HOW TO UP-LEVEL YOUR EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE
Emotional Intelligence. What is it and how important is it? Emotional Intelligence has been defined as "the ability to understand, use, and manage your own emotions in positive ways to relieve stress, communicate effectively, empathize with others, overcome challenges and defuse conflict". In other words, it's how aware you are of the impact your emotions, words, attitude and actions have on other people. It is also one of the Number 1 skills top organisations now search for when appointing leaders. I invite you to stop for a moment and reflect on someone you worked for whom you loved and respected. They most likely displayed a high level of emotional intelligence. Not only is your level of emotional intelligence an asset or liability in your chosen vocation, it also plays a part in family dynamics and within your social networks. Why and how do our emotions affect those around us? You are carrying many beliefs in your subconscious mind. When one of these beliefs is 'triggered' (by a person, event or situation) it creates a thought. That thought leads to an EMOTION and it's our EMOTIONS that drive our action. What do you do when something (or someone) creates a rise in you? When you see red? Or when you are frustrated, unhappy or just grumpy at the world? Do you ensure everyone is aware of your displeasure? Snap at your colleagues or loved ones? Yell at your team? Slam doors? Shut down, refusing to speak with others? Complain? Throw things? Storm off? Blame others? Maybe you stay silent, emitting an energy of dissatisfaction around you? Think about a time you were in a room and someone entered who was irritated, angry or maybe feeling just a little 'off''. The change of energy in the room is palpable, before they have even said a word. So how do we begin to control our emotions, before they take control of us? According to Daniel Goleman, an American psychologist who helped raise awareness of emotional intelligence, there are five key elements to emotional intelligence:
Let's return to that boss you found highly delightful to work for. Effective leaders, with high emotional intelligence, have learned to manage their emotions. They are not machines. They are not robots. They are human like everyone else. They do, however, have the skill to notice they've been 'triggered'; can complete the task (or conversation) at hand; remove themselves from that situation until they have worked through their emotions; re-enter the environment in a way they intend to SHOW UP; then reconnect with their team. People who are highly skilled at emotional intelligence can do this FAST - at work and home. If you'd like to start being conscious of your level of emotional intelligence, begin by becoming self-aware. Begin to notice your emotions. Say to yourself (kindly and gently) "oh, there's that feeling of irritation again. Why am I feeling irritated? What's going on for me and with me right now?" Take some time turning inwards and you may be surprised what you find. If you like journalling, or are open to trying, it will help greatly. As I mentioned earlier, more and more organisations consider emotional intelligence a more valuable skill than technical skill. People with high levels of emotional intelligence enjoy more fulfilling relationships, better health, less stress and more happiness.
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