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Educate your emotions as much as your intellect

Portrait of business partners showing their strength with leader in front

Recently I completed my certification in Social + Emotional Intelligence, and to be honest, I was a little apprehensive. I always knew roughly what my IQ was and I have always done lots of test on this, partly for fun. However, EQ, that was unknown territory. Would I get a number; would a higher number mean I am more “emotionally intelligent?”. I walked into the two days with lots of questions and walked away with a wealth of knowledge about this incredibly powerful tool, which I cannot wait to share with you.

 What does Social + Emotional Intelligence mean?

Social + Emotional Intelligence is the ability to be aware of our own emotions and those of others in the moment, and to use that information to manage ourselves and manage our relationships. What excited me about Social + Emotional Intelligence, is how it is all about behaviours and guess what? Behaviours can be changed.

 I learned that there were four parts (a quadrant) to Social + Emotional Intelligence and the first part is about my own Emotional Self – Awareness which is all about noticing and being able to label my emotions and “gut-level” instincts, and then being able to connect these to their source.

 It was interesting for me to discover that people who have high emotional self-awareness:

           Know which emotions they are feeling and why;

          Recognise how their feelings affect their performance; and

          Can tell in the moment – when they are getting upset.

 Daniel Goleman stated “Once you are in that field, emotional intelligence emerges as a much stronger predictor of who will be most successful, because it is how we handle ourselves in our relationships that determines how well we do once we are in a given job”

 I then looked into what people lacking in this competence may do and feel:

           May receive messages from their bodies such as chronic headaches, lower back pain, neck or shoulder pain, heart racing, sweaty palms, anxiety attacks or other signals, but generally don’t pay attention to these signals or connect them to their source, to what’s causing these physical symptoms;

          Get irritated, frustrated or angry easily, causing them to treat people in an abrasive way; and

          May feel stressed and out of balance in terms of their work life, health and family.

 Some of the ways I learned to be more aware in the moment, is to regularly check in on how I am feeling. I tried to name my emotion at key times during the day, for example, how was I feeling when I was driving into work, how was I feeling when I got to work, how was I feeling after lunch etc. It was an interesting exercise to actually put a name to the emotion. I was then able to connect that emotion to a situation or issue.

 The goal is to give me the tools to respond rather than simply react. The result will be greater effectiveness, productivity and confidence. As I begin to comprehend my own emotions and behaviour, I will increase my understanding for what drives the actions of those around me. I learnt that with this knowledge, you can improve your relationships, and above all, your happiness.

 Warren Bennis stated “Emotional intelligence is much more powerful than IQ in determining who emerges as a leader. IQ is a threshold competence. You need it, but it doesn’t make you a star. Emotional Intelligence can”. Don’t we all aspire to become the best leader we can?

 Do you want to emerge as the leader?

Contact me for information on running a free lunch and learn for your business to understand why your workplace needs to become more emotionally intelligent.