Do you know The True Value of Emotional Intelligence? Last week I had to pull Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman off my bookshelf. I have three daughters, two female dogs, and one male Shih-Tzu. Needless to say there isn’t a lot of testosterone around my house. I wouldn’t trade anything for the world, just stating the facts.
Allison, one of my daughters was having an issue regulating her responses so I decided to quickly educate her on Emotional Intelligence (EI). I thought it might be good for her to learn how to respond when she gets upset. It was an educational opportunity, so I shared my explanation of EI with her. As I explained to her, EI can be broken down into 5 classifications:
- Self-awareness – You recognize your own emotions and how they affect your thoughts and behavior, know your strengths and weaknesses, and self-confidence.
- Self-Regulation – Your ability to control impulsive feelings and behaviors, manage your emotions in healthy ways, take initiative, follow through on commitments, and adapt to changing circumstances.
- Social Skills and Awareness – You can understand the emotions, needs, and concerns of other people, pick up on emotional cues, feel comfortable socially, and recognize the power dynamics in a group or organization.
- Relationship Management/Motivation – You know how to develop and maintain good relationships, communicate clearly, inspire and influence others, work well in a team, and manage conflict.
- Empathy – the ability to empathize with others and put yourself in their position.
If you have high emotional intelligence you are able to recognize your own emotional state and the emotional states of others, and engage with people in a way that draws them to you. You can use this understanding of emotions to relate better to other people, form healthier relationships, achieve greater success at work, and lead a more fulfilling life
My question to you is how are you doing in the 5 areas? Do you know? The reason I ask is that Emotional Intelligence is important because it affects:
- Your performance at work
- Your physical health
- Your mental health
- Your relationships
This is pretty much all of life, so being aware of how you stack up in these areas can help you with life balance, productivity both at home and work, and your overall happiness. Why wouldn’t cha want to be good in the above areas? It needs to be a conscious choice with you in control of your day and your life – see my blog “Do You Control Your Day or Does it Control You?”
To improve your emotional intelligence – and your decision-making abilities – it’s important to understand and manage your emotions. This can be accomplished by developing key skills for controlling and managing overwhelming stress – and becoming effective at communication.
There are basically 5 skills to work on:
- The ability to quickly reduce stress in a moment in a variety of settings.
- The ability to recognize your emotions and keep them from overwhelming you.
- The ability to connect emotionally with others by using nonverbal communication.
- The ability to use humor and play to stay connected in challenging situations.
- The ability to resolve conflicts positively and with confidence.
There is a ton of how-to’s on this topic, but the key here, just like I explained to my daughter, is awareness and regulation. Once you are aware, which require someone else’s help to realize (see my blog post on blind spots), then you can start regulating your responses to be a better leader, a better person, and a better whatever you want to be.
TAKE THESE ACTIONS NOW:
- Read Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman
- Track how many happy days you have in a week (if less than 2, read the book fast)
- Practice driving into things that need to be addressed instead of building up which will add a layer of stress – (see my blog on driving into storms)
- Share your thoughts and feelings – this is a tough one for guys. External processors that keep things inside are a time bomb waiting to happen.
- As I had to do with my daughter, help others be more self-aware, and challenge them on regulating their response. Responses are usually pre-thought out actions that are how you would like to respond vs. react.
- Write down and track reactions that you are not happy with; then work through how you want to respond the next time this event comes up.
I have told my daughters for a while that life is a series of mistakes and successes. The key is to learn from your mistakes, not repeat them and watch out for the fatal mistakes. I also discussed anger with them quite a bit which is a hard message to get across. The best statement I heard somewhere and shared with them is “Anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die”. Let the anger go and enjoy the journey.
Tell me what you think. I’d love to hear from you!