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Making Emotions Work for You

Learning about Emotional Intelligence

When you think about getting ahead in your career, what comes to mind? How smart you are? How tech-savvy? Yes, both are important. But have you stopped to consider how your emotions factor in, too?

When you think of “emotions,” what comes to mind?

Do you deny them? Acknowledge them? Affirm them? Hate them? Tolerate them? Love them? Depending on which emotions and the situations stir them up, you can experience a range of reactions. But one truth stands out: all kinds of emotions are part of us. A related truth is that those emotions tend to work for or against us. The more you can make them work for you, the more likely you are to achieve success in your professional and personal life!

How can you do that? Become in the know about a hot topic in the training world: Emotional Intelligence (EI). An exciting three-part program called EQ-i 2.0 includes an assessment that shows you how you scored in 15 key emotion-based skills; a workshop to strategize ways you can raise, lower, and balance those skills; and one-on-one coaching to customize your EI experience.

The 15 emotions are combined into five composites. Below is an explanation of how the composites work—and often don’t work—followed by their three related emotions.

SELF-PERCEPTION provides the foundation for all your emotions. The more you know about YOU, the more you’ll be able to use these emotions as a springboard for the rest of them. The three related emotions: Self-Regard, Self-Actualization, and Emotional Self-Awareness.

SELF-EXPRESSION includes skills that help you consider how you come across TO others. If you’ve ever attended a meeting where your colleagues engage in a verbal volley of increasingly rude remarks and wonder how they could speak to each other like that, now you know. The three related emotions: Emotional Self-Expression, Assertiveness, and Independence.

INTERPERSONAL skills require planning how best to interact WITH others. Think about those whose team you want to be on and ask yourself why. Your response will most likely include characteristics of those who show how much they value their relationships with others. The three related emotions: Interpersonal Relationships, Empathy, and Social Responsibility.

DECISION MAKING involves more than just making good decisions. This skill focuses on solving problems where EMOTIONS are involved. Have you experienced emotions influencing what started off as an objective brainstorming session? The three related emotions: Problem-Solving, Reality Testing, and Impulse Control.

STRESS MANAGEMENT is becoming an ever-increasing requirement to cope with your day-to-day life at work and at home. During my workshops, I joke with my participants by suggesting we can eliminate this skill because none of them have stress in their lives, right? Typical responses are loud pleas, even demands, that we start and end with this skill because they are SO stressed. How about you? The three related emotions: Flexibility, Stress Tolerance, and Optimism.

Changing Your EI Skill Interpretation

The 15 skills by themselves are fascinating, especially when you learn their definitions. They do not necessarily mean what you may think, which adds to their power.

For example, consider the definition of Self-Regard. What does that mean to you? Before I became certified five years ago to train and coach Emotional Intelligence programs, I knew—or thought I knew. To me, the more strengths I had, the higher my Self-Regard would be. For all the weaknesses I had, my score would decrease. Right? Wrong, not according to the EQ-i 2.0 model. Here’s their definition: Self-Regard is respecting yourself while understanding and accepting your strengths AND weaknesses.

How reassuring is that? I was amazed I could score high in Self-Regard even with weaknesses. Here’s how that works: for each strength, instead of taking it for granted, celebrate it! For each weakness, follow this process: Ask yourself, “How much does this supposed weakness really matter in my life?” One example is how deficient I’ve always felt about my inability to cook, especially since I was surrounded by others who could put together a five-course meal quickly, effortlessly, and deliciously.

I now know that doesn’t really matter! My husband enjoys the meals I can cook well, and we do our fair share to support the restaurant industry. However, my time management skills are not what I’d like them to be, which does matter. For those weaknesses (or, as I’ve come to rename them, opportunities for growth), I devise a plan to convert them into strengths. Following that process results in double rewards for me: increased Self-Regard and increased joy in celebrating each win!

Putting the EI Skills Together

In future blogs, we’ll explore a key related skill from each composite with tips for using it to your advantage. Meanwhile, here are some questions for you to consider: Which skill receives the most client requests for emphasis in my workshops? Has become the biggest predictor of success in the business world? Actually benefits you more if you don’t score too high in it? Can become your new best friend? Contributes most to your happiness?

Oh yes, here’s a 16th skill that EQ-i assesses: your Happiness and Well-Being. This program provides value in so many ways that it earns rave reviews from clients who describe it as life-changing.

Here’s one more exciting aspect of Emotional Intelligence: while each of the 16 skills is important individually, the magic really happens when you combine them. Consider a leader whose scores show high Self-Regard, high Assertiveness, low Empathy, and low Impulse Control. Would you want to work for someone who can come across as egotistical, communicates aggressively, lacks compassion, and leaps before looking? But the great news is that thanks to EI, all 16 skills can be increased, decreased, and combined into a recipe producing a popular, productive leader.

Which skills would you include in your recipe for a new you? I’m looking forward to exploring that further with you in future blogs or during a program customized for you and your organization. Contact Purple Ink for information on how to make that happen.

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Linda Comerford
Linda Comerford
Linda is a Collaborator with Purple Ink. She loves that her training style blends information and enjoyment as her participants learn strategies for successful written and oral communication and find practical ways to make their emotions work for them.

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