Emotional Intelligence Progression

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Over the many years that…..

  • I have had a very keen interest in emotional intelligence,
  • I have supported children in developing it,
  • I have read extensively about it,
  • I have helped parent/carers support their children to develop it,
  • I have written about it,
  • I have explored older generations’ approaches to it,
  • I have delivered training on it and
  • I have been on my own journey with developing it……

……I have started to see a ‘road map’ for progression in emotional intelligence. I am not sure if this would be of use to anyone not as interested in this topic as I am and I suspect I will continue to tweak this, but I thought it could be a useful tool for reflection – if nothing else! I would be interested to hear anyone’s thoughts about it and if they found it useful in any way.  The brilliant thing about emotional intelligence is that it can be taught of course and having a road map of development, I guess the next step would be for me to fine tune a curriculum! Here it is…..

EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE PROGRESSION

Stage 1

  • Emotions control you.
  • You move straight to impulsive reactions once your emotions have been triggered.
  • You blame others for how you feel: ‘You made me angry’.
  • You never reflect on what happened after an emotional response.
  • You don’t notice or understand the link between emotions and what triggers them for you.
  • You don’t express how you feel, using words.
  • You suppress some emotions – so they erupt as secondary emotions e.g. when you feel vulnerable you become angry or when you feel angry, you feel full of shame but you are not aware of any of this.
  • Emotions either excessive or under-expressed in relation to situation.
  • You are caught in the pattern of past trauma repeatedly and unconsciously triggering the same emotional responses in similar situations.
  • The expression of your emotions and resulting behaviour can be destructive and make situations worse for yourself and others.
  • You can unconsciously carry a negative emotion from an earlier trigger and take it out on someone else later.

Stage 2

  • You start to notice some emotions after they have happened.
  • You can reflect a little on what happened after an emotional response.
  • You start to notice the impact of your emotional reactions.
  • You might express some strong emotions using words.
  • You start to recognise the physical symptoms of different emotions and become aware of the impact they have on your body.
  • You have a lot of emotional responses to things that have already happened (e.g. ruminating about the past) and things that might happen in the future. (e.g. being anxious about how something might turn out or catastrophising about the future). You see yourself as a ‘worrier’ because of this.

Stage 3

  • You can readily express how you feel using words.
  • You see the emotional impact your responses have on others.
  • You make reparations for any harm your emotional responses might have caused.
  • You start to see some of your emotional responses as automatic and entrenched patterns. e.g. I always get angry when I think someone is not listening to me.
  • You start to see the link between emotions and your thoughts about yourself. e.g. I think people believe I am stupid, so I am sensitive to anything I interpret as a person accusing me of being stupid and this triggers me to be angry or upset.
  • Emotions become more acceptable and you expect to feel both comfortable and uncomfortable emotions.
  • You start to become aware that not all emotional responses are rational.
  • You start to become aware of the impact of mood on your outlook and become accepting of this.

Stage 4

  • Some emotions still catch you off guard but in the main you can see yourself starting to feel an emotion close to the time it arises.
  • You reflect after you have had an emotional response and consider what it might teach you about yourself.
  • You fully acknowledge the effect emotions have on you.
  • You can ‘sit’ with negative emotions and know they will pass.
  • You can take a pause between the trigger and your reaction and start to see that there is flexibility in the way you respond to emotions and their triggers.

Stage 5

  • You recognise emotions as they arise in the moment. You are curious about them and very aware of these emotions.
  • You don’t judge yourself for having emotions and you don’t assign judgement to emotions. i.e. they are not ‘good’ or bad’, they just ‘are’.
  • You can see the message your emotion might be telling you and make a conscious decision to act or not act on this message.
  • You never blame others for the way you feel.
  • Emotions arrive and leave you without complication.
  • You manage your emotions with ease as they no longer trigger unconscious responses or behaviours.
  • You know the transient nature of emotions and their associated thoughts and this means you are able to manage your responses almost as if you were observing them from a distance. 

 

Still playing…..

Stage

1

2

3

4

5

Emotional acknowledgement

 

 

Emotions not acknowledged or considered.

 

You start to notice some emotions after they have happened.

 

Emotions become more acceptable and you expect to feel both comfortable and uncomfortable emotions.

Some emotions still catch you off guard but in the main you can see yourself starting to feel an emotion close to the time it arises.

You recognise emotions as they arise in the moment. You are curious about them and very aware of these emotions.

Emotional expression

You can move straight to impulsive reactions once your emotions have been triggered or you suppress emotions.

Some emotional responses can be either excessive or under-expressed in relation to situation.

Emotional reactions start to become appropriate to the situations.

 

Emotions are mostly acknowledged to yourself and considered responses shared only when appropriate.

Emotions are mostly acknowledged to yourself and considered responses shared only when appropriate.

Perceived cause

You fully blame others and external situations for how you feel.

e.g. ‘You made me angry’

You have emotional responses to things that have already happened (e.g. ruminating about the past) and things that might happen in the future. (e.g. being anxious about how something might turn out or catastrophising about the future). You see yourself as a ‘worrier’ because of this.

You start to see patterns between events and the emotions they trigger unique to you. You start to ‘see’ how you will react emotionally to different situations.

You ‘own’ your part in your emotional responses and believe they are the result of your unique patterns in thoughts, emotions, behaviour,(personality) and your values, opinions and past experiences etc

You fully understand that differently people will react differently to the same situation.

You believe your emotional response is down to ego identification.

 

You never blame others for the way you feel.

 

Control

Emotions control you

Little control

Moving towards control

You have control of your emotional expression except in extreme cases.

You have control of your emotions.

Language

 Emotions not described using words

You might express some strong emotions using words.

 

You can readily express how you feel using words.

 

You can express how you feel using a wide range of vocabulary.

You can express how you feel in the moment and how you will respond.

Triggers

Don’t link triggers to emotions

You start to see some triggers as causes to some emotional responses.

You start to see some of your emotional responses as automatic and entrenched patterns to particular triggers. e.g. I always get angry when I think someone is not listening to me.

Triggers do not cause automatic emotional responses.

Triggers are assessed in the moment for their genuine ‘threat’ or need to be sorted.

Emotion experience

You don’t ‘see’ your emotions arriving and you’re not able to link physical sensations to different emotions.

 

Primary emotions are complicated by secondary emotions eg. when you feel vulnerable you become angry or when you feel angry, you feel full of shame but you are not aware of any of this.

You start to recognise the physical symptoms of different emotions and become aware of the impact they have on your body.

 

 

 

 

 

 

You can see how most emotions affect you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You fully acknowledge the effect emotions have on you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You don’t judge yourself for having emotions and you don’t assign judgement to emotions. i.e. they are not ‘good’ or bad’, they just ‘are’.

 

Emotions arrive and leave with little complication.

 

 

Awareness

You are caught in the pattern of past trauma repeatedly and unconsciously triggering the same emotional responses in similar situations.

 

 

 

 

 

 

You can reflect a little on what happened after an emotional response and start to anticipate how you might feel in different situations.

 

 

 

 

 

 

You start to see the link between emotions and your thoughts about yourself. e.g. I think people believe I am stupid, so I am sensitive to anything I interpret as a person accusing me of being stupid and this triggers me to be angry or upset.

You start to become aware that not all emotional responses are rational.

 

You reflect after you have had an emotional response and consider what it might teach you about yourself.

You can ‘sit’ with negative emotions and know they will pass.

 

 

 

 

 

You know the transient nature of emotions and their associated thoughts and this means you are able to manage your responses almost as if you were observing them from a distance.

 

 

 

 

 

Manifestation/

outcome

The expression of your emotions and resulting behaviour can be destructive and make situations worse for yourself and others.

 

 

 

Molly Potter 2022

You start to notice the impact of your emotional reactions and this can mean you sometimes temper them/express them more fully.

 

 

 

You see the emotional impact your responses have on others and are able to make some reparations where appropriate.

 

 

 

 

You can take a pause between the trigger and your reaction and start to see that there is flexibility in the way you respond to emotions and their triggers.

 

 

 

You can see the message your emotion might be telling you and make a conscious decision to act or not act on this message.

Emotions arrive and leave you without complication.

You manage your emotions with ease.