We're hearing more and more about EQ (emotional intelligence) these days, and for good reason. How you handle yourself and others makes a big difference in your success and happiness, both in your career and in your personal life.

Here are ten signs of emotional intelligence:

1. Self-awareness and Self-honesty.
This is the cornerstone of emotional intelligence. Without self-awareness, you can't be emotionally intelligent. It means being able to recognize when you're having an emotion, being able to name it correctly, attribute it to the right source, and to delay acting upon it until you've considered the most positive course of action. It means being able to recognize your own strengths and weaknesses realistically, and not idealistically.

2. Knowing how emotions are caused and the difference between emotions and actions.
This means being able to avoid being overwhelmed by any particular emotion, and being able to delay taking action unti you've considered the consequences of your actions. It also means being able to differentiate between how you feel about something, what you think about something, and not confusing those things with actions.

3. Self-regulation and modulating your emotions.
Having a high frustration tolerance and the ability to regulate your emotions and manage them effectively. Responding to emotions, not reacting. Emotions and behaviors are appropriate to the situation.

4. Empathy.
Able to recognize emotions in others and to know what they're feeling and why. Sensitive to the feelings of others and listening effectively to the feelings of the speaker as well as the content and the words.

5. Motivation and Good Decision-making.
Able to focus and stay on-task; better at handling stress; less impulsive and more self-managed. Able to use emotions to guide yourself to the best decision, rather than being used and overtaken by your emotions, or ignoring them and trying to make decisions on an intellectual basis alone.

6. Increased ability to analyze and understand relationships.
Able to connect with others and maintain strong relationships built on mutual trust and respect; having people you can rely on and with whom you can be your real, true self; being able to handle constructive discontent well.

7. Intuitive.
Able to trust your gut feelings to direct your actions and to make decisions. Knowing what the signals from your body are and what they mean, and using them effectively as guides.

8. Creative and flexible thinking.
Being able to generate alternatives and consider options. Not shutting down in the face of a challenge, but opening up to allow new information and insights in.

9. Integrated self.
All parts work together -- emotional, social, physical, mental, spiritual.

10. Balanced life
A life that includes work, relationships and regular periods of rest, renewal and relaxation.

Emotional intelligence competencies can be learned, and can be increased over your lifetime.

Author's Bio: 

Susan Dunn, M.A. is a personal life coach who helps her clients
succeed by developing their emotional intelligence, understanding their
strengths better, and doing the inner work. You can visit her on the
web at http://www.susandunn.cc