How Improving Social Awareness and Relationship Management has Helped Me in Tough Times

Katie Corbett holds the book "Emotional Intelligence 2.0"

By Katie Corbett


I was working at a summer camp and was tutoring math to a student who needed to pass a state exam. Math was not his strongest subject. I was really glad I had social awareness and relationship management as tools in my toolbox throughout that summer.


The book, “Emotional Intelligence 2.0,” by Travis Bradberry, helped me grow in and improve at these skills. I could tell how my student was feeling using social awareness, and used relationship management when giving feedback.


I could tell when this student was ready to buckle down and get some work done, and when it was better for me to make a game up for him to play and learn skills through fun. I could tell when he was ready for tough feedback and when Praise and encouragement were needed. This may seem trivial, but I think it made the difference between his leaving early, as he had wanted to do, and his completing the program, as he ended up doing. It also made for a less stressful summer camp counselor experience for me, too.


Improving these skills has helped me far beyond that summer experience. I use these skills every day when I’m asking my husband what he wants for dinner, telling a friend about a tough day I had (and knowing when and how to ask about them), and listening to a family member share tough news. It is my hope that you’ll learn more about EQ, and that it can help you in your life, too.


Are you working to improve in the areas of social awareness and relationship management? If so, leave me a comment and let me know how growth in these skills has helped you.


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What I Learned by Improving My Self-Awareness and Self-Management Skills

Katie Corbett holds the book "Emotional Intelligence 2.0"

By Katie Corbett


Self-awareness and self-management are both aspects of emotional intelligence, also known as EQ. They entail recognizing and appropriately responding to your emotions. This is an important skill to have, especially in professional settings.


I first became aware of these aspects of EQ when I read “Emotional Intelligence 2.0,” by Travis Bradberry. As I went through the book, I put an action plan into place to grow and improve in these skills.


I grew up in a family where all of us wore emotions on our sleeves. While that resulted in love, affection, and encouragement being expressed, it was also regular for people to fly off the handle when they became upset or life got stressful. As an adult, I noticed these behaviors in myself and wanted to make a change. I decided that improving my EQ would be a great place to start.


While I was working at a nonprofit as a writer, my boss told me I needed to rewrite a piece of content. My stomach clenched and I could feel my body getting warm. I was frustrated. By paying attention to the signals my body was sending me, I was able to realize that I was experiencing negative emotions.


We were heading to an event in a few minutes, so I couldn’t do anything right then to resolve the situation. I took time in my office to cool down. Unfortunately, I did express some frustration to my boss before that cool-down period, but once I realized what I was doing, I put a lid on it for the event and apologized to her afterward.


My emotions still blind-side me at times. Knowing the signals my body is sending me has helped me get control of myself before I show my frustration to the world.


Have self-awareness and self-management kept you from saying or doing something you’d have regretted later? Feel free to leave a comment and share your story.


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What Is Emotional Intelligence?

Katie Corbett holds the book "Emotional Intelligence 2.0"

By Katie Corbett


Intellectual intelligence is fixed. You can’t get any smarter than you already are. But did you know about emotional intelligence?


I first learned about it when I read the book, “Emotional Intelligence 2.0,” by Travis Bradberry. Emotional intelligence, or EQ for short, is the ability to recognize and respond to your emotions in healthy, situationally appropriate ways. It also entails recognizing and responding to the emotions of others. The great news is that you can always get better at these skills. Here are some reasons to keep improving:


  • People with high EQ’s do better in their careers.
  • EQ will make you a more empathetic, likeable person.
  • EQ will help you recognize the signs of stress in your life so you can reduce times of frustration.
  • EQ will help you communicate with others more effectively.
  • EQ will help you handle otherwise difficult conversations.
  • Working on your EQ will help you set benchmarks for soft skills (communication, emotional management) that can be otherwise tough to assess.
  • A higher EQ can help you more effectively manage conflict.
  • EQ can help you leave or defuse situations before they get out-of-hand.
  • Increasing your EQ can give you new behaviors to learn and new goals to set.
  • Improving your EQ will help you ask for and receive feedback from others, so you’ll be able to stop negative or annoying behaviors before they become a problem.


If you want to learn more about what EQ is, I strongly encourage you to check out Emotional Intelligence 2.0. You can find out where you stand in the four areas of EQ: Self-awareness, Self-Management, Social Awareness, and relationship Management. The book also provides concrete action steps to help you track your progress and improve.


Do you have questions about or experience with EQ? Drop me a comment; I’d love to hear more.


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The Best Medicine: Searching out More Laughter in My Life

By Katie Corbett


Have you ever wondered why you take life so seriously? I hope not. I’m usually quite a serious person, so I have needed to learn that taking time to laugh and relax is important. It helps me remember to have fun in life and that everything is a journey.


“Emotional Intelligence 2.0”, by Travis Bradberry, suggests getting more laughter in one’s life to be a good self-management strategy. It helps people release pent-up emotions and discover the fun in life. Here are some ways I have incorporated a bit more “ha-ha” moments into each day:


  • Spending time with friends I find funny.
  • Reading humorous books.
  • Downloading comedic podcasts.
  • Laughing along with the laugh track while watching TV.
  • Thinking of anything funny that happened that day or earlier on in my life.
  • Giving in to laughter when it does come.
  • Remembering the funny things I hear so I can share them with others later.
  • Making a point to smile every so often, because science has proven that we can’t feel negative emotions as intensely when we’re making a happy face.
  • Seeking out experiences that will make me laugh, such as going to a comedy event.
  • Sharing such experiences with a friend.
  • Attempting to make others laugh.


They say that laughter is the best medicine. I have read an entire book about laughter benefits, but that could be a topic for another slew of blog posts. For now, I plan to keep searching out the joy in life.


How are you finding more ways to let loose and laugh? I’d love more ideas, so let me know in the comments.


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Stop the Negative Self-Talk

Katie Corbett holds the book "Emotional Intelligence 2.0"

By Katie Corbett


The area of emotional intelligence, or EQ, that I have concentrated on recently is self-management. That means working to use my awareness of my emotions to actively control what I say and do. I have noticed that I have become more positive, had more positive interactions with others and found greater satisfaction in life overall.


The book, “Emotional Intelligence 2.0”, by Travis Bradberry, gave me several strategies that I have found helpful. One was controlling, and in most cases stopping, the negative self-talk that was happening inside my head. I have discovered that thinking the word “STOP” when I discover I’m headed down a self-deprecating rabbit-hole of thought very helpful. Since doing this:


  1. I can think more clearly without all the negative noise taking up brain space.
  2. I am less anxious.
  3. I can problem-solve faster and arrive more quickly at solutions.
  4. I am less worried of what I suspect others think of me.
  5. I am more confident.
  6. I have silenced my inner critic.
  7. I have realized that many of my worries never come to pass.
  8. When problems come up or bad things happen, I am less likely to dwell on those things.
  9. Instead of dwelling on the past or beating myself up for what I “should have done differently”, I am looking toward the future.
  10. Overall, I am happier, less stressed and more free to be myself.


I’m still working on fully employing this strategy. I’ll be the first to admit that I have a long way to go to catch myself every time. The more times I do silence my inner negative thoughts, the better life is for me and for those around me.


The next time your inner voice tells you something negative, I encourage you to think the word “STOP” and see if that brings silence to your thoughts and peace to your inner world. Maybe thinking “STOP” isn’t the right method for you. To find many other ideas, pick up “Emotional Intelligence 2.0” and find a better solution. I hope you experience some of the changes I have seen in myself in these past few months.


If you find a strategy that works better for you, let me know in the comments. I’d love to hear all about it.


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What is Emotional Intelligence?

Katie Corbett holds the book "Emotional Intelligence 2.0"

By Katie Corbett


I first learned about emotional intelligence (EQ) when I was between jobs and contemplating a move to San Diego. After reading the book that will be the subject of these next few blog posts, I enjoyed the concepts so much that I reached out to the company, TalentSmart, where the concept of emotional intelligence was developed. (Coincidentally, they are located in San Diego!) I wanted to support their work, so I asked if they had any job openings. They did and I had a great interview with them, though I was not offered a position. In addition to providing some interview practice, the company’s concept of emotional intelligence has changed how I interact with others and how I treat myself. Read on to learn more!


The book, “Emotional Intelligence 2.0”, by Travis Bradberry, explains the idea that you can grow in EQ. Here’s a bit more about it, according to the book.


EQ consists of four key areas: Self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, and relationship management.


  • Self-awareness means you know yourself and who you really are.
  • Self-management is the ability to use your awareness of your emotions to actively choose what you say and do.
  • Social awareness is used to recognize and understand the moods of other people.
  • Relationship management is the concept of what to do to build and strengthen relationships.
  • Unlike IQ, which is fixed, a person can continue to increase their EQ.
  • Those with higher EQ have more success in their careers and more satisfaction with life.


I have reencountered EQ and reassessed mine a few times since first picking up this book in 2014. I tend to test high on social awareness and relationship management. I have been working to increase my scores in the areas of self-awareness and self-management. I have noticed a few notable changes during this last round of work, which I will elaborate on in coming posts.


If you want to learn more about EQ, take the assessment for yourself and see what you can do to improve. There are now several available online. I also highly recommend you pick up “Emotional Intelligence 2.0”. It’s life-changing stuff.


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