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Linking the Eight Functions To Emotional Intelligence – A Practical Exercise to Share with Clients and Teams

Emotional Intelligence (Self-Awareness, Self-Management, Social Awareness, and Relationship Management) is highly valued in the workplace, where success hangs on your ability to have positive and successful interactions with others on a daily basis, sometimes in spite of your current mood.

How do you know if you have a high level of emotional intelligence? If you struggle with emotional intelligence, how can you improve it? For many people, these questions are difficult to answer, but as a practitioner of type, you are already a step ahead when it comes to understanding and improving your EQ, and using it to help you beat the stresses of the day.

Think for a moment about your MBTI Type, then look at the boxes below. Some of the practice exercises will be a struggle for you, while some of the thought processes will be natural and effortless. Take 10 minutes to recall a situation, and look at it through the lens of another type – the more you practice this, the more fully developed your emotional intelligence will be.

For more information on this topic, check out Roger Pearman’s, Introduction to Type and Emotional Intelligence.

Skill Developed



Introverted Sensing Recall a Situation – Ask yourself, “Did I review the event and make sure my facts are clear? During the event, did I experience any physical reactions or emotional responses?” Self-regulation comes from being aware of your thoughts and feelings  and accurately re-constructing past actions to consider their effectiveness – if you can clearly see the impacts of negative emotions and actions, you can better regulate the next time they occur.
Introverted Intuition Recall a Situation – Ask yourself, “Did I think about how the way my actions and reactions would play out in the future?” Linking experiences, finding associations, and creating parallels to your life helps you be tolerant of ambiguity – this helps you consider implications of your decisions, connect with strong cultural sensitivities, and envision the future in strong, healthy relationships.
Introverted Thinking Recall a Situation, Ask yourself, “Did I make a list of pros and cons, and consider the ‘ifs’ and ‘thens?’ Recognizing that every action has a cause and effect pushes you to make sense of an experience, name it, and predict possible outcomes, analyzing so you can learn. This helps you see the inherent sense of growing strong teams, and positive relationships, in pursuit of better answers.
Introverted Feeling Recall a Situation, Ask yourself, “Did I consider if I was comfortable with an event or if my actions were in line with my values?” Listening to and living by your personal values gives you a sense of mission, and a sense of your true priorities in relationships and life work. Developing a congruence between who you want to be and who you are is very important for confidence and true emotional intelligence.
Extraverted Sensing Recall a Situation, Ask yourself, “What immediate details and practical actions did I note?” Gathering information about the body language, posture, and presentation of yourself and others in a given setting helps you become more empathetic, express appropriate social responses, and recognize when you may need to step back from a situation, or step in and motivate others.
Extraverted Intuition Recall a Situation, Ask yourself, “What frameworks associations, and ideas did I perceive and share with others?” Connecting a situation to your frameworks, hunches, and theories helps you make better sense of what you see and accurately recognize patterns of human behavior. This will make you seem more aware, more socially skilled, and help you show deeper commitment to the ideas and passions of others.
Extraverted Thinking Recall a Situation, Ask yourself, “How often did I provide orderly, logical statements intended to persuade others to take my perspective?” This skill begins with outlining your assumptions, discussing your principals, and linking the causes and effects to improve your argument – if you can do this well, you will encourage others to share their assumptions and principals. This exchange should help you either enhance your opinion, or accommodate the other individual. This process helps you access your strengths and weaknesses, and become more socially persuasive and effective.
Extraverted Feeling Recall a Situation, Ask yourself, “What did I do to empathize and connect with those around me?” Your emotional intelligence is linked directly to your ability to empathize with others, and one way to do this is to show interest in people as individuals, and show sensitivity to their experience.


  1. agammy, thank you for your post. i am trying to design a group exercise that illustrates how the different dichotomies exhibit EQ; something where i can split my group based on type (or E/I) and they can see it unfold. any suggestions?


  2. Rather than splitting the group into dichotomies (E/I, S/N, T/F, J/P) you will need to divide your groups based on functions. Through type dynamics (the 8 functions) EQ competencies are correlated with introverted and extraverted functions (intrapersonal and interpersonal competencies). Determine your participants dominant, auxiliary, tertiary and inferior functions and utilize this data to create your groups. An excellent MBTI/EQ exercise is to identify your EQ strengths (dominant and auxiliary functions) and better understand your EQ development challenges (linked to inferior function or lesser used functions for your type). This exercise teaches strategies to boost your EQ through the lens of type.

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