Emotional intelligence is more than recognising, labelling, and responding to our own emotions

Building our emotional intelligence is wider and deeper than a lot of people consider.

While acknowledging and navigating our internal emotional landscape is essential, true emotional intelligence goes beyond self-awareness. It encompasses critical skills such as engaging in crucial conversations, demonstrating empathy, fostering relationships, setting and achieving personal goals, maintaining optimism during challenges, being flexible and agile, and approaching the world with a sense of curiosity. These skills are underpinned by self-awareness, but it is not the only element of emotional intelligence. Emotional intelligence is a more comprehensive and inclusive concept than commonly believed.

The 2023 World Economic Future of Jobs report has identified 10 key work skills needed in the future of work. These are:

  1. Analytical thinking
  2. Creative thinking
  3. Resilience, flexibility, and agility
  4. Motivation and self-awareness
  5. Curiosity and lifelong learning
  6. Technological literacy
  7. Dependability and attention to detail
  8. Empathy and active listening
  9. Leadership and social influence
  10. Quality control


There are multiple emotional intelligence qualities required within these job skills. Daniel Goleman states “As much as 80% of adult “success” comes from EQ.”

If we were to only focus on the capability of recognising, labelling, and responding to our own emotions, it would be a bit like trying to kayak without a paddle, you are missing critical parts that activate your journey and give you momentum.

Take for example Mandy who began as the leader within a new workplace where she didn’t know anyone very well. She had to employ her skills of observation, curiosity, active listening and empathy to ascertain how this workplace ran, and where she could support them to add value. Whilst being mindful of her own emotional state, she also needed to employ additional emotional-social skills to enhance her leadership.

Emotional Intelligence is comprehensive and complex, yet absolutely vital for becoming future-prepared. It is not a skim-the-surface area of development, yet requires ongoing commitment and work to learn, apply and refine. But it is pivotal to work success.

So how might you level up your leadership in 2024 by developing your EQ skills?

  1. Purchase my workbook Levelled-Up Leadership, which guides you through exploring and reflecting upon different elements related to EQ.
  2. Join our Leadership series 
  3. Contact me to discuss how this could look in your workplace or school.

Need a speaker?

There are plenty of speakers to choose from. I am not the norm. You won’t be bored to tears by the same ole’ approach and dribble. How about bringing Mary-Anne for the conference or all-staff day.

Give me a stage and I’ll own it. Give me a room and I’ll energise it. Give me your people and I’ll inform and inspire them. 

Need virtual delivery – no sweat! I have facilitated virtual full and half-day workshops, virtual keynote speaking at online conferences, and might I say, you still get the Mary-Anne goodness you deserve!

More details here


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