“Know Who You Are…
There’s a world who wants to know you.”
Supertramp (for those of you old enough to remember) wrote this song in 1982. It’s also the first step in understanding the importance and the power in emotional intelligence.
Daniel Goleman defines emotional intelligence as “the ability to manage and use your own emotions, as well as the emotions of others, purposefully.” Marc Brackett uses a slightly different definition: “the ability to understand and manage your emotions, and to understand other people’s emotions and your reaction to them.” In studying emotional intelligence (EQ), it all starts with us, understanding who were are and how we react to others and the situations we encounter.
Here’s a simple 3-step approach:
1. Look at yourself as if you were your own best friend and honestly assess your thoughts and behaviors. How do you treat yourself and how do you respond to others? Reflections after emotional situations are incredibly important. Was that the right response? How could you have handled yourself differently? Is this a typical response in similar situations? Have you seen other people handle themselves differently?
2. Check in with your emotions and feelings throughout the day. Look for patterns. How do you feel when you wake up? What emotions happen at work. Is your stress response different at home and at work? Do certain elicit specific emotions? First you must differentiate between emotions and feelings.
Feelings – “a core experience” (Dr. Marc Brackett)
Emotions – are much more specific, coming from root causes.
Example (Brackett): “anger is about injustice, but disappointment is about unmet expectations.”
3. Meditate – 5 minutes of meditation focused on breathing will allow you to focus on yourself to give to others. We all need to refill our “giving buckets”. The best way to do that is through self-compassion. This will also increase your awareness and focus on all situations, not just during meditation. Lastly, breathing gives us that very first opportunity to regulate unwanted emotions as they arise.
Emotional Intelligence for Leaders
Connections (That) Matter
Coaching – based on and in EQ