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Better Relationships Through EQ

#emotionalintelligence #eqfit #relationships #trust Mar 13, 2023

Have you ever thought about how you build a relationship? It is really simple...and complex. The simple part is connection and trust building. That is how relationships start and grow. But what is underneath connection and trust building? EQ (emotional intelligence) skills that you may not even realize you are practicing.

Relationships are built on a foundation of emotions. Yes, there are other elements involved in relationships, but the truth is, the strength of a relationship depends on the emotional environment that is cultivated. When people relate to each other, there is an element of risk involved. Relationships are a give and take dynamic. How much are you willing to give? What do you want from the other person in the relationship? Think of relationships existing in the shared mind space that two people co-create. What goes into that shared mind space will determine the connection and trust levels...more on these later.


There is a graphic I use when I do training and coaching that speaks directly to building a relationship. It starts with connection. You have to have connection with someone to have a relationship with them. This may sound obvious, but most people do not consider what connection really is. I call it the "C-Cycle". Here is that graphic:

Notice that this is truly a cycle. You don't build a deep relationship after one connection. Think of it as layering on connection after connection as the relationship grows and deepens. Every interaction with another person will either add to the connection or take away from it. Here are the definitions of the 3-parts of the C-Cycle:

  • Active listening. Being fully present for the other person.
  • Insight. Asking good questions to gain insight.
  • Understanding. Taking the time to reflect on what the other person is telling you, identifying emotional drivers they may have, and being able to understand their perceptions and position.

When the C-Cycle is done well, it is easier to communicate, collaborate, innovate...and simply relate.


There is a level of trust in every relationship. It may be very low or it may be very high. Trust is the glue that holds relationships together. Without trust, it is impossible to have deep relationships that are beneficial to everyone.

Trust is an emotion. Trust is an emotion. Trust is an emotion. Why did I just say that three times? Because it amazes me how many people do not really think of trust as an emotion. Some consider it currency. Others think of trust as something you can influence the other person into (that is actually backwards...I will explain that later in this section). Trust is truly an emotion, and because it is, it is something you have to carefully cultivate with other people. It starts with connection. The better the connection, the more trust you can build.

Relationships require trust if they are to thrive. But how can we build trust with other people? I use a trust equation to keep myself on the right path to building trust.

  • Credibility - do you bring value to the relationship?
  • Reliability - do you do what you say you will do?
  • Connection - are you fully present for the other person and authentic in the relationship?
  • Self-orientation - how much are you focused on what you want in the relationship?


I remember my Dad (the psychologist) telling me that relationships would be one of the most challenging things in life. He was right. But they are also one of the most rewarding things in life. What do you feel when someone you love dearly is near you? What do you feel when someone you don't like is near you. It is the emotional drivers that either draw us closer to someone or push us away from someone.

Emotional drivers or detractors

Emotions are in every part of our life and especially in relationships.

Relationship - the relation connecting or binding participants in a relationship

Relate - to understand and like or have sympathy for someone or something

Elate - to fill with joy or pride

Even the words we use to describe relationship have emotions embedded in their meaning.

EQ in Relationships

To build strong and satisfying relationships, we need to practice specific EQ skills (based on the EQ model developed by Six Seconds, the world's largest EQ community):

  • Empathy - genuinely listening to others to understand their perspective, emotional drivers, and needs
  • Recognizing patterns - understanding your own patterns and usual reactions and understanding those of other people
  • Navigate emotions - repurposing the energy and information from emotions for more strategic outcomes (not getting derailed by triggered emotions), responding instead of reacting
  • Optimism - practicing authentic optimism in the relationship
  • Noble goal - staying true to who you are and the overarching purpose for your life, checking to ensure your decisions are in alignment with your overarching purpose
  • Emotional literacy - being able to identify emotions and the impact they have on you and on other people

Relationships require the use of EQ skills. The good news...these skills can be measured, learned, and strengthened rapidly.

Want better relationships? Then grow your EQ skills.


For more, check out our other resources:

EQFIT® YouTube Channel


EQFIT® Podcast

 Copyright © 2023 EQFIT® - Author: Steven Goodner. All rights reserved. No portion of this material may be reproduced in any form without permission from the publisher, except as permitted by U.S. copyright law. For permissions contact: [email protected]

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