How can emotional intelligence help you with work/life balance?

Elissa Teal Watson
3 min readJun 22, 2021

I hope that you are having a great week! This week, I want to share with you about how emotional intelligence can improve your work/life balance.

When I was talking to my neighbor the other day about making relationships work, I realized that not everyone has heard of Emotional Intelligence. Or, if they have heard the term, they may not know exactly what it is. So, I’ll define it for you here, as a courtesy.

Emotional Intelligence is the ability to understand, use, and manage your own emotions in positive ways to relieve stress, communicate effectively, empathize with others, overcome challenges and defuse conflict.

Emotional Intelligence helps you build stronger relationships, succeed at school and work, and achieve your career and personal goals. It can also help you to connect with your feelings, turn intention into action, and make informed decisions about what matters most to you.

Emotional Intelligence is made up of 4 major skill sets and I’ve created this image to illustrate them.

The 4 Skill Sets of Emotional Intelligence

Today, I will focus on Self Awareness and how it helps you with work/life balance.

Self Awareness is the foundation for all of the other skill sets. Self Awareness is your ability to recognize your emotions in the moment, to understand how your emotions and behaviors affect yourself and others, and to know your strengths and weaknesses.

You can develop this skill set by spending time in self-reflection regularly.

Many people use a journal when spending time in self-reflection. They may free-write about what emotions they are feeling lately. They may get a journal with prompts to help them get going.

I reflect on my behaviors, attitudes, and thoughts along with my recent emotions. Over the years, I have gotten better at being self aware in the moment, especially during intense moments.

There are also assessments that you can take to get to know yourself, your emotions, and your behaviors better.

I love the Clifton Strengthsfinder assessment for learning more about a person’s top strengths. Because I am aware of my strengths, I make decisions on what I do and don’t do based on both my interests and my strengths (or lack of strength). This helps me with my work/life balance because I am not wasting my time or struggling with things that I am not good at.

If you are very curious about what your strengths are, I encourage you to buy the Strengthsfinder 2.0 book by Tom Rath at your favorite bookseller. Be sure to get a new book because it contains a code to take the Strengthsfinder assessment.

So, allow me to make the connection to work/life balance explicit.

How does Self Awareness help your work/life balance?

When you know, understand, and accept yourself, you can make better choices with your time and energy.

I’ll be back soon with the next skill set of Emotional Intelligence and answer the question of how Self Management helps you with work/life balance!

I’d love to get your feedback and/or stories about your experience with emotional intelligence. Just comment below!

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Elissa Teal Watson

I write about mindset, emotional intelligence, self-care, productivity, habits, career, and relationship management.