Updated: Jul 15, 2019
Have you ever said, “I was so mad, I didn’t have any choice?” Have you heard a family member say, “I was so sad that I had to…?” If so, emotions may be running the show, rather than serving and informing as they should. We have strong emotions for a good reason – they motivate us to move toward things that reward us, but also move us away from things that can threaten or injure. Our response to these emotions and the situations in which they arise is the strongest determinant of success, even stronger than intelligence or diligence.
We all know highly intellectual people who just can’t seem to advance in their careers, establish and maintain good relationships, or live happy lives. We also know people who are not intellectual giants but who seem to advance quickly, enjoy intimate connections, make good decisions, and seem satisfied with their lives. They may look “lucky” as if they’re always in the right place at the right time, and know how to “play” every situation. People seem naturally drawn to them, and to trust them. These people are exhibiting what is known as Emotional Intelligence.
Emotional Intelligence is learning to recognize your emotions, and to use them constructively to enhance relationships, succeed at work, and build toward full realization of human potential. Emotional Intelligence has special relevance for leadership, as it is the cornerstone of producing results through the efforts of others. The better able you are to use your emotions effectively – rather than your emotions “using” you – the better for you and those around you!
The good news is that Emotional Intelligence can be learned.
Now let’s look at how we can practice this:
First, there is one key thing to remember- slow down! Develop the habit of taking a couple deep breaths before responding, identify the emotion, and practice thinking about what is going to provide the best results in the future, beyond any immediate satisfaction. You can then choose the response you think is best.
Secondly, people develop personal success with by reading on the subject, counseling or coaching, using specific technologies designed for this purpose, and of course, practice emotional Intelligence by reading on the subject, counseling or coaching, using specific technologies designed for this purpose, and of course, practice.
For over 20 years, I have been helping individuals, couples, teams, and families overcome “emotional hijacks,” where strong emotions might lead to responses that are less than optimal.