How to Develop and Improve Emotional Intelligence

Some people are born with emotional intelligence while others can think of it as a skill set that needs to be acquired. With practice, it’s possible to develop and improve emotional intelligence.

A Grain of Salt | ElbyJames
5 min readNov 16, 2022


Woman sitting in the street
Photo by Joshua Rawson-Harris on Unsplash

You’ve seen them: The quarterback who appears to be cool as a cucumber on the final drive of the Super Bowl when down by six points. Or, the hostage negotiator who’s case begins with a person threatening to kill others seems to be cool as a cucumber .

That’s because they may possess a certain skill set in spades — emotional intelligence.

The theory of emotional intelligence and the term itself originated at Yale and the University of New Hampshire. Peter Salovey, the 23rd president of Yale University, and John “Jack” Mayer, professor of psychology at the University of New Hampshire, wrote up the theory in 1990.

Emotional intelligence is the ability to use, understand and manage one’s own emotions in a positive way, and to manage stress, communicate effectively, de-escalate issues, problem solve and empathize with other people,” says Joanne Frederick, a licensed professional mental health counselor based in Washington, D.C.

Why Emotional Intelligence matters?

A person’s life can be heavily influenced by strong emotional intelligence skills which usually leads to a positive outcome. These skills always allow a person the ability to keep their cool and to even handle the most awkward social situations with grace.

Effective leaders usually possess emotional intelligence that allows them to be a more effective leader and a better communicator. Being in touch with your feelings allows for a better understanding of yourself and allows for better self-control.

Managing your emotions effectively allows you to exert greater control in situations marked by stress or conflict.

Emotional intelligence abilities allow for greater empathy for the people around you. This skill is important for developing and maintaining interpersonal relationships. Creating strong connections with people allows for a fostering…



A Grain of Salt | ElbyJames

ElbyJames is an American disabled combat vet exiled in the UK & a free speech absolutist. He’s an occasional Top Writer