Your Guide to the Top 5 DNA Testing Kits – Product Review

Are you looking for the best DNA testing kits on the market? If you’ve been thinking of getting a DNA testing kit, here you’ll find some of the best options available. Of course the best can only be defined according to what you use the test for. So whether it’s for paternity testing, ancestry DNA testing, or pet DNA testing, these are your best respective options.


#5 Paternity Depot

Perhaps the most common reason someone would take a DNA test is to determine paternity of a child. Paternity depot has attained a position in our top five because it is one of the quickest, most convenient and affordable ways to get paternity results through DNA testing. Accuracy is 99.99% guaranteed, so this is one of the top options out there today.


#4 National Geographic

Yes, they make DNA testing kits too. National Geographic DNA testing kits have actually been developed for historical reasons. These kits specialize in determining ancient ancestry, and this particular brand has proven to be one of the best versions of DNA testing kits in the world.



For more recent ancestral DNA testing, there’s the DNA testing kit from This is also a very popular buy for those who are researching their family tree. has developed a DNA testing kit that developed a reputation for convenience and accuracy.


#2 Embark

Dog breeders will be pleased to know that we’ve included pet DNA testing in our top five DNA testing kits. Embark is one of the most respected DNA testing kit on the market and has established itself as a go-to brand for dog breeders, dog show competitors, and veterinarians.


#1 Identigene

Our number one brand in DNA testing kits is none other than Identigene. Not only does the Identigene paternity DNA test kit guarantee you 100% accuracy on your results, but their service is matchless. Results are delivered within 2 days or less from date of postage. Everything you need is inside this kit when you open it. The forms, the equipment, clear instructions, legal documentation, and even prepaid postage. No wonder it’s such a popular choice among those seeking paternity results.


These brands come highly recommended so feel free to invest in any one of them for your DNA testing needs. All of these brands can be purchased online, and we’re positive you’ll find the pricing quite reasonable.



14 Habits of Emotionally Intelligent People – by Copley Sutton


If you’re on a journey to develop your emotional intelligence, it helps to observe others you perceive as having a high EQ. How do you spot these individuals? Are they giving off signs that you can pick up on and follow? The following 14 habits are typically practised by people who have a high EQ. Once you notice them, you can adopt these same habits into your own life and develop your emotional intelligence over time.

Emotional intelligence is a crucial recipe for career success!

  1. Maintaining your relationships

You’ll notice that emotionally intelligent people are not in relationships solely for what they can get out of it. Instead, they maintain those relationships on a give-and-take principle. It’s what they can offer others rather than what they derive. Other people’s needs come first, which is why people with high EQs will go out of their way to cater to the needs of others.

If you’re someone who only gravitates to your acquaintances when you need something, those individuals will start to become sceptical about your intentions as a so-called friend. Aim rather to cultivate your relationships on an ongoing basis. Make time for those you want in your life and show them that your care is unconditional. The result will be real friendships that can be called upon when you need them.


  1. Seeing the other side of an argument

Emotional intelligence is all about empathy. This means that people with a high EQ are constantly trying to connect with others by understanding how & why they think the way they do in certain situations. One side of this is listening to another person’s argument for the purpose of understanding. What most people do instead is defend themselves and focus on their side of the argument rather than the other person’s.

This is one of the best customs you can teach yourself. Get into the habit of becoming a better listener. Not for the sake of responding, but for the sake of hearing the person out. Once the other party feels as if they’re being heard, you’ll be amazed at how open they’ll become to your side of the argument.


  1. Ask questions

Emotionally intelligent people ask questions of the people they are speaking to. They take an interest in others because they want to find a connection. Despite what you may think, this is not about finding common ground and forming a connection based on that. It’s about finding out what makes other people tick. What do they believe, why do they believe it, and how do their beliefs define them?

If you want to form deeper connections with people, ask them about themselves. They will appreciate your interest in them. Rather than this becoming a formality, focus on taking a genuine interest in people you speak to. When they reveal something about themselves, dig deeper to find out what makes them who they are. You’ll often find that relevant questions open up a whole new area of a person’s character.


  1. Giving constructive praise & criticism

How is it that some people can give criticism and not be seen as condescending when doing so? Their secret lies in a healthy balance between criticism & praise. It’s a tricky balance that doesn’t come naturally for most people, but those who have mastered it are respected leaders—whether they are in leadership positions or not.

Do you find yourself only giving criticism, even when it’s constructive? If it’s often not taken well, you may find that a healthy dose of praise is also needed. Regularly pointing out people’s positive points gives you the leverage and respect you’ll need when you are forced to point out the negative. If you fail to balance these two sides of the scale you will likely be viewed as overly critical, and won’t get much out of the people you work or live with.


  1. Mastering your emotions

A whole chapter could be written about recognising emotions in others. For now, however, let’s look at recognising emotions in ourselves and dealing with them appropriately. Anger, fear & sadness can often display themselves in destructive ways. This doesn’t have to be the case though. People with high emotional intelligence recognise feelings as a part of life and don’t allow those feelings to rule them.

The first step to this is recognising the emotion as soon as it rises. From here, you can ask yourself why you are feeling that way. If it’s something you can change or fix, you’ll be better equipped on an emotional level to do so. If it isn’t something you can change, you will reach a point of acceptance a lot quicker.


  1. Think before you speak/act

Following on from point five is the ability to stop and think before you act on an emotion. Many people find this difficult to do—especially with anger or fear. Much of the bad decisions made in life are a result of fear, anger or sadness. It takes an emotionally strong person to recognise these emotions and ponder on the reality of the situation before they act.

Instead of being reactive to emotions, learn to accept and embrace them as natural reactions of the brain. From this vantage point you will find yourself making wiser choices that aren’t impetuous or destructive to the situation. The solution to problems always become clearer the more you distance yourself from the situation that caused them.


  1. Focus on the positive

Folks with high EQs have a natural disposition of positive thinking. They realise that focusing on the negative hinders their ability to move forward and accumulate more positivity in their lives. These people are generally happier because they’ve accepted the aspects of their lives they are unable to change. Instead, they move forward with the aspects they can change and make the best of every situation regardless of the challenges they face.

If this type of thinking doesn’t come naturally to you, don’t fret. It takes a lot of practice before a positive habitual thought pattern overcomes a negative one. Actively work towards this and expect it to take some time. Remember that positive thinking isn’t the process of suppressing your emotions and hiding them with a smile; but rather accepting the good with the bad and not letting negative circumstances bring you down.


  1. View change as an opportunity for growth

Sudden change can rattle the best of us. Emotionally intelligent people have a knack for adapting to change quickly and joyfully. The main reason for this is because they see every situation as an adventure that will teach them something about themselves. Emotionally intelligent people live by the mantra, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.”

Each situation in your life is an opportunity for personal growth—you just have to see it that way. Instead of being afraid of change, embrace it as a growth opportunity and adapt to each aspect of that change as best you can. This will create some level of discomfort, but that discomfort will make you more resilient the next time change comes along.


  1. Don’t rely on others to motivate you

People with a high EQ are self-motivated. They don’t need someone else to push them into making changes or pursuing growth. That’s because they believe that whatever they put in, they will eventually get out. Instead of living and working with a sense of entitlement, emotionally intelligent people owe it to themselves to pursue their dreams and work hard in achieving them.

This way of thinking takes a certain level of drive & ambition. Can you look at your own life and decide that working towards your goals is worth it? Emotionally intelligent people do this every day and you can too. Adopt a mindset of success and drive yourself on a daily basis to take one step closer to a better, richer and more successful life.


  1. Don’t be too proud to say you’re sorry

To err is human. When mistakes happen it’s important to not only learn from them but to also move on from them. This cannot happen unless the mistake is recognised and owned up to. Emotionally intelligent people will never shy away from their mistakes. They have no problem showing others that they have made a mistake—but more importantly, that they’ve learnt from that mistake.

If you find it difficult to apologise for your mistakes, resolve in your mind that doing so is beneficial to you. Chess players only get better when they lose games. Making mistakes is life’s way of teaching us lessons that we can carry into the future. Making mistakes is an unpleasant part of growing & maturing. If you’ve messed up, admit it, apologise, and move forward.


  1. Determine your passions and determine your path

People who play to their strengths are not only more successful, but they are happier too. It’s one thing to learn new skills and work towards exercising them. But it’s another to go against the grain and convince yourself to do something that you were never meant to do. Emotional intelligence means understanding your passion and making that passion a part of your daily life.

Those aspects of your life that get you up in the morning are your passions. They may be your kids, your hobbies, or your ambitions. Have you set goals for yourself and integrated these passions into those goals? This is something emotionally intelligent people do. They live their goals out every day and allow their passions to drive them forward.


  1. Fill the gaps

Those who have high emotional intelligence are natural team players. Being a team player has its function not only in the workplace, but at home too. When someone has a need, a person with a high EQ will automatically step forward and fulfil that need. This can be as simple as helping an elderly person carry something heavy, or assisting someone with a task they don’t have time to do.

If you’re more inclined to clean the kitchen than the person you live with, do it without expecting them to. If someone at work keeps forgetting to fill the coffee machine, do it yourself. Emotionally intelligent people get satisfaction in serving others and performing tasks that benefit them and everyone around them. It’s not always easy, but it’s a lifestyle worth adopting.


  1. Be courteous

Saying ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ cost nothing. But more than simple courtesy, displaying general and/or deep appreciation is a trait that indicates a high EQ. Individuals who are well mannered and courteous appreciate the effort it takes for someone to do something for them. This, again, signifies a level of empathy—seeing it from someone else’s perspective. In addition to being courteous, emotionally intelligent people are also usually punctual; because they are loathe to keep people waiting unnecessarily.

If someone means a lot to you, you’ll be surprised at how satisfying it is to tell them so. Being someone who expresses appreciation also puts you in a position to offer constructive criticism when the time calls for doing so. People who recognise you as someone who is appreciative of their efforts are more likely to accept criticism as constructive rather than seeing it as condescending.


  1. Don’t take it personally

Finally, because people with a high EQ are on a journey to grow and improve, they are more likely to accept criticism of their own actions. Instead of becoming overly defensive of their actions or demeanour, they consider the criticism a chance to see themselves through the eyes of others. This looking into the mirror encourages their already-present efforts for self reflection.


Try not to be someone that people avoid criticising. Closing yourself off from the opinions of others will only perpetuate your negative aspects and make you blind to how others see you. Instead, aim to improve yourself by accepting criticism. Remember that you don’t have to agree with everything people have to say about you, but being open to listen is a sure sign that your emotional intelligence is on its way up.


How does EQ affect career success?

Today, thousands of companies use EQ tests to determine how well new applicants will fit into their respective companies. Why does emotional intelligence hold such a strong influence over the hiring process? The answer to this question will help you to understand how your own emotional intelligence is affecting your work progress. If you’ve been struggling to make headway in your career, wouldn’t you want to know if your EQ was the reason? It may well be, and here’s why.

People with high EQ work well in teams together

Emotional intelligence is directly related to relationships

The fact that your emotional intelligence will affect how well you work with other people is inescapable. Developing a high EQ will enable you to recognise different personalities, and help you deal with each one effectively. Emotionally intelligent people relate well to others. Whether you work on your own, or within a team, you will eventually have to deal with other people in order to be successful at your career. Working well with others is directly related to job success, as we’ll soon discover.


As the saying goes, “It’s not what you know, but who you know.” In many ways this is true. Many people who are good at their jobs don’t progress in their careers because they struggle with relationships. A good relationship with your superiors and you colleagues can go further than good work ethic. Are you someone who wants to progress further in your current career? If you’re someone who needs to work on your emotional intelligence, this should be enough of a reason to get started.


Goal setting

Setting short term, mid term & long term goals is a habit practiced by people with emotional intelligence. Goals give you something to work towards. If they’re on your mind at all times, you naturally take small actions to achieve them—sometimes even subconsciously. While it may be obvious to some how this can positively affect your career, let’s investigate it a bit more thoroughly in the context of a work environment.


People who set career goals are always doing small things to reach them. Let’s look at someone who sets a mid term goal of being promoted within two years. They will take on extra tasks. Other times they will ask to be a part of meetings or new projects. At all times, these individuals work more efficiently, because the goal drives them to do so. This ultimately results in career success. It also gets them noticed by their company’s superiors, because they come across as focused & ambitious individuals who are going places. It’s all about moving forward as opposed to remaining stagnant.


Turning conflict into productive discussions

Conflict has halted many careers. It can get in the way of a promotion, and even cause you to quit your job or lose it against your will. Learning how to constructively handle conflict is the best way to overcome this danger and rise above it. Emotionally intelligent people have a knack for turning conflict into something more constructive. That’s because they have a desire to recognise the opinion of others. They have a way of thinking that includes the other person’s point as valid and worthy of exploration.


Because confrontational people appreciate feeling as if they’re being heard, conflict resolvers tend to handle them well. Imagine a work colleague complaining to you about something you’ve done. If you’re an individual with a high EQ, you will listen to the person’s point of view and aim to resolve the situation to the satisfaction of you both. You will also be good at conveying your own point of view without it seeming as if you’re drowning out theirs. This is what conflict resolution is all about—validating the other party’s opinion and being empathetic enough to take their feelings into account.


Adapting to change

Change will happen in any work environment whether we like it or not. Some people crave change, while others try to avoid it at all costs. Change is usually just another word for growth, and not being able to grow will hinder your career. A good way to develop your emotional intelligence is to learn how to embrace change. This is easier for some than others, but those who succeed in this mindset alteration often succeed in life.


Consider the stress and uncertainty involved when a company restructures itself. Employees may have to move offices, tackle technology challenges, and learn to initiate new tasks. Emotionally intelligent people can feel the same level of stress as the next person, but handle it very differently to a person who hates change. Individuals with a high EQ will refrain from complaining, and get on with what they have to do—no matter how many problems they encounter.


Owning up

Human beings are naturally defensive, especially when we think our jobs are at stake. When we make mistakes, our automatic response is to justify or defend the mistake. This is often a detrimental direction to take because it causes a lot of frustration for those affected by the mistake. In the end, more damage than good is caused by a defensive attitude to mistakes. This attitude deviates from a team mentality. Instead, it focuses solely on one person and his or her defense.


One of the most pleasant aspects of an emotionally intelligent person is their ability to own up to their mistakes and apologise for them. Because they are empathetic to other people, they immediately see how their actions have affected others. This leads them to admit to their mistakes and take responsibility for them. When a person takes this course of action rather than the former, superiors feel settled in the fact that the mistake will not happen again. On the other hand, defending your mistake makes people think that you haven’t learnt from it; but will instead make it again.


Natural born leaders

A popular sentiment doing its rounds on the internet lately is that there’s a big difference between being a leader and being a boss.  This is so true. Leadership books and seminars are a billion dollar industry across the globe. The question on everybody’s minds is, “What does it take to be a good leader?” Some say it’s natural talent, while others claim that leadership skills and be acquired over time. The answer probably lies somewhere in the middle; but what we do know for certain is that emotionally intelligent people make great leaders. Let’s look at why this is the case.


First of all, good leaders are good communicators. They can give instructions without seeming condescending or arrogant. Second, people respect natural leaders because they are easy to connect with on their own level. These leaders are not seen as above their team, but alongside them. Third, leaders possess the ability to resolve conflict among others. Most importantly, leaders have their team’s best interests at heart; which wins them the respect and loyalty they need to get things done.


Honesty, trust, work ethic

Work ethic seems to be on the decline. Punctuality has also become a rare practice among many people. This may stem from a lack of empathy. When people are more self focused, they have no qualms about making others wait. Trust, honesty and work ethic all fall into the same category when it comes to career-orientated EQ. Emotionally intelligent people make a point of being at work on time. They are trustworthy individuals and have no problem delivering on their promises at work.


Workers who are reliable in these three aspects of work are often successful at their jobs. They are the ones who pick up the slack when others are either off sick, late for work, or simply lazy at their jobs. Work ethic invariably leads to promotions, incentives and/or salary increases. For this reason, emotionally intelligent people have an edge over the rest when it comes to career success.


Dealing with emotions constructively

Owning and dealing with an emotion will serve you well in your career. It’s a skill that has been mastered by those with high emotional intelligence. People with a high EQ know how to recognise an emotion without letting it take them over. From there, they are able to deal with it effectively without disrupting their work. Being in control of your anger, despair and fear is the secret to productivity. It allows you to separate yourself from irrational feelings and remain professional in any situation.


Let’s look at a quick example. A colleague has sent you a rude email about a project that hasn’t yet been received. Your initial assumption is that he will communicate this to your superior and gossip about your alleged incompetence to others in the office. This fear needs to be recognised immediately and subsequently dealt with. Someone with a low EQ may react to the email prematurely without thinking it through first, thereby causing more damage than good. However, an emotionally intelligent person will gauge the situation, and respond in a mature way that diffuses the unpleasantness.


Growth and development

Continually moving forward is a key ingredient to overall success in life. If you aren’t growing as a person, you will stay where you are and fall into a rut. Emotionally intelligent people have recognised that career development is not up to anyone else other than themselves. They also know that personal development influences their careers. That’s why people with high EQs continually aim to improve themselves in small ways.


People are creatures of habit. Those who realise this have created positive habits in their lives such as exercise, healthy eating, mind stimulating activities, and organisation strategies. A messy person may argue a predisposition to messiness, but an emotionally intelligent person will try to improve this area of his or her life. Someone who is disorganised or overwhelmed at work, should—for their own sake—recognise it as a negative aspect of their life. From here they can do something such as keep a journal to try and improve on this. This personal growth attitude is what separates successful people from the rest.


A simple case of being happy

Happy people are productive workers. When you have job satisfaction, it enriches your life and creates a snowball effect of success between your personal life and your career. That’s because you’re continually improving yourself, cultivating relationships with the people around you, and retaining a general positive attitude. Emotionally healthy people spread their happiness to others. Your colleagues and your superiors will want to be around you when you’re known as a positive, vibrant, caring person.


The opposite is also true. Negativity can spread like a virus. People who come to work and complain about their personal and work lives are likely to remain stagnant in their careers. They blame external factors and other people for their problems, and struggle to embrace these problems as challenges that can be overcome. The remedy for this negative culture is positive, emotionally intelligent people. They have an uncanny ability to dispel negativity and counter it with a positive attitude—resulting in a generally positive work culture. That’s why workers with a high EQ are more likely to achieve job success, and that’s why managers want these people in their respective companies.


A journey worth taking

The good news is that these points, while they are predispositions in some, can still be cultivated in those for whom they don’t come naturally. This is certainly worth doing, as we’ve seen thus far. Leadership skills, empathy and emotional health can and should be developed for the sake of your career and your personal life. This developmental process is an ongoing journey that takes years for some, and a lifetime for others to achieve.


Now that you know how emotionally intelligent actions directly affect your career success, take the journey to improve on the points you struggle with. The result may surprise you. As your EQ develops and grows, people will begin to see a difference in you. Your superiors will begin to notice you, and your productivity is sure to improve. More than that, however, you will find your life and career more fulfilling—whether in your current job or your next one.



7 reasons to date a copywriter – by Christel Coetzer

There’s an inaccurate picture of copywriters: hermits holed up 24/7/365 in lofts with typewriters. You’ll be pleasantly surprised if you get to know writers in South Africa and abroad. You’ll discover that these people are remarkable beings who might just be the best date you’ll ever have. It may even end up with a happily ever after!


  1. Copywriters are interested

Your local magazine is filled with information South African copywriters created from scratch. Where did they come up with the facts and ideas to give you an interesting read? They researched the topic! Their research is fuelled by an intense love and need for information on diverse topics. So whatever you may want to share with him or her will be listened to with riveted attention. You’ll never feel you’re speaking to the walls!


  1. Copywriters are interesting

The other side of the coin about craving information is South African writers also have a lot of information. You’ll always have a new topic to discuss, because copywriters write about every subject you can imagine. You can look forward to interesting conversations about fashion, technology or politics, instead of hearing the same dreary work issues every day.


  1. Poetry

Let’s face the truth: we don’t live in the day of Shakespeare where your other half regales you with sonnets and plays. That doesn’t mean the talent has died out though. A few individuals will still surprise you with an expressive letter or note on your pillow. And South African copywriters have all the skills to put these together. Your Romeo or Juliette may be sitting behind a computer!


  1. Copywriters can communicate well

It may have been a while since you’ve met people who can accurately communicate and even sort out a conflict situation. Many people lack communication skills and emotional intelligence. Copywriters use words daily to describe objects and deliver accurate messages. This talent decreases the chance of misunderstanding during a conversation with you. Choose clarity–choose a copywriter.


  1. Copywriters are creative

Excitement and interesting moments make a relationship much better. For writers in South Africa creativity is part of their daily routine. Copywriters’ words create images in people’s minds and it can be your privilege to receive these creative ideas daily! In the way descriptive words decorate a written piece, a meal created by a copywriter is garnished and tantalising to all your senses. Don’t settle for dull; there’s so much more out there!


  1. Copywriters talk to your soul

Copywriting isn’t only about reporting facts. Good copywriters know how to figure out what people think. They connect with people’s hearts, needs and dreams. This means your emotions and dreams matter to the copywriter you date. He or she knows how to find out what’s going on in your soul and how to meet its desires.


  1. Copywriters will make you famous

Are your dreaming of having 15 minutes of fame? With a copywriter in your life this is totally possible. Copywriters are active on the most powerful force in our day; the internet. Being a passionate partner, he or she will most likely report on the joys and moments of your relationship; whether writing about it on a blog or working it into a story. Whether your name or a pseudonym is used you can be sure aspects of your life will reach the world out there!


So what are you waiting for? Wipe the stuffy image of South African copywriters from your mind and get ready for a very interesting experience. Copywriters bring many good characteristics to the table; not only superficially but aspects that give you an interesting and lasting relationship. And copywriters are easier to meet than you think, because they hang out in coffee shops rather than lofts!

9 ways to improve your EQ

If you’ve recognised the importance of emotional intelligence (EQ), then—like millions of others across the world—you’ve probably asked: “Am I an emotionally intelligent person?” If the answer to this question has been supplied through means of a test, you may relax about the matter—unless of course the result wasn’t a good one. So you have low EQ… What now?


Low EQ isn’t something to get all worked up about. Emotional intelligence can be cultivated and strengthened as you progress in life. This is something that should never end. It’s a journey of sorts; an adventure that will bring much self awareness and relationship satisfaction. It’s important to exercise your emotional intelligence the same way an athlete trains his or her body.

This article will direct you on this journey of EQ development. Here are nine ways you can hone your social skills and grow your emotional intelligence little by little.


  1. Ask the right questions

A wise first step in improving your EQ is by asking relevant questions. These questions will highlight which areas of your interaction with others need to be worked on. Most of these questions relate to your feelings, so it’s important to be honest with yourself and face any difficult realisations head on.

Questions you should regularly ask yourself include the following:

  • Do you work better on your own, or as part of a team?
  • When it comes to other people’s arguments, do you consider yourself a peacemaker?
  • Does change make you uncomfortable, or are you up for new and challenging situations?
  • Do you often take note of how you are feeling in certain situations?
  • Do you ask yourself why you are feeling a certain way once you’ve recognised an emotion?
  • Are you a person who sets short term, mid term and long term goals for yourself?
  • Are you empathetic to the feelings of others?
  • Are you often able to see others’ points of view in conversation?
  • Can you easily persuade someone to do something?
  • When you get angry or sad, do you stay that way for long or do you recover quickly?
  • Do you find it easy to admit when you’re wrong, or are you rather defensive?


  1. Meet new personalities

One of the best ways to develop your emotional intelligence is to surround yourself with different kinds of people. Humans differ in temperament, views, and of course emotional intelligence. Learning about different types of people will expand your understanding of various personalities and how to deal with them.

There are many ways you can do this. For one, take a look at the people you work with. There are probably people you speak to every day because you either get along with them or because you have to work with them. Consciously train yourself to direct your attention to others in your office—or the office next door? Make a point of getting to know people on a deeper level. What are they passionate about? How do they see things differently to you? What emotional value can they bring to your life? Reach out to people and you will be amazed at how connected you begin to feel with others.


  1. Go out of your comfort zone

In order to meet new people you need to move outside your usual comfortable routine. Expand your circle wider than your work place and family life. Go out to events and meet new people as often as you can. For people who struggle with emotional intelligence, engagement with others is uncomfortable. This is the time to break out of your comfort zone and force yourself into social situations.

Learn to say ‘yes’ more often. If you’ve been invited to a social event, instead of making excuses why you can’t go, rather just shut your eyes, clench your teeth, and go! You will be forced into social situations that call for one-on-one or group engagement. This will not only give you the opportunity to meet new people, but will also help you learn about yourself and how you engage socially. As you begin to recognise social aspects in others, you will also begin to learn how to analyse those same aspects within yourself.


  1. Start to take a genuine interest in others

While you engage with new people—and people you’ve known for long periods of time—you will begin to notice social characteristics about them. However, it takes a concerted effort to notice subtle aspects of someone’s personality and character. Make this effort, and begin to identify with people on their own level.

It takes all kinds to make the world. Some aspects you are likely to notice include the following:

  • Some people will use humour in uncomfortable social situations in order to feel included. Laugh at their jokes and make them feel at ease when they’re around you.
  • Others will be shy and be better at listening than voicing their own opinions. Ask these people questions and affirm their views as valid.
  • Outspoken people will have no problem with confidence. They will look others in the eye, force themselves into others’ personal space, and interact with them effortlessly. If you’re the opposite kind of person to this, watch and learn to pick up social habits from these kinds of people.

Once you’ve recognised a personality type, it’s easier to socialise with that person on their level. With any luck, they will do the same for you. At this point, it’s helpful to learn more about the person through questions. Find out what their interests are, what motivates them, what lights up their eyes, etc. People will feel connected to you if you ask them about themselves. That’s because most of us love talking about ourselves for the sole reason of wanting to be heard.


  1. Read and use body language

There’s more to observe than the words people say. Body language is a dead giveaway to how people are really feeling and you can use this to benefit communication with others. Many of us don’t realise that it’s almost impossible to hide our true feelings in a social situation. If you’re uncomfortable, people will pick up on it. If you’re uninterested in the conversation topic, people will know. Body language externalises your true emotions. Your arms, legs, hands and feet all tell a story about how you are feeling. So what are you saying to others, and what are they saying to you?

Once you understand how to read the subtle messages of others, you will begin to know how to react to those people in a way that makes them more comfortable. When people are comfortable around you, they will be more likely to open up and trust you. This is a sure way to connect with people who would otherwise remain strangers.

It’s equally important to be aware of your own body language. You are sending subconscious messages to the people around you, and it’s an essential part of emotional intelligence to recognise what messages you are conveying. If you’ve often felt that people struggle to relate to you, it’s very possible that your body language is to blame. An essential part of emotional intelligence is recognising the way you feel, and dealing with the reason why that feeling has surfaced.

Taking the time to research this enables you to gain a wider understanding of how to read the body language of others and use your own body language to help relationships grow.


  1. Disagree without being disagreeable

Not everybody you meet will have the same opinion as you. While having views in common is a great way to connect, it’s important to embrace those who see things differently. You can do this without sacrificing your own opinion. It’s called disagreeing without being disagreeable. Some people struggle with this because they feel strongly about certain topics; but those who have mastered this stance are happier people because they aren’t frustrated by the falsely perceived ignorance of others.

Remember that other people have had different upbringings, different relationships, and different experiences from your own. They see things differently to what you do and have their own perceptions. More often than we’d like to admit, we have a tendency to try and force our opinions on others. This is a big mistake in any relationship. Accept the views of others, voice your own in a non-aggressive way, and move on without any hint of discrimination. In fact, people are more likely to explore your views when they don’t feel forced to do so.


  1. Listen to understand, not to respond

In relationships, disagreements will arise. A major part of emotional intelligence is not avoiding conflict, but handling it correctly. It goes without saying, however, that you will never resolve conflict to the satisfaction of both parties unless you are a good listener. The problem with many people is that they listen in order to respond, rather than to recognise the other person’s point of view. Good leaders are experts at resolving conflict among themselves and others because they know how to listen in a constructive way.

When someone takes the time to confront you about a disagreement, listen closely to what they are saying. Their concerns must make an impression on you or they will not feel heard. Most people won’t take the time to listen to your side of the argument unless they feel that you have heard them out. It takes a lot of patience to see a situation from someone else’s perspective without wanting to push your own perspective to the front of the queue; but this is the secret to conflict resolution. It takes time and practise, but learning this habit is well worth the effort.


  1. Ask people how they feel

We’ve already discussed how body language and conversation are telltale signs of someone’s emotions. Another great way to figure out how people are feeling is to simply ask them openly. When you ask people how they feel about a situation or a conversation, they immediately feel as if you are taking an interest in them. The question, “How does that make you feel?” is a powerful social tool.

Asking people how they feel in a situation also helps that person recognise their own emotions. This will assist them in recognising the emotion as nothing more than a feeling, and subsequently help them deal with it correctly. This social tactic is excellent at calming down those who are prone to anger. It’s also a great way to help people through sadness, depression and fear. Once you help someone recognise their current emotion, both of you will be fully equipped to handle it properly.


  1. Test your EQ once a year

As you continue to work on your EQ, make a point of evaluating yourself on an annual basis. If you’re serious about improving your emotional intelligence, you will be encouraged when you see progress. There are lots of online tests you can take which will score various EQ areas. Do these tests once a year and see where you’ve improved.

Testing your own EQ regularly will also highlight areas you still need to work on. Focus on these areas and you’ll soon see your relationships improve—at work and at home. Self evaluation is powerful. It will remind you of why you’re trying to improve, and emphasise how those improvements should be made.


Work and family provide adequate arenas to develop emotional intelligence, but being around strangers is so much more enriching in this regard. Social and emotional intelligence don’t come naturally for everyone. For some of us, it’s a skill we need to work on daily. Hopefully these points will motivate you to begin the journey of improving and maintaining your EQ. Go easy on yourself, and take it one step at a time. Before you know it, many of these points will become habits that come naturally.

The history of Emotional Intelligence

The concept of Emotional Intelligence has been around for some time. Only in recent decades however, has the theory been studied, refined and given a practical application in the real world. By charting the evolution of emotional intelligence, we can see how our general concept of intelligence has evolved over time to include skills and abilities governed by emotion and not pure intellect.


Before we begin, it is worth defining Emotional Intelligence as used in the context of this article. In this instance, we refer to an individual’s awareness, control and expression of their emotions. This also includes the ability to recognise, respond and manage the emotions of others. All individuals possess emotional intelligence to some degree.


A hint of something beyond the traditional concept of intelligence

The term ‘emotional intelligence’ may be credited to Michael Beldoch where it appeared in his book, ‘The Communication of Emotional Meaning’ in 1964. Beldoch had been studying the ability of people to identify emotions from both verbal and non-verbal modes of communication. Although Beldoch did not explore the concept much further, other researchers picked up on the notion.

During 1966, in the psychotherapeutic journal: Practice of Child Psychology and Child Psychiatry, another reference to emotional intelligence was made by B. Leuner. In a piece entitled ‘Emotional Intelligence and Emancipation’, Leuner put forward the hypothesis that adult women who suffered from low emotional intelligence were more likely to reject their societal roles. He believed that this could be attributed to the fact that they had been separated from their mothers at an early age. He proceeded to treat his patients with LSD; a practice that would be considered most inappropriate today.

It wasn’t until 1983 when a more modern and practical theory of emotional intelligence was put forward. In his book, ‘Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences’, Howard F. Gardner made the bold suggestion that there was more than one type of intelligence. In fact, his model proposed seven intelligences including:

  • Linguistic intelligence
  • Logical-mathematical intelligence
  • Musical intelligence
  • Bodily-kinaesthetic intelligence
  • Spatial intelligence
  • Interpersonal intelligence
  • Intrapersonal intelligence.

It is Gardner’s definition of Intrapersonal Intelligence that most closely resembles our modern definition of emotional intelligence. Gardener also recognised that these individual notions of intelligence do not operate independently of each other. When faced with a problem to solve, an individual will draw on all their resources to provide a solution. While his theory was not widely applauded by the academic community, it was met with a positive response from educators. Many teachers realised the value of his theory when applied to structuring the curricula of schools.

Slowly but surely, the idea that there was something beyond the limited definition of intelligence was starting to emerge. Beldoch realised that people were able to pick up on the emotions of others using verbal and non-verbal cues. Our ability to decipher another’s emotional state based on their tone of voice and their body language is impressive considering that we are never really taught how to do it. This innate ability is why one could consider it a type of intelligence.

While modern psychotherapists may baulk at B. Leuner’s hypothesis, it does provide another important clue; the idea that your emotional intelligence may have an effect on your behaviour. It was Gardner who moved the community closer to the idea that emotional intelligence forms part of an individual’s overall intelligence. This provided future researchers with a concept they could explore and mould into a practical theory.


Defining the concept and creating a model

While former researchers had touched on the notion of emotional intelligence, they hadn’t clearly defined it. This started to change with the publication of Wayne Payne’s doctoral thesis in 1985, ‘A Study of Emotion: Developing Emotional Intelligence’. In the thesis Payne explored how people develop their emotional intelligence. He raised important questions about the nature of emotion and provided a language and framework for discussing emotions. Finally, he attempted to provide some methods and tools that could be used for developing emotional intelligence.

This was the first time that the topic had been explored in such detail. It provided the framework for many future researchers to approach the subject and flesh out the theory behind it. It also provided them with a structure on which they could start to develop future models and discover practical applications for the concept.

Stanley Greenspan was the first to put forward a model for emotional intelligence in 1989. His research focused on young children which led him to propose that there were six stages of the developmental mind. These stages are:


Stage 1:  Security: The ability to look, listen and be calm

This describes the skill of babies to absorb all the activity in their environment while regulating their emotions. It also includes their ability to focus their attention on one thing such as a favourite toy or their mother’s face without becoming over-excited.


Stage 2: Relating: The ability to feel warm and close to others

As the child develops, they learn how to relate to others and respond in a warm and caring manner. It is an important part of their emotional development which normally occurs around 4-6 months of age.


Stage 3: Intentional two-way communication without words

By 18 months, most children will already be able to use non-verbal methods of communication to express themselves. At the same time, they learn how to read the non-verbal cues of others. Children and adults who don’t develop this skill often experience difficult and confusing relationships with others because they are unable to decode these emotional signals.


Stage 4: Solving problems and forming a sense of self

Between the age of 14-18 months, children develop advanced skills in relating to others and use this to further develop their sense of self. It also allows them to start solving problems with the help of others.


Stage 5: Emotional ideas

In the time between 18 months and the age of 3, children develop the ability to express their emotions in words and pictures. For example, instead of crying the child is able to tell you that they’re angry or upset.


Stage 6: Emotional thinking

3-4 year old children are able to connect their emotions to other concepts and causes. They not only label emotions, but are able to explain the circumstances that cause them to feel a certain way. For example, a child will tell you they are sad because someone took their favourite toy.

By tracking the development of emotional intelligence in children, Greenspan illustrated that not only does it help to form an individual’s personality; it also contributes to their intelligence. Being able to understand and respond appropriately to the emotions of others play a significant role in everyday problem-solving.

Another important event in 1985 was when Peter Savoy and John Mayer put forward the Four Branch Model of Emotional Intelligence. This consisted of four skills that, when put together, describe the many facets of emotional intelligence. These four branches are:

  1. Perceiving emotion: The ability to read both verbal and non-verbal cues in others to determine their emotional state is an essential component of communication. It also paves the way for a more advanced understanding of emotion.
  2. Using emotions to facilitate thought: We actively respond to emotions in others because their emotional state has the ability to affect our thinking. Emotion has the ability to affect our creativity as it grabs our attention, enters our cognitive system and influences & directs it.
  3. Understanding emotions: It is not only essential that we correctly decode another’s emotional state; we must be able to comprehend what that emotion signifies. We need to be able to put in a context and even determine the cause.
  4. Managing emotions: This may refer to both your emotions and the emotions of others in your social circle. Having the ability to control your emotions (wherever possible) and responding appropriately to the emotions of others is a key skill. It allows us to achieve our own goals and to help others achieve theirs.

Let’s use an example to see Savoy and Mayer’s model in action. Imagine that a colleague comes into your office and from their tone of voice you are able to sense that they are angry (perceiving emotion). You remember hearing that they are experiencing difficulties with an important project (using emotions to facilitate thought). You realise that your colleague is under a great deal of pressure (understanding emotions). Although a setback on their side will affect your own work, you decide to remain calm and ask them if there’s anything you can do to help (managing emotions).

Between Greenspan, and Savoy and Mayer, our modern interpretation of emotional started to develop. The concept was still not widely accepted, but that was about to change.


The popularisation of emotional intelligence

It was David Goleman’s 1995 book, ‘Emotional Intelligence – Why it can matter more than IQ’, that brought the concept of emotional intelligence to the attention of the general public. His theories have had a profound impact on the education and business sectors. By using the model suggested by Savoy and Mayer, Goleman went on to develop his own model. Here is a brief synopsis of Goleman’s Five Components of Emotional Intelligence:

  • Emotional self-awareness: This is the ability to identify and understand the emotions of others and the effect it has on our own emotions.
  • Self-regulation: This is the ability to control our emotions and examine them objectively before deciding on a course of action.
  • Internal motivation: This refers to our ability to pursue a goal persistently, despite any obstacles we may face. It includes a sense of optimism and a strong desire to achieve something.
  • Empathy: This is the ability to understand and respond emotionally to others, based on their emotional state appropriately.
  • Social skills: This is the ability to build relationships with others by creating rapport between members of a social group.

The effect of Goleman’s book elevated the concept of emotional intelligence from an obscure theory studied by psychologists to one that could be applied practically in various areas of the average person’s life such as their work space and family relationships. Humans are social creatures and we are constantly involved in relationships. Our ability to read, respond to and manage our emotions has a direct impact on our personal, professional and private lives.

What Goleman managed to illustrate was how emotional intelligence could be developed to achieve happiness and success. It’s hardly surprising that the business world, and in particular the area of human resources found his theory so exciting.

While workers are often hired for their knowledge and skills, this is not a good indicator of their future performance within an organisation. In fact, many human resource departments now include a form of emotional intelligence testing in their recruitment process. The results have indicated that employees who exhibit a high emotional intelligence tend to perform better than equally knowledgeable and skilled, but less emotionally intelligent candidates.

Goleman wrote several other books on the importance of emotional intelligence in the workplace. As healthy relationships are so essential to our performance, well-being and ability to solve problems and achieve goals, it’s clear to see why emotional intelligence is such an important topic. Even educators have incorporated elements of his theories on emotional intelligence to adapt their approach. Many schools around the world have achieved success by implementing his social and emotional learning (SEL) programme.

Since researches first touched on the idea of emotional intelligence, it has become a world-wide phenomenon. Thanks to the work of Greenspan, Savoy and Mather we gained a better understanding of the aspects of what emotional intelligence. The work of Daniel Goleman has contributed significantly to the practical application of emotional intelligence in business and education.


Emotional intelligence may be a relatively new concept, but it is a powerful one. As more people and businesses come to appreciate the importance of emotional intelligence, it is essential for every individual to understand it and learn how to use it effectively.


What is Emotional Intelligence?

Logic is part of the human brain’s natural capacity. Problem solving, spatial reasoning & math are different forms of logic our brains are capable of. The better you are at these and other areas of thinking, the more ‘intelligent’ experts will say you are. The aspect which is represented by these capabilities is IQ and it’s measured by IQ tests that determine your level of logical intelligence.

Apart from this, there’s a different kind of intelligence that is equally important. Emotional intelligence has to do with how we interact with other human beings. It’s about empathy, compassion, communication, leadership skills, relationships, and more. When it comes to these aspects of feeling, logic doesn’t play a huge role. The aspect we focus on here is emotional intelligence; or EQ.

The same way your IQ can be measured, so too can your EQ be determined through various assessments. Your emotional state of mind can be dissected and analysed so thoroughly, that experts can now tell you whether or not you have a propensity to get along with your work colleagues, your family and even your partner. Let’s take a quick look at why it’s important to be curious about your EQ.


Why should you care about your EQ?

So you may be wondering why emotional intelligence is something you should care about. How does it affect you and why should you take note of it? The answer is simple. Every human being has an inclination toward relationships. Some of us enjoy being alone more than others; but all of us need some form of companionship in our lives.

You and I cannot avoid working with people. As a society, we are all interwoven with each other. More than that, we need each other. Daily tasks force us to deal with people. Even going to a shop requires this skill and you can’t learn anything unless you form a relationship with your teacher. Interaction with other human beings is an exchange of questions, ideas and personalities.

For this reason, recognising your own EQ—and the EQ of others—puts you in a position where relationships can be better understood. This will help you to connect with people on a deeper level. Once you achieve this connection your nature and approach to life are impacted. Your career, your family life and your friendships will begin to thrive. EQ is the door to understanding the people around you. You can also apply these skills to try improve other people’s understanding of you.
Who discovered the concept of EQ?

In 1989, Stanley Greenspan, a psychiatric professor, suggested that people could be emotionally intelligent. His theory suggested that this category of intelligence was independent from logical intelligence and that the two were in fact mutually exclusive.

The phrase ‘Emotional Intelligence’ was coined by other experts such as Peter Salovey and John Mayer. Only in 1995 however, was the term popularised by Daniel Goleman. Goleman wrote a book called “Emotional Intelligence: Why it can matter more than IQ”. The public took instant notice of how important EQ was and how it affected their day-to-day lives, their careers, and their relationships.

Daniel Goleman’s book speaks at length about what emotional intelligence is, how it is developed in children, and how it affects our everyday lives. When people started to realise that EQ was a real phenomenon which was affecting them without them even realising it, the idea influenced how people approached life and relationships. Today, emotional intelligence is a measuring tool used by managers, personnel agents and even dating sites. It’s all about measuring your emotional potential for the purpose of highlighting your strengths and areas for development. Knowing what you’re good at and what you struggle with will enable these entities to place you in more compatible positions and situations. It’s a powerful concept which is changing the way we do business.


What distinguishes EQ from IQ?

Since we’re talking about two different types of intelligence here, it’s important for us to distinguish between the two. You’ll find it interesting how different these two ways of thinking are. When it comes to logical thinking and emotional thinking it’s a case of reason versus passion. Both are important, so let’s see how you can recognise each one respectively.


  • Logical thinking

People who think in a severely logical way can come across as cold and robotic. They are extremely good at solving problems, carrying out instructions and organising information. Logical thinkers prefer to have a task presented to them in an organised, step-by-step format. They will listen closely to what you want done, how you want it done and when it needs to be completed.


  • Emotional thinkers

Emotional intelligence opens up a different way of thinking. These people are more relationship orientated and will be more inclined to look at a task close up. Emotional thinkers are more interested in the ‘why’ of a task rather than the ‘what’, ‘when’ & ‘how’. They take initiative and sometimes go off track to reach a more creative outcome.

A balance of both types of intelligence is important. People who are too logical may struggle with relationships, while people who are not logical enough will seem whimsical and easily distracted. Emotional intelligence does seem to have a bigger impact though, especially in the work place. Why? Think of someone who can’t work well with other people. This person will inevitably begin to dislike his or her job and alienate themselves from others. Low emotional intelligence will also impede a person’s ability to work in a team, which is an important aspect to many businesses.


How can EQ be measured?

The best way to measure someone’s emotional intelligence is to ask them questions about themselves. These questions can be broken down into five main categories—although there are a lot of different tests out there which each utilise their own respective systems.

Emotional intelligence tests will focus on the following aspects of your personality:

  • Trust
  • Personal growth
  • Relationships
  • Communication
  • Leadership

The following types of questions (and subsequent similar ones) may be asked to establish these aspects:

  • Trust: “Do you get the impression that the people in your life trust you?”
  • Personal growth: “How do you handle new challenges in the work place?”
  • Relationships: “Do people open up to you freely or do they seem guarded around you?”
  • Communication: “How do you handle conflict in the work place?”
  • Leadership: “How would you handle a situation where a person under your management didn’t deliver a task you gave them?”

The feedback gives the questioner in-depth knowledge into the way the subject thinks and acts in various situations. The subject will obtain an overall EQ score which will determine whether or not he or she is compatible with the position in question.


The important role of EQ in the workplace

Emotional intelligence will affect the way you work with others, the way you lead, and the way you grow within a company. Because of this, companies are beginning to evaluate their applicants’ emotional intelligence before offering them jobs. There’s a good reason to do this: productivity. The better suited an applicant is to a position, the more productive they will be during their time there.

There are a number of employee performance aspects which are important to managers. Each one is directly related to emotional intelligence, which is why they will measure this before employing or promoting someone. Let’s look at five of these aspects.


  • Leadership skills

Emotionally intelligent people are good at leading others. That’s because they are able to connect with people on a personal level, which generates loyalty, respect and trust.


  • Working well with others

Because people with high EQ connect so well with others, they are able to form a synchronicity as a team. When a team works well together, productivity soars. Productivity is unavoidably reliant on how well employees get on with each other. If there’s hostility or indifference in the workplace, work will take longer to get done and conflict will get in the way of daily tasks.


  • Drive & ambition

Emotionally intelligent people enjoy being challenged. They see these challenges as opportunities to shine. By overcoming challenges and constantly learning, individuals can be promoted within the company and become indispensable assets.


  • Conflict resolution

People with low EQ will usually shy away from conflict or react aggressively when challenged or criticised. This can be due to an inability to communicate well or work through inner conflicts brought about by self-doubt. This means that problems—especially relationship problems—never get resolved. In contrast, people who are emotionally intelligent will meet conflict head on and handle it in a productive way towards eventual resolution.


  • Honesty & reliability

Workers with high EQ have a natural empathy for others. This motivates them to think twice before coming to work late, ignoring tasks or betraying someone’s trust. Trust in a company is invaluable, and employees who can be trusted will go far within a large corporation.

To sum it up; EQ is vital to career success. Companies don’t want temporary workers who dislike their jobs and their colleagues. They want natural born leaders who grab each day by the horns and make the most of their day.


How EQ affects other aspects of your life

EQ also plays a major role outside of the workplace. Our relationships are unavoidably affected by the level of EQ we possess. In the same manner that our regular intelligence can be worked on, our emotional intelligence can be improved too. This will take time, effort and guidance. Why is this worth doing? Let’s look at some of the areas in our lives which will be affected when we aim to improve our emotional intelligence.


  • Romantic relationships

Knowing who you are and how you relate to others is a major factor in making your relationship with your partner work. In fact, if you aren’t able to connect on some level with other human beings, you’ll probably never get to the point of allowing someone into your life and starting a life with them. Even after this does happen, staying with the same person for the rest of your life takes work, commitment, understanding, compromise and trust. All these aspects are intrinsically connected to the EQ of both people involved.


  • Parenting

Children require a lot of patience, compassion and guidance. Kids also need their own emotional intelligence cultivated; and it takes an emotionally intelligent parent to make it happen. Parents with high EQs tend to make excellent parents because they are great communicators, effective leaders, and resourceful teachers.


  • Friendships

Very few people have more than two or three real friends that they can count on in any situation. Cultivating real friendships is often a lifelong process—and a lot can go wrong in one lifetime. With good conflict resolution abilities, excellent listening skills, and true compassion, friendships can grow to become your support system and benefit your life. Emotionally intelligent people not only find it easy to make friends, but they are experts at retaining them too.


Cultivating an EQ culture at work and at home

Daniel Goleman’s book is full of useful advice on how to recognise emotional intelligence in ourselves and in others. He also teaches how important it is to cultivate emotional intelligence in children from as young an age as possible. More than that, Goleman also emphasises how important EQ is in the workplace. Since his book was published in 1995, many people have taken note of his advice and created a culture of EQ recognition in their lives and businesses.


Today, emotional intelligence can be recognised, measured and cultivated. This is for the benefit of people and businesses.  If you haven’t yet taken note of your own EQ and that of the people you surround yourself with, do so now. It’s a journey well worth taking. Now that you know the basics, you can incorporate it into your life through study and practice.