-management technique. Your loved ones may do a lot to keep you motivated and on track.

When you inform your friends about your goals, they will keep you accountable, which may be a tremendous source of encouragement. After all, you don’t want to disappoint your pals!

When one professor found himself consistently struggling to fulfill deadlines, he decided to make a change. His self-management strategy: he promised his coworkers $100 if he missed a deadline! He did, indeed, alter his behavior for the better.


The eyes, mouth, and shoulders all tell a great deal. Learn how to read signals, so you know what to say:

Some servers appear always to know what a customer wants. They immediately recognize who wants to be alone, who wants company, and who wants particular attention.

This individual possesses a high level of social intelligence. There are two things you should think about if you want to become more socially aware.

First, observe a person’s body language to determine how he is feeling and organize your responses accordingly.

Begin by assessing your body language from head to toe. Examine the eyes first, as they provide a lot of emotional information. For example, excessive blinking could imply deceit. Then, go to the mouth. Is the smile genuine or phony? Only genuine smiles appear to be sincerely empathetic.

Check the person’s shoulders next. Are they slouching or tense? Shoulders can convey confidence or even shyness.

Once you’ve deciphered the message being communicated by a person’s physique, adapt to it. If someone is upset, don’t bother him with inquiries; wait till he’s in a better mood.

Second, always greet people by their first names. This makes you appear kind and trustworthy. People with a high level of social awareness do not address others as “Sir” or “Mr. So-and-so.” Instead, they try to learn people’s first names.

Addressing someone by his first name will help you build a stronger relationship with him. A person’s name can reveal a lot about them (like family history or identity if they have a nickname).

Use this information to strengthen your bond and make the other feel valued.


Don’t send mixed messages. Make sure your body language matches your speech:

Have you ever vowed to stay in touch with a buddy who has moved away? Many times, such commitments are readily broken. What happens in this case?

Relationships, on the other hand, need a lot of time and work to sustain — and most of us just cannot commit.

However, the ability to form strong relationships is an essential aspect of emotional intelligence. So, how can you efficiently construct and maintain them?

First, examine your own body language to ensure that you are not providing mixed signals. Your body, voice, and conduct all transmit a lot of information, so be sure what your body is expressing is clear. Receiving mixed messages is both frustrating and disconcerting!

Assume you need to praise your staff for their excellent job, but you’re irritated because you had a fight with your wife that morning. Your compliments will not appear genuine if you mumble through your remarks while frowning. Your body language and tone of voice do not correspond to your message.

Getting feedback from people who are already in your life is another vital step in developing future relationships. Feedback is essential if you want to enhance your relationships, but it can be difficult to respond to feedback effectively.

We frequently misinterpret comments or simply dismiss them – after all, who enjoys being criticized? However, you may learn to accept constructive criticism by reminding yourself that the person giving it is only looking out for your best interests. Try to use the feedback to help you improve.

Also, remember to thank anyone who provides you with useful comments. Always express your gratitude to your loved ones!