I often get looks of confusion, followed by curiosity and interest when I start speaking about emotional intelligence. Many people want to know the basic foundation; what exactly is emotional intelligence all about?
While it encompasses a lot of different areas, it really boils down to three key things:
The first is self-awareness.What are your triggers (people, situations, behaviours)that positively or negatively affect you? What makes you leap out of bed in the morning feeling energized? What brings you happiness or flow? On the flipside, what drains your energy? What throws you off?
You could be highly self-aware, but the second step is self-management. How are you managing yourself on a day-to-day basis when those triggers come up? Whether they be happy triggers or triggers that throw you in a direction, amegdela hijack, where you sort of freeze because they forget an answer.
The third is how you are showing up in the world, how others see, feel and experience you , self-expression.
Dr. Steven Stein, creator of EQ-i 2.0 assessment and leader in the EI field, defines Emotional Intelligence to be broken down into 5 different levels:
- Self Perception~what’s your self-awareness, what’s your impulse control? We are all icebergs. Things happen at the tip and then there’s things that are happening underneath the water.
- Self-Expression~how does the stuff under the water actually show up? How are you receiving?
- Interpersonal Relationships~How do you control your emotions?
- Decision making~ The ability to solve problems and make optimal choices and to manage your emotions as you’re going through that decision making.
- Stress Management~The ability to control your impulses, to be flexible in your approaches, is so important for all of us.
Take a stroll down memory lane about good and not so good examples of how EI has played out in your life (with you as the main character or others impact on you).
What happened – what was said (or not said) and felt?
Was the interaction productive or not?
What level (if any) of the five listed above went well or could have went better? What might you do different (as the lead of an interaction or to how you reacted to someone else’s actions or behaviours)?
Stay tuned for future posts on the importance of EI in leadership.
Charmaine Moules, PCC (Professional Certified Coach) is a certified practitioner in a tool called EQ-I 2.0 (Emotional Quotient). She is the founder of Visions 2 Performance, a Canadian-based company that focuses on leadership development, coaching and assessment services, and team and organizational effectiveness.