5 Mistakes Emotionally Intelligent People Never Make

We want to shake things up a bit, so we are pleased to introduce Cloris Kylie, a professional performance coach, as our first monthly guest blogger. We hope to cover many topics outside of our branding and digital marketing sweet spot by sharing thoughts authored by our partners, friends, clients and advisors. Thank you for your interest!

“Emotional Intelligence Quotient” or EQ has become such a buzzword that we often tune out when we hear it. Many of us perceive “emotional intelligence” as a clever term to convince us to be more empathetic.

However, emotional intelligence goes well beyond empathy. When we’re emotionally intelligent, we have mastered our emotions.

Which is no easy task.

You might have witnessed people “lose it” at work and in business. They cry in frustration. They shout and slam doors. They threaten to leave. They plead. In short, they let their negative emotions drive their behavior.

Gossip usually follows a colorful display of negative emotions. Whoever is the target of this water-cooler talk ends up with long-lasting damage to his or her personal brand, and anyone with a weak personal brand has little chance of professional advancement.

This is why as overused as the term “emotional intelligence” might be, we must pay attention to it.

Below are five common mistakes emotionally intelligent people never make. Avoid these mistakes to keep your personal brand strong and advance on the path to success.

1. You don’t pay attention to non-verbal signals

Most of our communication is non-verbal, and being able to read between the lines (or between the gestures) is essential to be able to collaborate with others and to exert influence.

Focus on the non-verbal clues of those around you so you can ask the right questions. For example, if your gut feeling tells you people are confused, ask whether you can explain yourself better. They will feel that you “get them” and will be compelled to share their ideas with you. When you’re a good listener, you become an ally.

2. You believe that emotions should not play a role in business or in decision-making

You might have heard statements such as “Emotions have no place in business,” “Don’t let your emotions get in the way,” or “Don’t let them see you cry.”

Many supposedly savvy business people act under the premise that being in touch with one’s emotions is a weakness when, in reality, it’s a strength. What constitutes a weakness is to not recognize our emotions or to let negative emotions rule our thoughts and behaviors.

Your intuition is one of your most powerful tools for decision-making. Your gut feeling tells you what your conscious mind is too busy to notice. However, for you to access your intuition, you must first acknowledge your emotions, and then figure out the root cause of any negative emotions.

Stop calling emotions a hindrance, and instead, view them as a guidance system. My rule of thumb is, “I never do anything that feels off.”

3. You call yourself “impatient”

Adopting a label such as “impatient” to define yourself provides an excuse for impulsive behavior and inconsistency. Many businesses and projects with incredible potential were abandoned for the sake of impatience. Many other businesses and projects produced poor or mediocre results because of the haste with which they were planned and executed.

Impatience results in loss of opportunity and added work to fix the mistakes created by the rush. Boost your EQ by working diligently to reach your goals while preparing for contingencies. Trust in your ability to succeed, even if the process to create what you desire takes longer than you expected.

4. When people are upset, you tend to assume it’s because of something you did or said

Being “easily offended” conveys lack of control over your emotions, which translates into a low EQ.

It’s tempting to blame those who are upset for their own lack of emotional control. It’s easy to say that they should be the ones to “fix” themselves. However, blaming others is giving them control of our thoughts and behaviors. Having a high EQ requires us to take charge of our own life, not of the lives of others.

Instead of becoming offended or blaming others for your current situation, become a more attentive listener. Ask questions to determine whether there is a problem that needs to be solved, and whether you need to be part of the solution.

Keep in mind that everyone around you is dealing with his or her own set of challenges, which in most cases are not related to you.

5. You regret things you’ve done or said when you were upset

Regret is a clear sign that you let your negative emotions reign. Instead of feeling guilty for what you did, choose to see your past actions as clues to learn about yourself.

What made you lose control of your emotions? What are your “hot buttons” and why did they become “hot” in the first place? You might discover beliefs that don’t serve you, and since beliefs are only thoughts you keep thinking, you have the power to change or eliminate limiting beliefs.

Decide to take control of your emotions, and start using your intuition as a compass that will guide you to deeper connections and more rewarding social interactions.

Question for you: Do you think emotional intelligence can be learned or are some people “just born with it”?


Cloris Kylie, MBA, is a performance coach, seminar leader, author, and radio show host. Her background in engineering, marketing, and management allows her to create effective, easy-to-implement strategies for her coaching clients and audiences. She offers coaching and training in personal branding, communications, public speaking, social media platforms, Internet marketing, and career development.

Cloris has over 10 years of experience helping professionals reach their goals, and has completed specialized training in personal branding, leadership, public speaking, positive power and influence, negotiation, and communications.

An advanced Toastmaster and sought-after lecturer, Cloris has been featured on various television and radio shows, and her articles have been published on personal development and business websites with millions of followers.

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