A hot topic in personal and professional development these days is emotional intelligence.
Emotional intelligence, in general, is learning to calm the reactions our thoughts and beliefs create, so others can have their thoughts and beliefs intact in our presence. It’s learning to respect others by not imposing our ways of thinking and being on other people, and to be aware of diversity, unconscious bias, and be sensitive to others. And… of course we hope the other people are on board with this too.
Since 1999 I have been exploring human communication, connection, and relationship in a holistic way and coaching people to be better at that. We connect, communicate, and be in relationship through our body, mind, emotions, and spirit. I have learned through my own growth, and thousands of hours with clients that unless we open deeply to relationship, we will feel dis-satisfied and unfulfilled in life. The big problem is that we are so vulnerable – wound-able, that we instinctively protect ourselves which creates distance between us and what we really want under it all.
When we attempt to control relationships through wounds, we make all kinds of rules – we like our intimate partners to be a certain way. We push away others that make us uncomfortable or cause cognitive dissonance – shaking up our little world. We trust instincts born from trauma and wounds.
These rules and not being able to enforce them are a huge factor in the amount of stress and anxiety people feel. Life and other people SHOULD BE a certain way… a way that we decided as children – caused by family and society at the time – and we now believe it is just who we are or how it is. It isn’t. It is simply a strategy devised to keep us as safe and successful as possible and it is so outdated that it does us far more harm than good.
Emotional intelligence work is a great first step; assisting us to be aware of all those adverse reactions, how they affect others, and to stifle them. However, unless the next steps are taken, repressing can cause frustration, anger, resentment, and other passive aggressive behaviours. Unless deeper work is done, many people will go on not really understanding what it is all about, simply placing the ‘emotional intelligence’ band-aid on the trauma, on the wound.
Every leader will deal with these issues; in themselves, and in their teams. A leadership ninja is someone who is monitoring their own mind. Clearing away detrimental thoughts, beliefs, and behaviours as they arise. Not repressing, or re-framing them – clearing them. Experiencing new opportunities and possibilities because their mind is more open.
Once there is that level of awareness and authenticity, as a leadership ninja, you can support your team to clarity and make a generational difference in all your circles of influence – at work and at home.
That is one sweet spot to be in!
When you are ready to take action for yourself or your team, let’s talk.