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Is a Lack of Emotional Intelligence Holding You Back?

Updated: Oct 4, 2019

If you’re looking to move up the management ladder, there’s one area that you absolutely have to master.

Emotional intelligence.

We’ve been writing about it for the last few weeks, and I’m hosting a live webinar next Wednesday on the topic. (Register here!) Wondering what all the buzz is about? It starts with your brain and your heart.

Our brains are amazing. Without conscious thought, our brain circuitry is processing emotions and it almost automatically impacts our actions. We’re not even aware of this happening - How are my feelings affecting myself and others and the behavior I choose in this moment?

Our hearts play a big role as well. Recent research by HeartMath has uncovered that our heart really does communicate chemically to our bodies: “In short, we found that the pattern of the heart’s activity was a valid physiological indicator of emotional experience…(p20)”   “It is important to emphasize, however, that the heart’s rhythmic beating patterns not only reflect the individual’s emotional state, but they also play a direct role in determining emotional experience.” (p38)

If we’re not mindful of this, we can end up reacting too emotionally. With awareness, we have more freedom in controlling our reactions by blending emotions with rational thought. But that can be easier said than done, as we’ve all experienced ‘losing it’ in reaction to something someone says or does.

Like we saw with Jeff last week, we can be so consumed with our own emotional state that we don’t even consider someone else’s emotions and how we are affecting them.

Once we become more aware and practice processing our emotions, we can genuinely focus on helping others.

We should always keep in mind that it’s not our responsibility or in our control to change other people. But especially in a leadership role, we do have a responsibility to positively influence, build confidence and self-esteem, and help shape thoughts and beliefs of the people we are leading.

In relationships, whether it’s a boss/employee, a husband/wife, friends, siblings, parent/child - emotional intelligence plays a critical role.

It’s how we feel about that other person. Is there give and take? (Check out Adam Grant’s book, Give and Take!). Is there trust? Compassion? Is it genuine, or manipulative? Of course, not all relationships are going to be improved. Some need to be abandoned, because they are abusive.

If it’s a relationship you’ve decided is worth improving, focusing on emotional intelligence is the best place to start.

Begin by thinking of someone you admire who has good interpersonal skills and relates really well to others. The Dalai Lama pops into my mind! He is so humble yet has such a huge impact. He’s not judgmental nor egotistical. He’s not self-serving. I also recall a manager I had who listened really well and helped me to see how my emotions were affecting my judgment at times. I felt like he truly cared about me and he wasn’t doing it just to help himself (although I’m sure it did)!

Think about how you might interact with this person differently in order to better connect, relate and communicate.

The lack of emotional intelligence has been found to be one of the biggest deterrents to a manager’s success and her opportunity to be promoted. Join us next Wednesday, September 6 at 2pm EST to discover more about emotional intelligence and how we can improve relationships and success, on the job and at home!

Cheers, Laurie

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