I would like to share my story on how working on my EQ has truly shifted my leadership and increased my joy. Emotional Intelligence is increasing in its popularity and acceptance as the number one leadership advantage. Your EQ, which is the measurement of your Emotional Intelligence (EI), is just as essential as your IQ to advance in most evolved organizations today. EQ can be measured through validated assessments, which BTW all True Life Coaches are certified in.
Unlike your IQ, your EQ is something that is learned and developed through training, experience, and wisdom. A great working definition from Robert Cooper is
“Emotional Intelligence is the ability to sense understand and effectively apply the power and acumen of emotions to facilitate high levels of collaboration and productivity.”
Even though I have taught EI for nearly 2 decades, I had a huge eye-opening experience when TTI unveiled their EQ Assessment at 2011 Winter Conference. It was here that Dr. Izzy Justice explained what happens to the brain under stress. When it gets to a certain level of stress, emotion takes over our body before we are even aware of it and when that happens emotion always trumps judgment and overrides our logic.
As he explained the process of decision making, I fixated on the teaching that when your stress elevates to a “red” level your amygdala shuts down your “thinking” brain and your survival brain takes over. In very simple terms, emotion takes over to make sure you can survive. Your brain doesn’t know if its being chased by a brown bear or a devastating email, so your body takes over before you even know what happened to you. Once that happens and the “crisis” is resolved, it takes 3-4 hours for your body to return to its “clear” state.
All I heard was it takes 4 hours for your judgment and logic to return.
When you have prolonged stress and your body starts running on adrenaline, you are no longer employing your logic, your competencies, your cognition — you are surviving on your instincts, your emotions, your reactions. You are no longer choosing and responding, but solely reacting. Back to 4 hours… why would I let anything hi-jack my rational brain for 4 hours? What is worth that? The truth is…
I spent decades surviving on this adrenaline!
The EQ assessment with training helped me see where I was in my EI development and then gave me tips on how to work on it. The first two aspects of EI are Self-Awareness and Self-Regulation. Once I started to work on my self-awareness and recognize when I was moving quickly to “red”, I was able to employ new self-regulation techniques. Slowly but surely I started to see dramatic results. I now teach it with passion and vigor.
Here’s a short clip to illustrate:
Almost 3 years later, I see the fruit of my labor and so does my staff. I work much smarter accomplishing much more with ease. There is greater success with greater joy. Things that triggered me have lost their power and I am able to stay logical even when the temptation is to quickly ignite and react. There is more peace and joy everywhere in my life not to mention the results to the bottom line.
If you are interested in taking the EQ Assessment, just leave me a comment below by noon on Friday (11/22/2013). I’m happy to gift you one for asking as long as you commit to working on EI and blessing the world with your greatness.