Maximizing EQ: A Three Step Process for Effective Communication

communication skills Nov 14, 2022
effective communication skills

Effective communication is crucial in every aspect of life, including in high-stakes situations such as discussing classified state-sensitive information with a 4-star military general.

But what if you were doing it while wearing a flower print dress and semi-high heels?

This was a reality for me at NATO, where I often was one of the few women representing the NATO Communications and Information Agency during meetings of the Military Committee, a meeting room dominated by stripes and suits.

Despite my unconventional attire, I was able to build credibility through relationships with the military committee, one of my many stakeholders at that time, by mastering the art of emotional intelligent communication skills.

Through these skills, I was able to build strong relationships with most of the military leaders in the room. Some of them never accepted an equal opponent wearing a flower print dress! 


Three Key Indicators of Self-Expression You Need to Know

Emotional expression, assertiveness, and independence are the hallmarks of self-expression as defined by EQ-i 2.0.


Emotional Expression

A person with low levels of emotional expression tends to be reserved and may have difficulty sharing their emotions, both verbally and non-verbally. They may come across as secretive, distant, or emotionally disconnected, which can hinder their ability to build rapport and trust with others.

A person with average levels of emotional expression is moderately comfortable sharing their emotions with others. They may communicate their feelings through a mix of verbal and non-verbal cues, and still come across as withholding of information in certain situations for example. 

A person with higher levels of emotional expression is highly adept at sharing their emotions, both verbally and non-verbally. They are emotionally transparent and open, allowing them to build strong connections and foster trust with others.



A person with low levels of assertiveness may struggle to express their thoughts, feelings, and beliefs openly in private and public settings. They may have difficulty standing up for their rights or values and can be easily swayed by the opinions of others, potentially leading to feelings of frustration or resentment.

A person with average levels of assertiveness can communicate their feelings, beliefs, and thoughts in a relatively open manner but may struggle to do so consistently or effectively. They may be able to maintain clear boundaries in some situations but may waver in others.

A person with high levels of assertiveness is highly skilled at expressing their feelings, beliefs, and thoughts openly and respectfully. They can defend their rights and support their values in a constructive and socially acceptable manner, maintaining clear boundaries and practicing effective situational leadership.




A person with low levels of independence may have difficulty with self-direction and autonomy in decision-making, planning, and daily activities. They may rely heavily on others for guidance, appear uninformed or indecisive, and struggle to think independently.

A person with average levels of independence is moderately capable of self-directed decision-making, planning, and daily activities. They can function independently in many situations but may still occasionally rely on others for support or guidance.

A person with higher levels of independence excels at being self-directed and autonomous in decision-making, planning, and daily activities. They can effectively apply situational leadership styles and are able to think independently, making them well-equipped to lead high-performing teams in today's remote working world.


Effective communication skills are essential to success in any field. By developing emotional intelligence and mastering self-expression, assertiveness, and independence, individuals can build strong relationships, gain credibility, and lead with confidence.

So take a cue from the woman in the flower print dress and invest in your communication skills - you never know where they might take you.

If you're interested in developing your communication skills and unlocking your potential as a leader, I would love to work with you.

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