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Susan Dunn, The EQ Coach, is widely published on the Internet on the subject of emotional intelligence.  She is the featured columnist for "ActivePro," a WebProNews publication, Family-Content.com, AgoraBusiness, CEORefresher, and more.   Some of her articles on emotional intelligence are included here.  


"An Emotionally Intelligence Workplace Culture:  Is It for You?" 

"The Changing Face of America and the Case for Emotional Intelligence"  

"Emotional Intelligence & the Gentle Art of Conversation"  

"How to Build Your Career with Emotional Intelligence"

"How to Manage a Transition Successfully"


by Susan Dunn

“I’ve been doing this for 15 years,” Annette told me. “It just wasn’t called this.” I was explaining to a counselor in Australia about the field of emotional intelligence, and she was sure she’d found it first. Likely you'll feel the same way.

“Oh, I know what you’re talking about,” James tells me, as I present a proposal to coach his staff on EQ. “Team building, leadership, getting along, cutting down on the politics. Why didn’t you say so?”

Emotional intelligence, also known as EQ (and EI) isn’t a new concept. Most people recognize it right away, or parts of it anyway. It’s what used to be called “social skills,” or “people skills,” or “common sense,” or “gut feeling.” And it’s spreading around the world like wildfire.

“Let me leave you with the million Ringgit question,” writes a Malaysian consultant. “Is it imperative to measure our emotional intelligence and take appropriate steps to bridge our EI gaps? Only you can decide. I rest the case with you.”

An Australian reporter writes, “Top leaders are getting in touch with their emotions and those of their staff as intuition and emotional intelligence become the hottest management buzzwords.” And international EQ conferences are planned this summer in the UK and Canada.

Emotional intelligence is spreading around the world because it's needed, and it's far from a buzz word or the fad-du-jour. According to Daniel Goleman, Ph.D., whose book “Emotional Intelligence” popularized the concept some years ago, non-cognitive factors account for about 80% of adult success.

Researchers such as Martin Seligman, Ph.D., Daniel Goleman, Ph.D., Peter Salovey, Ph.D., Reuven Bar-on, Ph.D., Con Stough, Ph.D. wanted to find out what factors besides IQ contributed to our success and happiness. They’ve named the competencies (or qualities, or skills), designed assessments, developed individual and business programs, and made some complex behaviors (like “people skills”) understandable and teachable. Yes, unlike IQ, EQ can be improved over the lifetime and according to Goleman, it’s 2-4 times as important to our success and happiness.


Things like self-awareness, managing our own emotions and those of others, team building, leadership, negotiation and communication, constructive discontent, recognizing nonverbal signs and emotional content in poetry and art, personal power, integrity, focus, being self- motivated and able to set priorities, flexibility, creativity, trust, and good intuition.


Tomorrow, what skills will you need to have at work besides your degree to forge 10 people from 5 different cultures, 4 religions, 2 generations, 6 ethnic backgrounds, 2 sexes, and 4 departments, with 3 learning styles, 5 communication styles, and 4 occupations, 1 of whom is introverted, 1/3rd of whom are left-brained, 1 of whom is hearing-impaired, 4 of whom are depressed, half of whom are single, 3 of whom you’ve never met before, and 3 of whom are speaking a second-language, whose IQs range from 110-150, into a team able to produce a work product to specification, on time, and within budget?

And then pick up your mother from eldercare, and go home to a loving relationship in a strong marriage that nurtures two children?

You'll need emotional intelligence!


It’s expensive in terms of lost money, opportunity, time, relationships, promotions, careers, projects, goals, accomplishments, self-esteem, marriages, physical and emotional health, and even lives.

  • 75% of careers are derailed for reasons related to emotional competencies 
  • 70% of the reasons why customers and clients are lost are EQ-related 
  • 50% of time wasted in business is due to lack of trust 
  • Seniors get worse in hospitals when the physical therapists don’t engage with them 
  • Counseling clients fail to change because their counselors lack empathy or optimism 
  • 50% of marriages fail 
  • Suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death for youths aged 15-24 in the US. 
  • Think this is a result of industrialized society? Think again. Samoa has the highest suicide rate in the world. 
  • Impulsive boys are 3-6x as likely to be violent adolescents. 
  • Low levels of empathy predict poor school performance. 
  • Gifted children suffer from not being able to read social cues which leaves them isolated in childhood 
  •  Doctors with poor EQ skills get sued more 
  • 75-90% of visits to primary care physicians in the US & Canada are due to stress-related problems
  • Pessimists live shorter, unhealthier, unhappier, lives, and are less likely to achieve their potential than optimists 
  • College students in a study with the same IQ and GPA who did not write down their career goals with intentionality were 50% less successful 15 years later 
  • Perfectionists produce, succeed, and have a markedly higher suicide rate.


  • Let me or one of our trained coaches coach you in emotional intelligence.
  • Browse my website for resources to investigate.
  • Take The EQ Foundation Course© or one of the mini-courses.
  • Subscribe to “It’s About My Personal & Professional Development” and “EQ in the Workplace” ezines.
  • Look at eiconsortium.org for some of the latest writings, and also research data confirming the positive results EQ training can bring to an individual and also to an organization.
  • Become curious about learning something foundational that's very different. After all, if you keep doing what you've been doing, you'll keep getting what you've been getting.

    You know there's more involved in success and happiness than cognitive skills alone. Why not investigate the possibilities!


The reptilian brain, our oldest brain, operates at the level of survival instinct. It's the life of easy choices -- Can I eat it? Will it eat me? Can I mate with it?

This brain regulates basic life functions, generates strong primitive emotions needed for survival (lust, fear, aggression), doesn't take orders, and is so far away from "executive central" (the neocortex) it doesn't even know we have one. It is also the seat of addiction. Unmanaged it results in "poor judgment," so increase your awareness and EQ to learn how to incorporate this vital but sometimes troublesome source of knowledge into your life.

1. Hitting your partner instead of hitting the in-box.  EQ means knowing how to manage your anger and the anger of others.

2. Banging the law clerk instead of banging the gavel.  Sex is great at the right time, with the right person, in the right place, and this rarely applies to the workplace. Hire the best candidate, not the spandex mini.

3. Stealing from the staff lounge refrigerator instead of stealing the competitive edge.  Hunger is a basic instinct, but stealing is stealing and this issue is a major cause of daily stress in many offices.

4. Defending your turf instead of defending the merits of your proposal.  Choose the alternative that will bring results, not the one your ego's riding on.

5. Losing a client or sale because you "lose it".  Pain, physical and emotional, can also cause us to do things "without thinking."  It causes us to "flood" and we can't think.

6. Firing a good worker because you're "on fire".  The office thermostat causes a lot of stress in offices. When it gets too hot, we get groggy, then prone to anger and violence.

7. Freezing in the middle of your keynote speech.  The brain can't differentiate between what's real and not real. Speaking isn't life-threatening. It isn't even dangerous, but many of us react as if it were.

8. Pounding your chest instead of pounding the pavement.  Posturing rarely gets you what you want. Instead of bellowing, strutting and bluffing, try honest communication and empathy.

9. Snoozing and losing.  Sleep is primal; get enough or you'll be dosing off in meetings.

10. Shooting up instead of shooting up the corporate ladder.  Addictions reside in the reptilian brain. Please get help if you need to. Passing out at the client-company picnic will ruin your career, and alcohol will ruin your life.

"Ten Emotionally Intelligent Questions to Ask Before You Marry Someone,"
by Susan Dunn

1.  Is it just sexual attraction?  Sexual attraction comes from the reptilian brain and is
automatic and powerful because it relates to our survival. It's not always a basis for living with someone happily. 
Don't let it "hijack" you. Find out what else is there. 
2. Do they like to touch and be touched? This is important to your mental and physical health. 
3. Do they look at your with affection and kindness?  Most communication is nonverbal.  
4. Have you used your thinking brain?  EQ means using all 3 brains.  Are you compatible in your daily habits?  You'll be keeping house together. Do you have the same values and priorities?
5. Does he or she have emotional self-awareness? How are they at empathy?  One of the most predictive traits for compatibility is if you can sense the other's sadness.
6. How optimistic is this person ?  Optimism is the facilitator of all the EQ competencies.  In addition, optimists live longer, enjoy better health, and accomplish more.
7. Are they intentional?  Intentionality, an EQ competency, is saying what you mean and meaning what you say. Also being accountable for the motives behind your actions. If you have
commitment to the relationship, i.e., nobody's going to go away, you'll work through problems differently.
8. How resilient are they?  How do they manage adverse events and setbacks? Have they been able to grow through adversity, not just go through it?
9. How do you and your partner manage anger?  Successful couples soothe one another instead of agitating and escalating.
10. How balanced is their life?  Resilient people combine learning, work and leisure throughout their lifetime.

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