Self-Help Information: Emotional Intelligence
What is Emotional Intelligence?
Emotional intelligence is the act of consciously choosing your
thoughts, feelings and actions to get the most possible out of your
relationship with yourself and others. Emotional Intelligence
integrates an individual's emotional development (feelings),
cognitive development (thoughts), and behavioral development
(actions) to maintain balance in one's life.
How Does Emotional Intelligence Develop?
Emotional intelligence develops throughout an individual's lifespan
in three important areas. First, by increasing your self-awareness
that is based on an understanding of how you function (know
Second, by building self-management through consciously choosing
your thoughts, feelings and actions (choose yourself). And third, by
developing self-direction through use of empathy and good decision
making to increase wisdom and create a more compassionate world
Ways to Improve Your Emotional Intelligence
Know Yourself (self-awareness)
Self-Awareness - recognize how your own feelings and actions
Self-Honesty - understand and accept your strengths,
weaknesses, feelings and personal power.
Independence - understand your thoughts, feelings and
actions and how you choose to experience them with yourself and
Choose Yourself (self-management)
- Delay Gratification - make choices based on what is "best"
not what provides instant satisfaction.
- Develop Priorities - make decisions based on what is most
important at any given time or circumstance.
- Be Optimistic - make a personal choice to be hopeful rather
than hopeless, positive rather than negative.
- Be Accountable - take responsibility for your thoughts,
feelings and actions.
- Develop Social Skills - learn good interpersonal skills to
successfully interact and communicate with others.
Give Yourself (self-direction)
Personal Growth - work towards lifelong learning and growth.
Interdependence - understand how you fit within a larger
community, how you impact that system, and how you contribute to
Empathy - show compassion, understanding and forgiveness to
Values - understand your personal value system and make
principled decisions based on that system.
Noble Goals - develop goals that serve and benefit others
through careful consideration of the costs and benefits for
(The above information was adapted from material produced by
Anabel Jensen, PhD, Joshua Freedman and Six Seconds, 2003. You can
visit their website at
Recommended Books to Read
Raising Your Emotional Intelligence.
Jeanne Segal, New York, NY: Henry Holt and Company, LLC., 1997.
Emotionally Intelligent Living. Geetu Orme,
Williston, VT: Crown House Publishing, 2001.
What You Can Change…What You Can't: Learning to accept
who you are. Martin Seligman, New York: Fawcett
Emotional Intelligence: Why it can matter more than
IQ. Daniel Goleman, New York: Bantam Books, 1995.
Vital Lies, Simple Truths: The psychology of
self-deception. Daniel Goleman, New York: Simon &
Schuster, Inc., 1985.
Need Additional Help?
Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine
Counseling and Wellness Services offer free individual counseling
for these and related issues for veterinary students (WSU Veterinary
Students ONLY). For more information or to schedule an appointment
call or e-mail:
Anne LaFrance, MA, Licensed Mental Health Counselor
135A McCoy Hall
The information contained in these self help
documents is not to be used as a substitute for professional
care. Neither the authors, Washington State University nor the
College of Veterinary Medicine assume liability for injury incurred
by following the information presented in these self-help documents