Recognize Emotion In Yourself And Others

recognize-emotionPeople high in this emotional wealth habit typically …

  • Are open to emotions; they are attentive to whether words, voice tone, and body language match.
  • Are good at picking up when people are saying something that differs from reality. For example, they can tell if a colleague is not feeling ok even if she says otherwise.
  • Pay attention and pick up on the mood of a room or their environment
  • Generally not surprised when people tell them how they feel about certain experiences or events.
  • Are adept at reading others’ verbal and non-verbal emotional cues at work.

The ability to recognize emotion will help you to…

UNDERSTAND: How difficult it can be to ASK.


  • Recognize how I and others are feeling – Am I open to and can I read emotion data?
  • Ask others about my perceptions – What one behaviour do I want to change?
  • Be open to FeedForward[1]/feedback – How can I increase my self-awareness?


  • Ignore emotions as a source of data – about me, others, and my environment
  • Be rigid and blocked – be flexible and develop your tolerance for ambiguity
  • Be dismissive, defensive, or doubtful – Ask to elicit honest responses


You have been successful recognizing emotion when others see you:

  • Choosing one behaviour you will improve on, recognizing how you and others feel
  • Changing your mood after recognizing the impact it is having on others
  • Opening up to stakeholders as true coaches for your self-improvement


How difficult it can be to ASK. Why don’t we ask for feedback more often? The number one reason is: We are afraid of what we’re going to hear, whether we know what we are going to hear or not. For example: delaying getting a medical diagnosis, postponing a dental appointment, and waiting to ask for feedback regarding how we are doing as leaders – procrastinating. Feedback is looking back. Successful people like getting ideas that are aimed at helping them achieve their goals (FeedForward). How open are you to asking?




[1] Wagner, F Coffey, C & Goldsmith, M 2003, Coach’s Play Book, Praxis Press, USA.

About Dr. Mike Gosling

Best known for creating The Emotional Leader Program, Mike is a leading Executive Coach, editor of this blog, and Co-Founder of Connect with him on Twitter, at Facebook, and LinkedIn.