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We set-up this glossary to help explain the key ideas, concepts, terms around our emotional intelligence consultancy work and is being expanded as an on-going exercise. Any feedback or recommendations please just let us know.

  • Active listening

    This is the action of being fully engaged, present and attentive to what someone is saying. To not simply listen to the words but the totality of meaning including context. It requires being non-judgemental and open, to show the person that you are truly listening and giving them the space and support to share as freely and fully as they wish. Emotionally it requires us to be calm and patient and respond with positive feedback, so the speaker feels supported and heard responding appropriately to what they are saying. Active listening builds rapport and understanding.

  • Advisors

    They offer specific information and advice regarding a mentees' role, department, organisation based on their knowledge and experience. This includes things like unwritten rules, organisational environment and politics.

  • Advocate (see also Champion)

    they open doors, make introductions and generally increase a mentees' visibility. They can advise on educational and developmental opportunities and can bring a specific set of outcomes, beliefs, behaviours or cultures into groups and organisations.

  • Assertiveness (AS)

    To be able to effectively express feelings, desires, issues through your words and actions

  • C-suite

    A senior executive within an organisation with the title beginning with the initial C such as CEO, CIO, COO (Chief Executive Officer, Chief Information Officer, Chief Operating Office etc.)

  • Collaborative

    to work together to an agreed outcome or goal

  • Competency model or framework

    consists of structures, processes and descriptions that define the learning, skills and related attributes that are required for meeting people's work and organisational needs and goals.  Attaining high performance and organisational goals can be greatly enhanced, clarified and made more efficient by understanding, implementing, training and supporting such models or frame-works.  They can be further broken down to roles and responsibilities with specific competencies.  These can also be used to help define and support HR structures and processes such as recruitment and Performance reviews.

  • Conflict Management

    the ability to manage people and situations

  • Counsellors & Coach

    act as sounding boards, listening to and encouraging reflection; helping to structure goals and facilitate learning. They work from the Mentee's agenda and are non-judgemental.


    a group of emotional components that build one's decision-making  abilities that make up a key area of overall emotional intelligence

  • Executive Coaching

    is a specialised relationship between two people, led by a coach. It's a process of conversations based on trust that focuses on your (& your people's) personal & career development. It builds awareness, practical skills & resourcefulness.It is based on 3 things; 1) building a relationship of openness and trust; 2) use of open questioning techniques to bring out awareness, challenge obstacles & increase resourcefulness; & 3) a focus on goals using goal achievement techniques & proven success tools.Executive coaching is the most transformative way to hone leadership skills. One of the most powerful forms of coaching utilises emotional intelligence testing, expert analysis coupled with commercial awareness.
  • Emotional Expression (EE)

    to be able to accurately and constructively express emotions

  • Emotional Intelligence

    is the capacity to recognise, discern between, work with, manage and express emotions appropriately, in yourself and with others, to support the quality of your thinking and behaviours.
  • Emotional Self-Awareness (ES)

    To accurately perceive, understand and discern between your emotions

  • Emotions

    are subjective experiences we sense in our bodies. They occur with specific chemicals (hormones) in our bodies and they have specific behavioural and psychological affects on us. An emotion is our body's way of telling us something is perceived to have changed and we may need to take action. Emotions guide us to understand, manage and communicate with ourselves and others.There are different theories of emotion. In the main they centre around emotions evolving from the two contrary elements of positivity and fear or positivity and negativity. Some theories say there are 6 core emotions;Anger, Disgust, Surprise, Happiness, Sadness and Fear. Plutchik says 8 core emotions exist including Anticipation and Trust.
  • Empathy (EM)

    To accurately perceive, understand & appreciate how others feel. To be able to ‘read' people's emotions & moods to engage better with them

  • Employee engagement

    is the resultant state or culture that captures employee interest, enthusiasm and action to achieve specific group or organisational aims - allowing employees to work well for an employer. This works through the awareness and development of connecting /aligning employee goals, values or beliefs to an organisation's.
  • Engagement

    when related to organisations is typically related to employee or stakeholder engagement. These are the connection of two or more people or groups through the aligning or sharing of similar interests, views, values, behaviours or beliefs.

  • Flexibility (FL)

    To adapt and adjust your feelings, thinking and behaviours to new situations

  • Flow

    is a term coined by Mihaly Csikszentmihályi -  meaning a state of absorption with the activity at hand and the situation where there is a strong sense of fulfilment. Culture

  • Goal Setting

    It is the process of describing, discerning, clarifying, measuring and working towards specific objectives or aims.

  • Impulse Control (IC)

    to effectively and constructively control emotions to resist and delay impulses as appropriate

  • Independence (IN)

    To be self-reliant and free of emotional dependency on others

  • Inter-personal

    skills, attributes or behaviours relating to how someone feels, manages themselves and processes emotional information.


    a group of emotional components that build inter-personal skills and make up a key area of overall emotional intelligence

  • Interpersonal Relationships (IR)

    To establish mutually satisfying relationships and relate well to others

  • Intra-personal

    skills, attributes, behaviours relating to how someone feels about others, manages their relationships and social interactions and expresses themselves to others.

  • IQ

    is the Intelligence Quotient - a numerical measure of cognitive intelligence that covers areas such as spatial awareness, mathematical reasoning and memory etc.  It is derived from taking an IQ test or assessment. It uses normed population data (derived from lots of people taking a test) to have a mean of 100 and a standard deviation of 15. In other words, 67% of the population have an IQ from 85 to 115. It was used as the closest approximation to intelligence for over 100 years but has been found to have very low correlation with things of ultimate value toe people; wellbeing, work performance or success; certainly far less correlation than Emotional Intelligence (measured by EQ).

  • Leader

    someone who has influence over others. Generally considered to mean over a group, organisation or wider community or country. The qualities associated with high quality leadership are held to relate strongly to emotional intelligence components.

  • Leadership

    the roles of leading others - pertaining to the action of, orientation, style of.

  • Listening skills

    are the collective abilities and behaviours that allow us to take in meaningful information from others and the world around us in order to make better decisions and work better with our environment and others.

  • Mirroring

    is the process of adopting an aspect of someone's body language - it's basically a good thing to do. It's often done naturally - for example have you ever found yourself enjoying a conversation with someone, and then noticing that you've adopted the same posture? You can do it consciously to help build rapport by mirroring several aspects such as distribution of weight and basic posture, position of arms and legs, and placement of hands. Try to notice how someone is sitting and mirror that. Are they sitting forward, legs crossed? Choose two or three things which you can subtly match to enter into their world. This is not mimicking. We're talking building similarities which is a natural thing not copying every move which is unnatural.

  • Motivational Speaker

    is someone who inspires people. Someone who helps them to become more positive, believing in their potential and feeling enabled to achieve, succeed, move forward with life and work.

  • Matching

    is like the moving version of mirroring (sometimes called pacing). In this you don't just try to match one aspect of someone's behaviour, you match several - up to three. As well as body language you can try and match some aspects of voice like tone, volume and speed. Because it's moving, and uses voice as well as body language, the rapport effect is stronger. You can match a range of behaviours, for example: blinking, breathing patterns, tone and accent, speed and volume of speech, facial expression, eye contact, gestures, and language.Spend time noticing the pattern of someone's speech, is it fast, slow, is their voice soft, deep? Try to match them. What are their breathing patterns? (This is a useful technique when on the phone as you will lose all the signals and advantages of body language). What sort of eye contact do they have, do they look away a lot, or blink often? If they move their hands, try moving yours slightly in sympathy (only a small movement but try to match the rhythm). Voice tone, speed, volume matching is also helpful in building rapport. Ask yourself where they are? Breathing in sync will also help - so what their breathing timing and depth.
  • Mentor

    Mentors may have several roles
  • Micro-Expressions

    are the small fleeting movements on the face of someone experiencing emotions.  There are specific expressions for each key emotion. They cannot be fully masked. They can be learnt in a relatively short space of time. They are used to great effect by intelligence services for instance to help spot deception.  The understanding of them was developed in the seminal work of Paul Ekman over the past 40 years.

  • Mind

    the conscious and un-conscious working of the brain in which thoughts, emotions and beliefs are evident, processed and analysed

  • Mindfulness

  • Mirror neurons

    The way our minds work to follow or copy others in order to create rapport. Neuro-science is now revealing we have mirror neurons. Emotions are contagious.  There is also a natural reciprocity felt within most people, not all.

  • Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP)

    is derived from the modelling of successful behaviours, NLP, is a set of techniques that help people become more effective and communicate better. NLP demonstrates the connection between the mind (neuro) and both non and verbal communication (linguistic) to describe how we can change the way we think and behave (our programming). Sometimes referred to as a ‘technology of change', NLP teaches us not so much what to do but ‘how to' learn and grow.

  • NLP

    is the acronym for Neuro Linguistic Programming.

  • Optimism (OP)

    To maintain a positive attitude & outlook on life

  • Personal values (or core)

    are attributes that are most important to that person. They represent what that person feels most defines them, makes them feel at home an are ‘them'. These are the things that are most important to them. By knowing these that person can brings behaviours, skills, roles, people and jobs into their lives that most celebrate or are aligned to them. This makes them more fulfilled, happy and resilience.

  • Positive Psychology

    focuses on wellness rather than illness and mental health rather than mental illness. It provides a positive view of people and health that is in stark contrast to the general approach to health in the West in the 20th century and still very much today. Emotional Intelligence relates strongly to what is called positive psychology as our EQ model states that through learning and practising competencies around positive behaviours a person, team and organisation becomes happier, healthier in body and mind and more successful.
  • Presenteeism

    is where there is a loss of workplace productivity when an employee has come to work but is not functioning fully due to health or other issues such as lack of engagement or stress.

  • Problem Solving (PS)

    To effectively tackle and solve problems of a personal or interpersonal nature

  • Programme

    a piece or collection of work developed specifically for a client (based on Training Needs and specific goals) that may contain coaching, testing training and consultancy to support the health, growth, potential, profit, well-being, performance or culture of a person, team, department or organisation.

  • Psychological

    means pertaining to the mind - including mental, emotional and behavioural aspects and thoughts covering matters both unconscious and conscious. It may also include related biological and physiological aspects.

  • Rapport

    is a mutual connection, an understanding or trust. It is a feeling of empathy or compatibility. Rapport is strong when people ‘feel' or ‘see' that someone is ‘like' them or likes or values them. The ‘they are like me' thing makes people feel they already know you and gives people the sense of being open with and subsequently see or feel you are a known quantity. This gives them a measure of certainty, trust or control over being with you. This is very powerful to build connections, engagement, relationships or as a base for positive communication. The way our mind works we naturally tend to mimic follow others' behaviours and emotional states - see mirror neurons.

  • Reality Testing (RT)

    To accurately perceive events as they are - to objectively validate your feelings and thinking with external reality

  • Recruitment

    is the act or process of taking on the right people for a role based on their aptitude, experience or skills. We help organisations understand and perform well in this process, by bringing together the best of procedural, functional and emotional components that make this work best.
  • Relationship

    a connection or state existing between two or more people or things. Relationships exist to serve one or several parties. Ideally, parties are connected by mutual trust and appreciation for the other's value.

  • Resilience

    is the ability to, not only cope but, perform at your best, personally and professionally, even during times of change, high pressure, and adversity. : EQworks definition.  For clever and easy ways to understand and build resilience use our 6 Pillars Model of Resilience ©.
  • Role-models

    Role models lead by example demonstrating (and sometimes explaining) effective leadership behaviours or specific competencies. Modelling others is a powerful way to learn and grow.  Socially these are frequently thought of to have strong social and ethical values to which, young people in particular, are encouraged to follow.


    is a term used for a group of emotional components that build one's stress management abilities that make up a key area of overall emotional intelligence in the EQ-i 2.0 model.
  • Stress Tolerance

    Ability to effectively & constructively manage emotions to deal effectively with stress
  • Succession planning

    a process or set of actions designed to facilitate the right people with the right skills and roles to deliver an organisation's goals. This can include profiling, recruiting, developing, monitoring, promoting of talent and considering growing and changing needs and contexts.

  • Self-Regard

    Is the capacity to accept and respect yourself and value what's important to you
  • Sickness absence

    when someone does not attend work because they are ill.It can be used as one of several important indicators to understand an organisation's performance. It can give clues as to issues, employee relations, cultures and working conditions for example.  Interestingly it's been suggested more recently that with an employee's increased pressure to 'retain employment' they might feel more pressure to come to work when they're ill. Sickness Absence figures are declining in some organisations, but it's not always clear about the exact reasons. We help organisations look at these factors and especially around supporting their emotional engagement, leadership, resilience and overall well-being. See Presenteeism.
  • Siloed

    This is a commonly used phrase within organisations to describe the culture or practice of not engaging, sharing working with or valuing another area, department or part of the same business.

  • SMARTER goals

    an acronym to easily remember key points for creating and achieving empowering goals. Goals should be Specific, Measureable, Action-based, Realistic, Time-bound. Others use slight variations to these such as SMARTER which may then include Ecology (works for whole of work and life) and Review

  • Social Responsibility (RE)

    To identify with, feel responsibility towards and take action to support a social group - having a social conscience

  • Training Needs Analysis

    a systematic review of key aspects of training considering needs, goals, competencies, skills, context, experience and other related logistics. Can significantly help understand and facilitate well- conceived training plans.

  • Transcendental Meditation

    a form of silent meditation where a simple word or few words are recited in the mind as a mantra in a gentle effortless way. This is usually practised for 1 to 20 minutes twice a day whilst sitting peacefully with our eyes closed. There does not have to be a religious or spiritual connotation to the practice. It is proven to help calm the mind and has broad benefits to wellbeing. The Mantra acts like an anchor for the mind to calm around and becomes more powerful the more it is practiced. The mantra is often assigned to someone on a meditation course that is matched to the person. These are often chosen from a specific group of possible mantras.
  • Values

    These are personal, group or organisational attributes that represent what is most important to them. By aligning roles, skills, your life to these attributes, you more closely work to your natural needs and interests. Organisations often seek to clarify their values in order to connect with their employees and stakeholders (clients, customers etc.). We help organisations understand and build these fundamental attributes. It helps focus leadership, mission statements, branding and much more.
  • Wellbeing

    a state of positive physical, emotional and spiritual health. It's defined in the OED as ‘a state of being or doing well'. It implies a sustainable existence.