Mastering Emotional Intelligence (EQ) – Healthy Emotional Expression

motional Intelligence is the loving facilitator for "how" we do "what" we do.

Through coaching and training thousands of people around the world, I have gained a deeper understanding of how to effectively engage your emotional intelligence for personal and leadership development. 

In this article I share my insights on emotional expression which is one of the 15 skills and competencies of the EQ-i 2.0 model of emotional intelligence.

Emotional Expression

Emotional expression involves a process of openly and authentically expressing your feelings. Before this can happen, the process of recognizing, understanding and an allowance to fully feel your emotions is required through the skill of emotional self-awareness.  If you have not already done so you may wish to read that article where I highlighted: 

“With the development of healthy emotional self-awareness, you learn to be fully present with what you are feeling and experiencing – without repression, suppression or projection – so that you can move to and fully benefit from the next key stage. 

And what is the next key stage? Recognizing that behind every emotional reaction or response is a deeper and sometimes unconscious habit, coping mechanism or belief system that is informing that very emotion.”

Once you have achieved mastery in emotional self-awareness this allows for healthy expression of any emotion.  Without first engaging effective emotional self-awareness, your emotional expression will invariably be unquestioned, unconscious or unmanaged in its nature. 

So, what is healthy emotional expression?  It is quite simple.  All emotions are innocent until you have judged them to be good or bad, right or wrong. They are a natural part of the human experience looking for healthy expression and transformation. 

Emotions are energetic states. When these energies are repressed, suppressed or projected onto people, places and things the energy no longer moves freely and in a healthy way. 

So, mastering emotional expression is not about controlling your emotions rather it is about embracing and working with the energetic quality of all emotions so that they can be transformed into healthy and productive ways of being and acting. Why is this important?  Because what you do not embrace you cannot transform or transcend.  And with emotional self-awareness we learned that what you are not aware of you cannot embrace.  

Let’s consider an interesting example. Have you ever experienced anger at work? Have you ever attempted to resist, control or project the direct cause of your anger on to people, places and things at work?   

When you learn to recognize and master the energy and impulses of anger itself and allow it to flow through you it can actually serve you as they are transformed into powerful and productive action. And more specifically, empower you to break through a perceived obstacle.  That is, something that you believe is holding you back from getting “what you truly want”. Depending on the situation your decision for action may include (1) removing yourself (2) influencing transformational change in a situation or (3) being at peace with the emotion itself and taking no action and simply allowing the energy to move through you so that it naturally runs its course.  

When fully mastered the energy of anger is transformed into powerful conscious action. You no longer need to lash out or hold onto it in your body (And remember, from previous articles I have written that dis-ease leads to disease when it is held onto in the body!)

My experience of working with those who have mastered emotional expression is that they are healthier, happier and more peaceful and productive regardless of what is happening in their lives.  

This is supported because all emotions are simply regarded as waves to be ridden and learned from as a natural part of human existence rather than experiences to be controlled or braced against.  From a leadership perspective they also recognize that this skill is a necessity when attempting to manage, lead and influence others because they fully recognize that human beings are never inspired or moved to act by pure logical argument alone.

In turn, when engaged authentically and in a healthy way their emotional expression is not seen by others as a weakness nor is it interpreted as a means of manipulation or control. When managed lovingly, emotional expression becomes a powerful mechanism for healthy transformation of self and others as a necessary component for moving forward in the best way. 

Curious to learn more? If you are interested in some of the proven research on the benefits of healthy EQ engagement and development, please visit