A high-performing team is more than a bunch of great employees thrown together. Just like it takes more than two great conversationalists to make a positive relationship!
Emotional intelligence skills are very often the missing ingredients that enhance the way we influence, perform, and interact successfully with others. If you’re creating an emotional intelligence training program for others, this guide will show you how.
Do you help others develop their EQ skills? You can now create and deliver emotional intelligence training for employees, coaching clients, or therapy patients using Quenza’s $1 trial.
Training Others in Emotional Intelligence (EI)
Emotional intelligence (EQ or EI) training is the development of practical knowledge and skills that enable individuals to perceive, express, regulate, and use emotions effectively.
Although ‘hard’ or functional skills have been the focus of employee training programs for many years, EQ development initiatives have only recently begun to receive the attention they deserve.
Emotional intelligence training aims to develop one or all of the following skills, according to Goleman’s Model of Emotional Intelligence:
- Emotional self-awareness: the ability to perceive emotions and appreciate their impact on others
- Self-regulation: how well we manage our emotions and react to our experiences
- Motivation: the ability to drive ourselves toward goal-oriented action
- Empathy: how ably we can understand others’ feelings and adopt their perspectives
- Social skills: which determine how well we navigate interpersonal relationships to work, interact, and connect with others.
Can Emotional Intelligence Be Taught?
While traditionally harder to quantify than functional or specialist skills, the good news is that EQ skills are absolutely learnable.
Even better, they can be acquired at any age, according to emotional intelligence expert Daniel Goleman.
EQ skills are absolutely learnable. Even better, they can be acquired at any age, according to emotional intelligence expert Daniel Goleman.
A great variety of validated assessments now enable us to measure EQ’s different facets, which has allowed for the development and evaluation of tools, exercises, and other interventions aimed at improving specific skills.
A few psychometric assessments commonly used within emotional intelligence training initiatives include the:
- Mayer–Salovey–Caruso Emotional Intelligence Tests (MSCEIT)
- Bar-On Emotional Quotient Inventory (EQ-i)
- Self-Report Emotional Intelligence Test (SREIT)
These can play a valuable role in helping trainers identify strengths and development points that can then be used to develop emotional intelligence training objectives.
Personalized EQ programs also involve relevant exercises to cultivate skills in certain areas, like the Increasing Awareness of Your Emotions activity shown below:
So yes, emotional intelligence can be taught.
With a well-designed EI program and exercises, training can even be an engaging experience.
6 Steps For Developing Your EI Program
There are many different ways to design an effective EI training program, and what works well in a certain setting (e.g. an organization) may not fly well in another (e.g. a primary school).
As a trainer, therapist, or coach, the first thing you’ll need to do is set relevant goals based on your audience and their context.
Setting Goals and Objectives
While your specific learning objectives will vary, it’s not a bad idea to base them on example skills from recognized EI frameworks.
Consider the following examples from the AMA’s Leading With Emotional Intelligence Program:
- Apply empathy as a relationship-building/influencing strategy
- Use active listening/paraphrasing/summarizing/body language to establish constructive two-way discussions
- Recognize and consciously leverage emotional data to build positive team relationships
- Gain emotional insights to understand and effectively implement organizational change
- Identify emotionally intelligent communication strategies to generate and maintain healthy conflict
The following are drawn from Goleman’s 5-factor model:
- Understand how others’ actions impact your emotional state
- Develop strategies to pursue goals and opportunities when faced with setbacks
- Successfully expressing ideas and information with empathy
- Self-managing difficult impulses and emotions successfully
With a few core learning objectives in place, it’s much easier to organize the materials that you’ll need to inform each objective and design a training program.
Developing a Program For Employees in the Workplace
There are a few practical things to consider when developing a training program for employees, starting with the format of your training and how you’ll evaluate its success.
This list of steps gives a broad overview of the steps involved:
- Assess your employees’ training needs. What are your program’s key focus areas? (e.g. what are the ‘success criteria’ for certain roles?)
- Set learning objectives: Ideally, based on the data you’ve gathered from your assessments
- Design and develop training materials: What exercises, interventions, or lessons will help your team meet their learning objectives? If you’re using Quenza, you can start to build learning modules at this stage.
- Roadmap your resources: Thinking of each activity or tutorial as a ‘building block,’ what’s the most logical sequence of steps for your program? With Quenza, here’s where you can organize them into a program using the Pathway Builder, shown above.
- Launch your program: Share it directly with individual clients or groups (you can do this automatically using the Quenza client app)
- Evaluate and improve: Make sure to include a feedback form to gather your learners’ insights and refine your program. You can easily customize the Quenza Coach Evaluation Form to suit your team.
How To Train Your Clients: 3 Activities
Not sure where to start?
Try customizing these Quenza Expansions (available with a Quenza subscription), so they align with your goals.
- Emotion Regulation Wheel: This 9-part exercise, shown above, helps learners explore how they deal with emotions and plan a strategy for the future.
- Identifying Emotional Avoidance Strategies: In this exercise, learners can uncover some of the subtle strategies that use to avoid unpleasant emotions in daily life.
- Building Emotional Awareness: With this reflection, individuals can work through meditation and several questions that encourage emotional awareness.
Crafting Your Modules: An Outline Example
To create learning modules for each objective with Quenza’s training development toolkit, all you need to do is:
- Develop Activities for each theme (e.g. Emotional Awareness or Motivation). Quenza’s drag-and-drop Activity Builder tools, shown above, are an easy way to craft worksheets, exercises, and lessons from blank templates, or you can customize an Expansion for a shortcut.
- Organize your Activities into Pathways. Here, you can determine the intervals between each step to send your content automatically upon completion, or according to a schedule.
For a closer and more in-depth guide, take a look at our resource: How To Create An Online Course With The Quenza Platform.
5+ Topics and Content Ideas For Your Sessions
There’s no one right way to go about designing a motivational EI training program, but if you’re looking for inspiration, the following might be a helpful starting point.
- Four Branch Model of EI – Mayer and Salovey’s pioneering framework identified four skills categories that can be broken down into learning modules: Perceiving Emotions, Understanding Emotions, Managing Emotions, and Facilitating Thought Using Emotions.
- Four Quadrants of Emotional Intelligence – Based on the quadrants outlined in Daniel Goleman’s model, a “general” program might focus on four areas: Self-Awareness, Social Awareness, Self-Management, and Relationship Management.
Of course, you can also focus on specific skills that align with employee roles or a client’s particular development points:
- Empathy training: Tools like Quenza’s Apologizing Effectively Expansion can be useful here, or you might create your own exercises and worksheets
- Emotional expression: Relevant content here might include Thought/Behavior diaries customized to your clients’ needs and aspirations
- Motivation: Using an exercise like Seeing Through the Illusion of Need Projection is a unique way for clients to learn more about their emotional needs by considering their goals.
Best App For Emotional Intelligence Virtual Training
It goes without saying that EQ training can be resource-intensive, especially if you’re helping a large group or organizational team.
The first thing you should do when developing a personalized, evidence-based solution like emotional intelligence training is choose a platform that will help you organize it.
The first thing you should do when developing an intervention as personalized and evidence-based as emotional intelligence training is choose a platform that will help you organize it.
Quenza is an app that supports the whole process from A to Z.
With Quenza, you can plan, build, launch, and manage EQ training in a few simple steps:
- Develop your content with the Activity Builder
- Compile it into a program, package, or online course using Pathway Tools, and
- Share it with individuals or teams using Quenza’s free client app.
The following materials and resources are a few amazing starting points.
10 Materials and Resources in Quenza
Here are a few useful forms that you can use to set your emotional intelligence training objectives:
- In life coaching, the Wheel of Needs Expansion may help clients explore how satisfied or unsatisfied their basic psychological needs are, and set goals based on their unmet needs.
- This Life Domain Satisfaction is another way you to tailor EQ training to a client’s current life challenges, and
- Once goals are established, the Client Self-Contract template is a great way for clients to commit to their own EQ training outcomes.
You’ll also want to check out the following exercises and games that will help you develop emotional intelligence skills in others.
5 Exercises and Games You Can Apply
- Quenza’s Emotion Masks Expansion is a worksheet that develops emotional awareness, expression, and regulation skills.
- Learning To Say “No”: This lesson outlines seven general guidelines and practical advice for saying no in an emotionally intelligent way.
- The Effects of Language on Thinking, Emotion, and Physiology: In this exercise, learners work on increasing their awareness to better choose their communication strategies.
- This Pushing The Ball Under Water metaphor is a useful tool for building up emotional expression and processing abilities.
- The Passengers on The Bus Metaphor, shown above, is a useful way to frame our emotional experiences.
Finally, here are further useful resources for your sessions and programs:
- Quenza’s Session Notes for Clients can be shared as is with individual coachees using Quenza Files, or sent out to whole coaching groups.
- In this guide, you can learn How To Create Feedback Forms, along with three useful templates to help you measure the efficacy of your EQ program.
EQ skills might not feature on your organization’s P&L, but they’re hugely influential on your company’s performance and success. The same applies for empathy skills in life—while intangible, they a long way to positive, harmonious relationships.
If you’re interested in offering emotional intelligence training as a provider, it’s a highly rewarding job. Use this guide to simplify your whole planning and implementation process, and don’t forget to start your $1, 30-day trial of Quenza for all the tools you’ll need!
- ^ Goleman, D. (1995). Emotional intelligence. New York: Bantam Books.
- ^ Goleman, D. (2021). Leadership: The Power of Emotional Intelligence. More Than Sound LLC.
- ^ Nortje, A. (2021). Assessing Emotional Intelligence: 19 Valuable Scales and PDFs. Retrieved from https://positivepsychology.com/emotional-intelligence-scales/
- ^ Mayer, J. D., Salovey, P., & Caruso, D. R. (2002). Mayer–Salovey–Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test (MSCEIT) User’s Manual. MHS Publishers.
- ^ Bar-On, R. (1997). Bar-On Emotional Quotient Inventory: Technical manual. Multi-Health Systems.
- ^ Schutte, N. S., Malouff, J. M., Hall, L. E., Haggerty, D. J., Cooper, J. T., Golden, C. J., & Dornheim, L. (1998). Development and validation of a measure of emotional intelligence. Personality and Individual Differences, 25, 167–177.
- ^ American Management Association. (2018). Leading With Emotional Intelligence Learning Objectives. Retrieved from https://www.amanet.org/assets/1/6/2133.pdf
- ^ Mayer, J., & Salovey, P. (1997). What is Emotional Intelligence? In P. Salovey and D. Sluyter (Eds). Emotional Development and Emotional Intelligence. New York: Basic Books.
I am the Medical Director of a Physician Assistant program. This is a fast moving high intensity learning environment which is a hotbed for emotions to run wild. Other Medical Directors have used EQ to assist in managing emotions during this training program and to prevent “burnout” in medical practitioners in general. I am interested in learning how to become a a facilitator in teaching EQ
Jerry E. Dempsey, M.D.
University of the Cumberlands Northern KY Campus
Physician Assistants Program
That’s wonderful Jerry, thank you for starting the conversation and I hope this article has been a helpful starting point.
If you’re looking to exchange ideas with some of your peers, have you tried leaving a post in the Community section? It’s a fantastic place to find out what others are doing with their practices and programs.