Emotional Intelligence Starts as Invitation for a Response

Do you think that emotional intelligence is hard to learn? The ability to understand how people want to be treated is something you can develop — if you know where to start.

Emotional intelligence doesn’t start with a list of clues. It doesn’t start with psychic strength.

Emotional intelligence starts

as an invitation that waits for a response.


Emotional Intelligence Starts with Invitation for Response Image via: Istock

The heart of emotional intelligence is showing smeone that you honor their choice for interaction even if you don’t know how they want to be treated.  It’s like extending an invitation for a connection and waiting for a response instead of ordering someone to interact with you.

When you honor their choice and consent on how to be treated, you will be seen as having some emotional intelligence.  Why? Because it shows …

  1. You are thinking of them not just yourself or your goal.
  2. You understand that human differences exist and impact results.
  3. You will listen to both your desires and their needs.
  4. You see value in balancing interests to reach a common outcome.
  5. You know that a person’s needs can vary daily depending on stress level, goal, etc…
  6. You believe they are worth the effort to adapt – in other words, they matter!

And there’s more good news even if you are not highly intuitive.  You can honor differences and display some emotional intelligence simply by posing a question instead of making a statement.

For example, in a doctor’s office the nurse can say either: “Please get on the scale.” or “Will you step on the scale please?” The first is a statement that does not invite interaction. The second is a question that honors choice and asks for consent. The bonus is the nurse will start to learn how the customer wants to be treated through response.

Now for the caution. Here are obstacles to your great start in emotional intelligence:

  1. The need to be in full control.  You are likely to bark orders vs. invite interaction.
  2. The fear you will appear weak.  You are likely to sacrifice connection to protect your image of strength.
  3. You just don’t care. One person told me he chose not to because it was just too much trouble.

Emotional intelligence is a sign of maturity and greatly valued in today’s global business setting.  The choice is yours. If you honor others’ choices you will earn their respect and achieve more than you can by yourself.


What else would you add to this list of obstacles to emotional intelligence?

What has helped you develop EI?


From my professional experience to your success,

Kate Nasser, The People-Skills Coach™

©2011 Kate Nasser, CAS, Inc. Somerville, NJ. If you want to re-post or republish this post, please email info@katenasser.com. Thank you for respecting intellectual capital.

Kate Nasser, The People-Skills Coach™, delivers consulting, training, DVDs, and keynotes on customer service, teamwork, and interpersonal success in business. See this site for workshop outlines, keynote footage, and customer results.

2 Responses to “Emotional Intelligence Starts as Invitation for a Response”

  1. Alex Dail says:

    Thanks for the the great reminder about starting emotional intelligence by showing respect. I’ve heard that if we treated those we know well with the courtesy we treat strangers we would be kinder.

    It is to easy to forget letting small slights slide or being polite when the person with whom we are interacting has the potential, and even may have, made our life more difficult.

    • Kate Nasser says:

      Dear Alex,
      So pleased you shared your perspective. I agree that respect starts it all and then one must take a moment to think about how others feel — stead of just dumping all they are on the world. This is emotional intelligence.

      Regards and thanks. I hope you will share your insight on any post here at Smart SenseAbilities™.

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