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Personal Insights

Coach’s Corner – Beginning Your EQ Journey

A Little About Myself

Hi, my name is Jannies and I am a happiness dealer, philosophy nerd, professional speaker, and a Chief Audit Executive.  I am a dedicated practitioner of emotional intelligence (EQ) and was first introduced to EQ at a tender age of 5.  My father, the son of a street-side vendor, persevered against all odds and built his fortune 500 company in Asia from ground zero.  As a strong believer in the power of EQ, he conducted group sessions and case studies with his three kids, using the book, How to Win Friends and Influence People, as the guide.   He inspired me to continue my studies in the EQ domain. 

The purpose of this post is to give you some background information on emotional intelligence (EQ), as well as share five simple ways to improve your self-awareness.  Countless research has shown that one’s success (in both professional and personal life) has a high correlation with one’s EQ.  Nobel Prize winning Israeli-American psychologist Daniel Kahneman found that “people would rather do business with a person they like and trust rather than someone they don’t, even if that that person is offering a better product at a lower price.”  A study of Harvard graduates in business, law, medicine and teaching showed a negative or zero correlation between an IQ indicator (entrance exam scores) and subsequent career success.  The good news is, you are born with a pre-determined IQ, yet EQ (which accounts for 85%+ of your success) can be learned!

This diagram illustrates the main domains of EQ.

Self-awareness is the foundation upon which all EQ skills are built.  The ancient Greek aphorism, “Know thyself,” was inscribed in the forecourt of the Temple of Apollo at Delphi.  Plato, a student of Socrates, employed the maxim “Know Thyself” extensively in his philosophical teachings.


To help you improve your self-awareness, I developed the following , “A-W-A-R-E.”

  Word Description Action Item
A Accountability Be accountable to yourself.  If you shy away from taking responsibility, you are giving away your power for betterment.  Self-improvement will happen only after you recognize your flaws. Take ownership for your actions, own up to your mistakes, and empower yourself to make a change.
W Why If you have purpose and understand why, clarity and confidence will follow. Ask yourself “why” before making a decision or taking action.
A Attitude A positive attitude feedback-loop will form in your mind if you respond positively to your successes and failures.  Exercise self-compassion and celebrate your wins, while learning from your losses.  The best way to handle an unfavorable outcome is to reflect, learn, and move on.  See next point on reflection. A gratitude journal is a great mood shifter, as is being friends with a happiness dealer (I am open to new friendships)!
R Reflect Meditate, reflect, be mindful.  Reflect rather than deflect.  Deflecting means shedding responsibilities.  You can only grow if you reflect instead of placing blame on others. A simple way to reflect is to keep a journal and document your emotions, thoughts, and progress.
E Educate Yourself Knowledge is power, and the greater self-knowledge, the more powerful you will become.  Know your strengths and limitations, and act accordingly. Take personality tests, recruit a mentor(s), form a mastermind support team, read books.  Two of my favorite personality tests are the Big Five Personality (Dr. Jordan Peterson) and Myer-Briggs Type Indicator.  There are many others, and I recommending starting with one.


I will end this post with the following quote, “I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul.” (William Earnest)

In order to own your career and life, I encourage you to start with “know thyself.”  I look forward to exploring the next domain with you in the near future!

Note: I would love to hear your thoughts on self-awareness.  Which action item will you take?  Do they seem relatively easy to implement?

Check out more blog posts in this series: Coach’s Corner.

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  • Hi Jannies, welcome to the community, and thank you for participating in this soft-skills blog series! I love the A-W-A-R-E points you shared. For me, ATTITUDE is most important because it impacts my mood, and will most likely affect how I show up to those around me. Your suggestion of a gratitude journal is a great idea. As for making friends with a "happiness dealer" - check! 😉

  • Jannies--thank you for this post!  I really like the AWARE framework!  And I agree that self-awareness is the foundation for EQ.  For me, I like the idea of combining two of the letters and Reflecting on my Why more frequently.  I'm a person who likes to do EVERYTHING!  Reflecting on my why might help me say "no" more often to those things that don't feed my soul.

    • Hi Traci, thanks for reading this post and embracing the AWARE framework!  Saying "no" is an art, and I am working on that as well.  Being a happiness/dopamine dealer, naturally I want to say yes to everyone and better the world (one person at a time).  However, I have to remember that self love is first and foremost (reserving time for self reflection and relaxation), and you can not pour tea to others without filling your own teapot first. 🙂  I love your perspective on feeding your soul.  Once you have defined your goals and objectives, it becomes more clear what fits and what doesn't.  With clear purpose, saying "no" will be less challenging.  I am working alongside you on this.  Here's a "Self Authoring" program I recommend from Dr. Peterson: if you want to further design your future!  Keep me updated and I would love to hear about your progress!

  • Jannies - great blog and very relevant topic for our personal growth, development and effectiveness.  Investing the time and focus to really understand oneself is valuable in so many areas.  To determine career interests and paths, to set priorities, to identify opportunities or stresses; we must first know who we are and perspectives.  I too appreciate the AWARE framework as a helpful guide to getting centered.   Thanks for sharing and looking forward to more of your expertise in the future!


    • Dear Jayne, thank you for your comment!  You have brought up valuable points, and I appreciate you sharing your thoughts!  I believe self-awareness is a perpetual pursuit, and I encourage everyone to embark on this path.  Just today I was working with my coach on prioritising goals, and we both agreed that there is no limit to knowing thyself!  I encourage you to continue on this journey.  Thank you again!

  • Thanks Jannies for sharing your thoughts in a very interesting manner. I especially liked your touchy introduction which makes a nostalgic reference to your father as a source of inspiration.

    The most helpful is the AWARE part of it and specifically reflect vs deflect. Keep writing to inspire us.

    • Dear Radha, thanks for the kind note!  It is readers like you who inspire me!  I will continue to write in an effort to touch as many readers as possible and raise EQ awareness!  Thank you for sharing this journey with me!