Applied Emotional Intelligence

Screen Shot 2015-04-16 at 09.01.41At school we are taught such useful life skills as which chemicals are in the same part of the periodic table, how to decline French verbs, and how to calculate the distance ‘s’ that a cannonball will travel if launched at a speed ‘v’ and an angle ‘theta’.

What school doesn’t teach us, though, is how we can manage our emotions and react to the emotions of others. This is called emotional intelligence.

This article summarises the five building blocks of emotional intelligence in the model developed by Daniel Goleman.

The five building blocks are:

  • Self-awareness
  • Self-management
  • Motivation
  • Empathy
  • Social skills

How can we achieve and apply this?

The Churning is a book of leadership tools for times of change that weaves these skills through every chapter. They are implicitly included in the outer leadership chapters on strategy and execution. And they are explicitly included in the tools and frameworks of achieving inner leadership, woven into a step by step methodology that not only shows us how to face the situation we are in but also how to move forward from it.

Self-awareness is about knowing and understanding your own feelings. Exercises in Chapters 1 and 2 of inner leadership provide practical tools that help you achieve this, by centring and grounding and making sense of the situations you face. As part of this they help you become familiar with the feelings you are experiencing.

Self-management is about being able to manage those emotions. Again, the exercises in Chapters 1 and 2 show you how to do this, both by simply letting go of some emotions, and by understanding and analysing others. Once you have done this, Chapters 3 and 4 then show you how to identify your different ways forward and choose and commit to the one that suits you best, which is also partly about self-management.

Motivation is essential to all leaders, not only for ourselves and also for inspiring others. Motivation becomes emotionally intelligent when it shifts from being about external drivers such as money, fear, or status to inner drivers such as joy, curiosity, or the satisfaction of doing the work you want to do. Again, Chapters 3 and 4 show you how to identify the opportunities in any situation and choose the one that’s best for you. Then Chapters 5 and 6 not only convert that choice into an inspiring vision (for yourself and others) and also ground that vision in a deep understanding of your own personal purpose and values.

Empathy is the ability to read and respond to the emotions of others. This is essential as you come to implement your vision. Tools and frameworks for achieving this are covered in Chapter 7 of inner leadership.

Social skills involve an extension of empathy into negotiating with others and maintaining the momentum as you move towards your vision. Again, practical tools and frameworks for achieving this are contained in Chapter 7 of inner leadership.

Emotional intelligence isn’t something you get taught at school (though Finland may be changing that). But in a time of churning it is an essential part of getting the results you want.

The Churning shows you how.

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