Tag Archive for: emotional intelligence

Decorative: Image of a satisfied leader with her happy team behind her.

If you’re a leader or a manager, whether you’re in a workplace setting or you’re an entrepreneur that leads your own business, leading with emotional intelligence (EQ) is crucial. I remember reading Daniel Goleman’s book years ago and the impact it had on me in my personal and professional development as a young business leader communicating with my team and clients.

If you are unfamiliar with emotional intelligence, your EQ is the capacity to be aware of, control, and express your emotions, and to handle interpersonal relationships wisely and empathetically.

Emotional Intelligence is made up of four areas, Self-awareness, Self-management, Social Awareness, and Relationship Management. You’re scored in each of these areas. Much like CliftonStrengths, we all have our talents and our opportunities.

There has been much research into emotional intelligence as being a key to both personal and professional success, and it has become an essential part of the conversation of leadership.

After all, people don’t leave an organization, they leave a manager.

For leaders, the first task in management has nothing to do with leading others; step one poses the challenge of knowing and managing oneself.

– Daniel Goleman

We all have our own lifelong journey of self-awareness. It’s not about comparison. It’s about truly understanding who we are and how we can better use our EQ to truly cultivate our relationships.

But here’s the important thing for manager and leaders to know:

You can learn emotional intelligence. You’re not just born with it. Just like you’re not born with leadership. You use your natural talents and strengths. Work with those and begin to shape them from raw to refined.

You may ask, “Well, how do I do that?”

1Take an emotional intelligent assessment. Once you take that assessment, I encourage you to have conversations not only with some of your personal trusted advisers (e.g. a spouse, a sibling, a parent, or a best friend) but also with your coworkers. (Here’s a list of free assessments, or you can reach out to @sk Brent Anything.)
2Hire a professional coach. The assessment is good, but a professional coach will ask you powerful questions around these areas and then help you to apply it in everyday life. Reading books may allow you to talk theoretically about emotional intelligence, but it gets more real when you start talking about the significant work relationships and significant relationships that you have in your life. A coach can help with that.
3Take the Clifton Strengths Assessment, if you haven’t already. A deep understanding of yourself and your talents is Self-Awareness. Your Strengths will not only give you a way to live and communicate who you are, but they will give you guidance and a vocabulary to enhance your EQ.

If you are ready to grow stronger, work smarter, and live richer, these two tools, emotional intelligence and CliftonStrengths, are a great combination. If you’d like to hear a more in-depth conversation about Leading with Emotional Intelligence, watch here.

Businesswoman motivating her team members in a meetingThere’s one asset we all have a limited amount of: time. There’s one non-renewable resource: time. If time is such a valuable commodity that’s limited and non-renewable, it would make sense that we would spend it wisely.

Leaders attract those with positivity and healthy, balanced emotions. Conversely, a neg-aholic is one who’s always focused on the negative, complaining, blaming, and being the “Debbie downer” in the room.

Jerry Slayton, my tennis coach, inspired me with these words:

“It’s not your aptitude that determines your altitude; it’s your attitude.” I quickly responded, “I can have an attitude!”

After 26 years of competitive tennis, I have learned that attitude transforms neg-aholics into leaders–or underdogs into top dogs.

As I pursued my Master’s Degree in Psychology, I understood this within the context of IQ versus EQ. IQ is your aptitude, EQ is your attitude, and success is your altitude. Research tells us that 70-80% of our success is due to our emotional intelligence. You can have all the smarts and IQ in the world, but it’s much more challenging to achieve success if your attitude is sour.

Men, I have some news for you. You may not want to hear it. The women have a head start on us. It’s proven that our EQ is far more important than our IQ, and women have been socialized to develop their EQ while men pride themselves on their IQ.

Our EQ is divided into 5 main components:

  • Your self-awareness and ability to identify and label your feelings.
  • Managing your emotions and having the ability to balance between stuffing and spewing your feelings. One with Intellection® can get introspective and analyze why he’s feeling the way he is, allowing him to process and handle his emotions well.
  • Motivating yourself. Jimmy Conners said, “The will to win is inside of you. You have to bring it out.” For a Maximizer® or Achiever® this is easy. However, we can all do it! Think back to elementary school when your teacher initiated a competition, whether it be the first to write the correct response on the board or the last one standing at the spelling bee. If she offered the winner a free ice cream in the lunchroom you were motivated. How can you motivate yourself?
  • Recognize and acknowledge others’ body language and feelings. Someone with the strength of Harmony® can do this well because they try to connect rather than causing conflict.
  • Handling relationships. Brian Tracy says, “85% of your success comes from relationships, 15% comes from your achievements.” A Relator® finds deep satisfaction in having deep relationships. While this may not be a dominant strength for you, draw on your Relator® or any of your relationship-focused strengths.

Game, set, match.

If you want to play with confidence, serve others well, bounce back after a defeat, and win in life, keep climbing the ladder of emotional intelligence.

What would those you interact with every day say about your emotional intelligence? If life is out of balance, others would score you low. Get support, deal with stress, and learn to have authentic, meaningful relationships.

What is the VIA Institute? The The VIA® Institute on Character was established as a non-profit organization in 2001. Their mission is to advance both the science and the practice of character. They aim to fill the world with greater virtue by offering the VIA Survey, free of charge, across the globe. The VIA Survey has been taken by over 1.3 million people in 193 countries and 17 languages.

What is the VIA model? There are 6 virtues and 24 total character strengths that fall within each virtue category.

1. Wisdom and Knowledge – Cognitive strengths that entail the acquisition and
use of knowledge

2. Courage – Emotional strengths that involve the exercise of will to accomplish goals in the face of opposition, external or internal

3. Humanity – Interpersonal strengths that involve tending and befriending others

4. Justice – Civic strengths that underlie healthy community life

5. Temperance – Strengths that protect against excess

6. Transcendence – Strengths that forge connections to the larger universe and provide meaning

What are the 24 VIA Character Strengths?

Click here for the complete list of 24 VIA Character Strengths

Who do you want to be when you grow up?

A few weeks ago, I introduced you to the first 4 stages of balanceability–the word I coined defining your ability to balance your life.  The father of balance research, Erik Erikson, devised 8 stages of psychosocial balance with each stage representing a crisis with positive and negative turning points.  According to Erikson, we need to discover the balance between the positive and negative turning points to lead a healthy life.

Stage 5 is identity versus identity confusion. This stage is most prominent between the ages of twelve to twenty years old, but you can visit a stage many times throughout your life.

Who am I? Where am I going? Where do I want to go?

Our understanding of self grows like rings inside a tree trunk. As we experience the seasons of life, our sense of self branches out into many directions.

How does our identity develop?

The known part of self is experienced through your physical, social, emotional, and intellectual attributes. This leads to your concept of self, which is your belief and understanding about yourself. Your concept of self can be divided between the ideal self (who you want to be), your perceived self (what you think others think of you) and real self (the true you).

The knowing part of self functions through doing. This is accomplished through perceiving, performing, thinking, and remembering. Thus, your self esteem is created and rooted in positive and negative feelings toward one’s self.

A person with a well developed sense of identity is aware of the roots of their concept of self and their feelings of self esteem. They are aware of the different parts of themselves.

The implicit attitude of identity is, “I’m this kind of person. I’m not perfect, but I’m still OK. I can accept your shortcomings because I can accept my own.”

How does identity confusion happen?

Unfortunately, many people grow up in an emotionally deprived environment. Self concept and self esteem is 50% how you were nurtured. Your genetic personality  predisposition is the other 50%.

The implicit attitude of identity confusion is, “I’m not sure who I am as a person. I should be much better or more than I am. I have trouble accepting your shortcomings just as I have trouble accepting my own.”

Top 10 questions to ask yourself

  1. Do I have a stable sense of self that does not easily change, or do I have an unstable self that has many ups and downs?
  2. Can I combine short-term goals with long range plans or do I have trouble turning short term goals into long range plans?
  3. Do I handle the whims of peer pressure or do I give in to the whims of peer pressure influence?
  4. Can I give myself a high level of self acceptance or do I have low levels of self acceptance?
  5. Do I make decisions without undue wavering and indecision or am I ambivalent, fearing that my decisions will be wrong?
  6. Am I optimistic about myself, others, and life, or am I pessimistic and cynical toward myself, others, and life?
  7. Do I tend to believe that I am in charge for what happens to me–good or bad–or do I blame and give control to others when good or bad happens?
  8. Am I able to seek self acceptance by being my own person or do I seek self acceptance indirectly by being what I think others want me to be?
  9. Can I be physically and emotionally close to another person without fearing a loss of self or do I have trouble getting physically and emotionally close to others because I fear co-dependence or being overly separated?
  10. Am I mentally flexible and able to keep my sense of self without having to be right or am I mentally inflexible and keep my sense of self by having to be right?

Do you want to build a new friendship or strengthen your marriage? Need to repair conflict with a co-worker? Dream of having the self confidence to speak up for what you want?

Researchers at UCLA report that success in life is 20% intellect and 80% emotional intelligence. Boosting your emotional intelligence begins with growing your people skills–the foundation for a happy, successful life.

Be smart from the heart. Here are my top 5 EI tips:

1. Know your emotions

Knowing your emotions is like being a good wine connoisseur. When an oenophile–a wine lover–sips a Cabernet or Zinfandel, you probably won’t hear them describe it simply as “good” or bad.”  Wine may be dry or fruity, smooth or complex, smoky or spicy, tart or buttery–it’s full of subtle aromas, tastes, and textures.  Does your feeling vocabulary express the complexity, subtleties, and wide range of emotions in your life? Become an emotion connoisseur. Get a feeling magnet and hang it on your refrigerator or filing cabinet at work to help you identify your many emotions throughout the day.

2. Manage your emotions

Stuffing leads to hypertension, headaches, muscle tightness, and emotional constipation. Spewing leads to aggression, impulsive behavior, conflicts with people, and hurt feelings. Take the balanced approach to managing your emotions and share your feelings calmly. Sharing, instead of stuffing or spewing, rewards you with self-awareness, physical relief, improved communication in relationships, and, of course, a boost in your emotional intelligence.

3. Motivate yourself

Self-motivated people enjoy happier relationships, higher spirits, and a stronger sense of self responsibility. Want to crank up your self motivation and win every day?

  • Dive into reading and learning about topics that rev your engines
  • Watch movies and listen to music that inspires you
  • Spend quality time with other motivated people
  • Set goals and compete with yourself to achieve them
  • Celebrate your victories

4. Identify and recognize emotions in other people

Reading facial expressions, body language, tone of voice, and eye contact are crucial to fully understanding others and strengthening your emotional intelligence. Don’t only listen for what is being said, pay attention to what is unsaid, as well. Train yourself to state the obvious. For example; “You keep looking at the floor when you are talking to me. Help me understand what is going on inside of you right now.” The better you can read and understand other peoples’ “traffic signs,” the more successful you will be in connecting and communicating in meaningful, healthy ways. Traffic signals keep us safely on the road to our destination.  The same is true in relationships.

5. Care for your relationships

As leadership expert, John C. Maxwell says, “People don’t care how much we know until they know how much we care.” Caring for relationships is like tending a garden.  You must prepare a foundation, plant seeds, nurture the buds as they grow, manage weeds, and harvest the fruit. Ask yourself, how can I tend to the relationships in my life?  Is it time to plant?  Time to nurture?  Time to harvest? You may not have a green thumb but when you care for the relationships in your life, building emotional intelligence along the way, you are certain to see love and friendship blossom.