10 Effective Activities to Boost Emotional Intelligence Development


What is Emotional Intelligence?

According to U.S. psychologists Peter Salovey and John D. Mayer, Emotional intelligence is defined as “the ability to monitor one’s own and other’s feelings and emotions, to discriminate among them and use this information to guide one’s thinking and actions”

Emotional Intelligence (EI) plays a pivotal role in our personal and professional lives, influencing our ability to navigate relationships, manage stress, and make sound decisions.

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Activities that develop emotional intelligence (EI) aim to improve self-awareness, self-management, social awareness and relationship management. Here are some activities to consider.

Here are 10 Effective Activities to Boost Emotional Intelligence (EI) Development :

1. Self-Reflecting Journals:

Encourage people to keep a journal where they write about their feelings, reactions and situations that trigger them. Regular reflection can increase self-awareness.

Encourage individuals to keep a daily gratitude journal where they write down three things they are grateful for each day. This practice can cultivate a positive mindset and enhance emotional resilience

2. Emotion Charades:

 Play charades but focus on playing with different emotions. It can help people recognize and understand facial expressions and body language associated with different emotions.

This can foster a deeper understanding of others’ perspectives and emotions, ultimately strengthening interpersonal connections and promoting compassionate interactions.

3. Role-Playing Scenarios:

Create scenarios where people must navigate emotionally charged situations. It can help improve empathy and interpersonal skills. 

By assuming different roles within a scenario, participants can explore various perspectives and practice communication techniques such as active listening, assertiveness, and problem-solving. This hands-on approach allows individuals to develop practical skills for managing conflicts in real-life situations, ultimately fostering healthier relationships and environments.

4. Mood meter:

Use a mood meter or emotion wheel to help people identify and label their emotions. This can help develop emotional vocabulary and understanding.

Using a mood meter or emotion wheel helps reduce stress by encouraging people to recognize and label their emotions. This timely intervention uses stress reduction techniques that promote emotional intelligence.

5. Active listening exercises:

Pair people up and ask them to share a personal story or problem while the other person listens without interrupting or giving advice. It promotes empathy and active listening.

This practice reinforces active listening by demonstrating understanding and validating the speaker’s feelings and experiences.

6. Mindfulness and Meditation:

Implement mindfulness practices that help people be more present and aware of their feelings without judgment. Meditation can also help improve self-regulation.

Mindfulness and meditation techniques promote moment-to-moment awareness, reduce stress and improve self-regulation to improve emotional control.

7. Feedback and reflection:

 Encourage people to ask others for information about their emotional interactions. Thinking about feedback can help improve self-awareness and interpersonal skills. By seeking input from others about their emotional interactions, individuals can gain valuable insights into their strengths and areas for improvement

8. Team Building Activities:

Participate in group activities that require cooperation and communication. This can foster a supportive environment where emotional intelligence can be practised and developed.

Through shared experiences and mutual support, individuals develop a deeper understanding of each other’s emotions and perspectives, laying the foundation for effective collaboration and a cohesive team culture.

9. Conflict Resolution Workshops:

Teach people techniques for constructive conflict resolution. This can help improve self-regulation and interpersonal skills.

Conflict resolution workshops teach practical skills for handling disagreements, and fostering stronger and more harmonious relationships with others.

10. Reading and Discussion Groups:

Read books or articles about emotional intelligence and discuss them in a group. It can provide insights and strategies for improving emotional intelligence. By exchanging insights and strategies from the materials, participants gain valuable perspectives and practical tools to enhance their emotional intelligence together.

Participating in these various activities can significantly improve emotional intelligence (EI), promoting self-awareness, empathy and effective communication. From self-reflection to team building and conflict resolution, each activity offers unique opportunities for growth and development. By regularly practising these skills, people develop a deeper understanding of their own and others’ emotions, which ultimately leads to more fulfilling relationships and greater success in both personal and professional settings.


Mayer, J. D., & Salovey, P. (1997). What is emotional intelligence? In P. Salovey & D. J. Sluyter (Eds.), Emotional development and emotional intelligence: Implications for educators (pp. 3-31). Basic Books.

Goleman, D. (1995). Emotional intelligence. Bantam Books.

Bar-On, R. (1997). The Emotional Quotient Inventory (EQ-i): Technical manual. Multi-Health Systems.

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