This blog is part of a series of blogs where we explore Emotional Intelligence. We will look at ways to be able to develop and enhance our own perceived levels of Emotional Intelligence.

What is Emotional Intelligence?

To gain a greater understanding you can read a previous blog What is Emotional Intelligence and How Can I develop it, for more detail. Here’s a little detail to get this blog going, Emotional intelligence is all about how well you understand your own emotions and the emotions of others, and the ability to identify and manage them. Emotional Intelligence, also known as “Ei” or “EQ”, is now well established set of “Competencies” that contribute to performance, engagement and success.

Their are five key areas of Emotional Intelligence, Self Perception, Self Expression, Interpersonal, Decision Making and Stress Management. Within each of these areas there are three traits. We are going to discuss each of these traits in more detail with their own blog. We have previous looked at the area of Self Perception in Part 1 – Self Regard, Part 2 – Self Actualisation and Part 3 – Emotional Self Awareness. This week we move on to the area of Self Expression and will be looking at the trait, Emotion Expression.

What is Emotion Expression?

Emotion Expression measures how well you communicate your emotions to the people around you. We express our emotions in many different ways to the outside world. Body language, facial expressions, written and spoken words and the tonality of our voice to name but a few. The expression of our emotions should not be taken lightly, it contributes to the working environment and the more senior a person the more you can look at the environment to understand how well the Leader expresses their own emotions.

“The leaders mood is infectious” Ric Hayden 

How do you express your emotions?

Are you an open book where people know exactly how you feel about something? Or, are you a closed book where no one knows how you feel about anything? Or maybe somewhere in between where you can express emotions as needed in order to build productive relationships.

When Emotion Expression is operating well:

  • People know how you are feeling
  • You create a positive atmosphere most places you go
  • You can lift other spirts when needed
  • Contributes to a productive working environment

When Emotion Expression is low:

  • May feel depressed, guilty and sad
  • Often experiences apathy
  • Could create street for others leading to bad team morale
  • Can be an “emotional” drain on others

Developing Emotion Expression

Emotion Expression in itself is being able to show to people how you feel. Some days could be bad and other days could be good, combined with other traits of emotional intelligence could mean that you are over doing the downs and dragging people along with you. Or the opposite and overdoing the good days, which can be annoying to those having a bad day.

During Learning Cog’s Emotional Intelligence (EQ) Masterclass, starting with ‘Self-Perception’, we explain how to assess you own emotional intelligence and how to develop your EQ awareness. Here in this blog we have added some areas to think about when developing Emotion Expression.


It is always good to observes the way other manage their emotions and express them to others. Find a few people and ask yourself these questions. It is always good to observe a few people rather than just one as you will get a well rounded view.

  • Who do you know that is open, warm and engaging? Note the names of a few people and try to observe what they do
  • What feeling words do they use? Do I know what they mean?
  • How do they look like? (body language, fail expression)
  • Can you tell from there body what they are feeling?
  • What facial expressions do they have?

Self Coaching

  • How often do I talk about my emotions?
  • Would people know how I am feeling? Do I talk about my emotions all of the time or do I close them for people not to know?
  • How do I express my emotions differently at home as opposed to when I am at work?
  • Do people exploit my expression of emotions?
  • How do people react to me in general?
  • Are there certain times when people know to stay away from me?
  • Would people know if I was feeling confident or not?
  • What can I do differently now I have answered?

Thinking and Reflection

Here is an exercise for you to complete to help build your understanding of your own Emotion Expression.

Exercise: Sorting out ones feelings

Use the list below to try and sort out these feelings into one of these four categories.

  1. Sadness Based Feelings
  2. Anger Based Feelings
  3. Fear Based Feelings
  4. Enjoyment Based Feelings

Appreciated, Belittled, Bored, Busy, Cared for, Cheerful, Confident, Considerate, Controlled, Criticised, Curious, Delighted, Depressed, Disappointed, Disheartened, Disrespected, Distressed, Enthusiastic, Excited, Forced, Fortunate, Glad, Grateful, Happy, Healthy, Hopeful, Hopeless, Hyperactive, Imprisoned, Insecure, Interrogated, Invalidated, Joyful, Judged, Lonely, Loved, Misunderstood, Mocked, Neglected, Optimistic, Passionate, Peaceful, Pleased, Pressured, Proud, Punished, Resentful, Sad, Satisfied, Stressed, Strong, Tearful, Tender, Threatened, Underestimated, Understood, Unheard, Unseen, Valued, Warm-hearted, Weak

Now that you have them into the four categories, look at each of the feelings and highlight the ones that you express and people are able to see.

Take a moment to reflect on which category you express the most and think about the impact that you have on the people around when you express these emotions.

Do you over express some and under express others, or are you able to find a balance?


It is important to actual do something when taking part in any self development. The practical is more important than the theory.

For those with very high Emotion Expression 

  • Try to be less emotional…
  • At your next meeting explain things in fact and do not add how you feel about it.
  • Make sure you don’t talk about your feelings all the time, this can become wearing on others and cause them to stop listening.
  • Notice what happens to you when you express Happiness, Excitement, Sadness, Anger, Fear….

For those that have very low emotional expression

  • Tell someone how you are feeling.
  • Ask someone to tell you how you are feeling.
  • Observe people that can express their emotions and understand how to express yours.
  • Take small steps, decide when you are going express and emotion and what that emotion will be. Notice where you feel it, how does your body feel.
  • What is your body language like when you express emotions?
  • Notice what your body language says about you, who is watching?
  • What impact do you have on people now?

The more time you spend observing yourself, the more you develop your Emotion Expression. Give yourself time, it may feel mechanical, clumsy and awkward at first, but with practice it will become quick and easy and authentic. Why not get in touch and talk to us more about developing Emotional Intelligence in yourself, your Leadership Team or your whole business.

Look out for the next blog on Developing Emotional Intelligence – Part 5 – Assertiveness

Or read previous blogs:

Did you know we currently offer [Virtual] Emotional Intelligence testing and training?

Before the workshop you will be invited to take part in a pre-course activity which includes an online self-assessment producing a 20 page personal Emotional Intelligence Report.

An employee’s skills and qualifications are important for success within their role. An employee’s Emotional Intelligence is just as important, if not more so, for fulfilment within, or potentially beyond, their current role. The Emotional Intelligence in the Workplace workshop is designed to as part of an individual’s development in work settings. It helps individuals focus on the impact of emotional intelligence at work and offers suggestions for working more effectively in one’s role, with colleagues, managers and clients.

  • Understand the impact of Emotional Intelligence on themselves and the people around them
  • Quickly identify patterns in own and others Emotional Intelligence
  • Create a clear, organised understanding of their strengths and weaknesses in a constructive way.
  • Effectively measure where they currently are and wants to be by comparing results against sample groups of general population
  • Make instant connections between different subscales of Emotional Intelligence and help leverage EI strengths and improve EI weaknesses.
  • Create an action plan to develop key areas of Emotional Intelligence
  • Become a more effect member of the team and organisation– This virtual session is 4 hours with a 1 hour break.
    – All of our Virtual Learning workshops are conducted via Zoom.
    – Virtual learning begins at 10.30am through to 12.30pm and then again from 1.30pm to 3.30pm. 
    – You will receive an electronic version of your Emotional Intelligence report, and workshop materials will be sent via post.

To discover more about Emotional Intelligence and how LearningCog can help you, head over to our dedicated Emotional Intelligence page.