This post is a reflection on a short course I took on Emotional Intelligence.
Every day, we deal with enormous amount of emotions. Whether we recognize them or not, they govern the way we think, feel, act, and react. We have always believed that IQ (Intelligence Quotient) is the only determinant of our happiness and success in life, yet, science, experience, and time proved that EQ (Emotional Quotient) has its big fair of this equation.
By definition, “EQ measures the ability one has to recognize his or her behaviors, moods, and impulses and to manage them according to the situation”. This entails four pillars, which are:
- Self-awareness in terms of knowing our preferences, resources, and intuitions and being able to recognize why is that.
- Self-management in terms of managing our emotions, being able to gain trust, be accountable, and flexible with new changes.
- Social awareness in terms of gaining desirable responses to others; and finally,
- Relationship management
Work Tendency Assessment
One of the shortest, yet straight to the point, assessment in the course was the “Work Tendency Assessment”. The assessment assumes that we all fall under four categories when it comes to our way of doing things at the workplace; Visionary, Achiever, Facilitator, and Analyzer. The overall description of each type of the four tendencies are:
- Visionary: “Focuses primarily on the big picture. He or she looks at long-term, desired outcomes and the general direction of the team and its processes. As such, the Visionary can provide a much- needed sense of mission, direction, and leadership that others cannot. On the downside, the visionary often ignores the details and fails to do what is necessary to get things done”.
- Achiever: “can be counted on most to accomplish tasks. He or she is often a diligent worker with an outstanding level of technical expertise and can be counted on to complete any task to which he or she is assigned. However, in his or her desire to get things done, the Achiever often overlooks the contributions of others and may be seen as “difficult to work with””.
- Facilitator: “is by far the best at working with people. In doing so, he or she tries to ensure that processes are established and upheld. When conflicts arise, the Facilitator can be counted on to step in and make things right by getting all the parties to appropriately discuss their differences. This can also be a negative, because, in his or her attention to process, the Facilitator often neglects to complete tasks on time”.
- Analyzer: “is the conscience of the team. He or she reviews the team’s decisions and approaches and compares tem to the common purpose to make sure the team stays on track. As such, he or she can often provide the ethical and procedural compass that teams require. However, in doing so, the Analyzer often remains in the reactive mode and is often not seen as a self-starter or as someone who can perform a task done”.
According to my test’s results, my tendency is “Achiever”. As much as I am aware that I am “Achiever”, the course opened my eyes to the drawback of being achiever, especially when it comes to working in a team. The below graph summarizes how can each one of the four characters work with the others.
Emotional Fitness Assessment
The other important assessment in the course was the “Emotional Fitness Assessment” in which we could identify what specific areas, under the Emotional Intelligence Umbrella, need to be improved.
The areas under the Emotional Fitness Assessment are:
- I am a good listener
- I respond to the needs of other
- I encourage others with praise and recognition
- I show appreciation
- I can admit when I’m wrong
- I can say “I am Sorry”
- I feel a sense of belonging
- I am easy going and cooperative
- I am sensitive to how others feel
- I make it a point to be diplomatic and tactful
- I respect diversity
- I can say “No”
- I can deal with change
- I have good time management skills
- I am self- motivated
- I am an enthusiastic person
- I have a positive attitude
- I deal effectively with failure
- I eat well and exercise
- I can turn to friends and family when in need
- I can deal with anger
- I am good at comprising
- I maintain my cool when dealing with outbursts from others
- I make good decisions and positive choices
- I surround myself with positive energy
- I take risk and push myself out of comfort zone
- I communicate what I am feeling
- I am self- confident
- I take responsibility and can be held accountable
- I can be trusted
Among the above, self-confidence is the most important aspects for many of us. In the training, we had very interesting set of questions that we can use to build our self-confident. The questions are:
- What are my positive qualities, Strength, and traits?
- What are my past successes and achievements
- Write a brief self-pep talk (three things I am most proud of)
- Describe a risk that you will take in the near future
- Describe one past situation where I could have been more myself
- Identify your family and friends who you can turn to for support
How to Disagree with other Respectfully?
The training provided a nice way to deal with different opinions. The first step is to use “Cushions” such as: I see what you are saying – I appreciate what you are saying
While using cushions, we should avoid words such as “but”, “however”, “nevertheless”, and “yet”.
Instead, we can use “and” or just a short pause.
Then, we can contribute with our ideas by starting with:
Let us also discuss
How about this angle
What would happened if
Have you ever thought about?
Compare that idea with this idea
Responding to Emotional Outburst
The most important four emotions that we must control, avoid being trapped with, or outburst because of them are:
- Fear: “to control fear in ourselves, take small steps toward that which is causing the fear. To control fear on others, provide a safe environment for them to take small steps toward overcoming their fears”.
- Anger: “to control anger in ourselves, take timeout and gain perspective on the situation. To control anger in others, give them the time and space to decompress and thin the situation through”.
- Disappointment: “to control disappointment in ourselves, get focused on new projects and keep busy. To control disappointment in others, learn what motivates them, bet them involved, and keep them busy”.
- Smugness: “to control smugness in ourselves, challenge yourself to get out of your comfort zone, and set new goals. To control smugness in others, challenge them to greater achievements”.
The conclusion that I had from the course is that I, and the others, come in a package. We all have good and bad sides so we need to learn how to accept and respect the whole package. No one is perfect; we are all Work in Progress.