EPMEPM: Productivity

Ush Dhanak: 3 ways Emotional Intelligence helps achieve your goals

Whenever we set ourselves new goals, both professionally and personally, we tend to focus on the end result – and in many cases our good intentions slip. But Ush Dhanak demonstrates how developing greater self-awareness in three key areas can help us achieve what we set out to do.

How can you maintain the best of intentions you have whenever you set new goals for yourself or your agency?

By working on aspects of your emotional intelligence (EQ), it becomes easier to stay on track. Not only will you develop more understanding of the importance of what you committed to, it will help you develop the inner self-confidence that you can achieve all that you set out to do.

By developing more EQ, you also develop closer relationships and become a role model for those around you. But intentions made from a frail or weak emotional foundation will nearly always fail. They often appear to others like mere wishes rather than commitments.

Start working on the following three areas of EQ to build a solid foundation and a rudder for future direction. This will guide you in the commitments you make, both in business and in your personal life.


By working on your self-awareness, you become more conscious of your own feelings and how they affect your behaviour. You are better able to control emotions and regulate their effect on you; you grow your personal power to know what you’re really capable of, and you have greater understanding of your strengths and limitations.

It’s easy to see how developing self-awareness might help you stay on track and achieve the goals you set.

By understanding how you react in certain situations, you are more prepared for anything that life throws at you. There are fewer ‘surprises’ and you can plan ahead with more confidence knowing that, if difficulties arise, you are a purposeful human being with the power to overcome them.

Self-awareness helps you with emotional balance and helps you stay stress-free, even in pressure situations.

Work on your self-awareness and self-assessment by:

  • Labelling emotions – naming emotions reduces their intensity and limits potentially negative outcomes
  • Learning basic meditation – mindfulness techniques can help you relax, be more comfortable with your emotions, and make fewer rash judgments
  • Connecting emotions with specific events – making you less likely to act rashly
  • Self-reflection – make time daily to reflect on what’s important in your life
  • Writing things down – keeping a journal may help you improve understanding of your thoughts and feelings
  • Seeking feedback – ask trusted friends or colleagues for feedback about how they see you react in given situations


Ever heard the phrase, ‘He’s his own worst enemy’?

The best-laid plans are often derailed, not because of external factors beyond our control – but because we sabotage them ourselves.

It’s easy to allow your emotions to get the better of you. We may think we are in control, but emotions have a habit of hijacking our plans, causing disruptive results and sending us off track.

If you master self-management, you display more self-control and are better able to keep disruptive emotions and impulses in check. You think positively, maintain high standards of honesty and live your values; you are open to change, innovation and new approaches. You are proactive, resilient, intentional and look to achieve higher standards all the time.

Can you see how this could help keep you on track with your goals?

Work on your self-management by:

  • Starting with self-awareness – this will give you the foundation you need to exert more control over your emotions and behaviour
  • Recognising the tell-tale physical signs of emotional ‘hijack’ –what happens when you are about to react emotionally?
  • Taking a deep breath – when you feel a stress response, take a breather.
  • Delay decisions – next time you recognise emotions taking over, delay your reaction and any decisions you need to make
  • Acknowledge your values and ambitions – write down your beliefs, goals and desires
  • Practise not taking the easy option – unless it’s in line with your values and goals
  • Practise saying ‘no’ –it’s important to be able to say ‘no’ sometimes if you want to say ‘yes’ to your goals!


Your goals may be personal ones, but you never act as an island.

Your thoughts, feelings and actions affect others in both your personal and professional lives.

Most people will identify their best times in life as time spent with those closest to them: essentially we are social beings, though we all show this in different ways. This means that, while the foundation of emotional intelligence is self-awareness, there is an important social element to it too.

By recognising and harnessing the power of our relationships, we get the ‘buy-in’ of others; we become more social, accepting of others and adaptable. We can use the collective power to help us stay on track with what we hope to achieve.

Work on your social awareness by:

  • Practising listening – we have two ears and one mouth; by starting to use our ears more and mouth less, we tap into others’ thoughts and feelings
  • Working on communication skills – are you understanding messages from others and communicating your own needs clearly enough?
  • Developing more empathy – emotional self-awareness helps you recognise similar emotions in others. Empathising with others will make them feel more at ease, helping you build rapport and develop closer relationships
  • Thinking about the needs of others – rather than being wrapped up in our own selves, we need to practise anticipating and recognising the needs of others
  • Resolving conflicts and disputes – don’t let problems fester; work to negotiate and resolve disputes before they snowball
  • Setting collaborative goals – if your goals include others, you are more likely to help each other stick to them.

By working on these three key elements of emotional intelligence, you may be able to resurrect intentions and commitments that you thought were dead in the water.

Then you have a blueprint for success for the rest of your life.

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