Plus-ing Up Your Life With Emotional Intelligence: An Introduction
GreenBrevard’s mission is to help individuals, families, businesses and organizations reach their fullest potential and accomplish their evolving goals. Through teamwork and synergy we will better able to achieve the goal. The synergy is enhanced when individuals use emotional intelligence.
The beginnings of an emotional intelligence awareness started over 2000 years ago by Plato when he said all learning has an emotional base. However it wasn’t until 1995 when the term EI was popularized in Daniel Goleman’s book Emotional Intelligence. Now, an internet search on the topic will come up with over 837,000 hits! Why is it so popular? Because it is the indicator and differentiator of success in all aspects of life.
This article provides a framework for developing a basic understanding of emotions and emotional intelligence. Subsequent articles introduce the reader to the specifics of the author’s model of “Plus”ing up your life with Emotional Intelligence.
The author defines emotional intelligence as the ability to recognize and use the what and why behind your feelings, to recognize and use your interpretation of the what and why behind the emotions of others and most importantly using and blending the information to communicate successfully.
The first step is getting in touch with and recognizing emotions. Take a minute to pause, stand up…now act as if you have just won $1,000,000!
Did you hoot and holler or just pump your fist and smile? Stop and reflect on the feelings you had while thinking you had won. Excited, energized, happy, overwhelmed, glad, or shocked are fairly common responses. More than likely, you also had feelings about pretending. You may have felt silly, stupid, nonsensical, indifferent, sad, or foolish. If you didn’t do it at all, what emotions stopped you? Maybe you felt rushed, impatient, superior or hurried. No matter what you did after reading the sentence, you had an emotion! This is the beginning of understanding EI.
EI is not about intellectual intelligence nor is it a personality type. People with strong emotional intelligence accurately read people, the situation and react in a way that promotes synergy. These are commonly referred to as “people skills.” According to Daniel Feldman, in The Handbook of Emotionally Intelligent Leadership; with EI you “let your emotions inform you, not deform you.” There are highly educated individuals that are the worst communicators in the world. They interact with others without ever picking up on any conversational tones, body language nor taking other’s feelings into consideration. The National Basketball Association recently had a situation with a player-fan brawl. Obviously, emotions ran unchecked. You may have also met a young child that sensed you were sad and treated you with compassion. EI is present across all ages and all abilities.
If you’re still not convinced there is something to emotional intelligence, think of the last time you had a gut reaction. Maybe something told you to check the stove before leaving the house and you found it on. At work, you may have had a feeling of things not being right and rechecking a process you completed only to find you missed a step. What about a first impression of a friend or new employee that was on target? All of these are example of times you have knowingly or unknowingly used your EI.
We can’t stop our emotions; nor should we want to! They are the result of all the things we see, hear, sense and believe. The “Plus”ing Up Your Life with Emotional Intelligence Model will provide a framework to improve your emotional intelligence. It is how we recognize and use our emotions and the reasons for them (me and my of the model), taking the time to recognize and use the how and why others feel (you and you’re of the model) and lastly using the information to communicate successfully (the us of the model) that will improve your EI. The next article will deal with the “me” and “my” of the model.
Marlene Abbott is CEO of Growing Leaders of Worth, a woman veteran owned company providing leadership development training, education, speaking and executive coaching. Visit www.growingleadersofworth.com
She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 321-638-0243.