The highest level of emotional intelligence is relationship management, depicted by the four building blocks in Junto’s model:

  1. teamwork & collaboration
  2. conflict management
  3. influence
  4. inspiration

These are competencies many of us wish for in our personal and professional lives, yet based on our experience at Junto, they’re the hardest to master. Why? Because they not only require heightened attention and effort but also increased mastery of the other three levels.

What this means is that if we want to improve our emotional intelligence, and relationship management is a desired outcome, then we must work on all four levels simultaneously.

And even during a period when physical contact is limited, we can work on the highest order of emotional intelligence – while exercising the other skills – by doing the following:

  1. Sharing our good moods when we’re experiencing them. People tend to be inspired and experience an emotional uplift when they feel good vibes from others.

  2. Confronting conflict proactively by asking the other person if we can talk about it. It’s usually best to do this after the issue has taken place, not during.

  3. Reminding others of the “why” – the mission, the purpose, the reason.

  4. Writing an appreciation letter to people who mean the most to us.

  5. Asking others, “What can I do to help with ____?” Studies have found that people answer this question more specifically than, “How can I help?”

  6. Sharing our hopes, dreams, and visions of the world now that the pandemic is easing.

Again, each of these require us to exercise one or more of the first three levels. We must be more self-aware, in better control of ourselves, and aware of others’ states before initiating any of these. And when we do, we make that relationship stronger than it was.