Personal Development

Emotional Intelligence and the Bachelor

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Ok, so I am going to make a radical admission – I have been watching this season’s Bachelor on TV and let’s just say it’s quality time spent with my wife. So, when to my pleasant surprise, I heard how Corinne was being accused of lacking in Emotional Intelligence (EI) by fellow competitor the bachelorTaylor, I thought some might be interested in truly understanding what this form of intelligence is really all about.

According to Genos International, Emotional Intelligence involves a set of skills that define how effectively you perceive, understand, reason with, and manage your own and others’ emotions. Some of the keys skills are:

1. Self Awareness

How you show up in terms of your emotions / behavior forms a huge part of how other people perceive (and feel about) you. The perception of you by others is their reality and first impressions can be lasting. You may not care and that’s ok. But if you do care, such as with family, friends and co-workers, then being tuned into your behavior and its effect on others, can serve you very well.

2. Awareness of Others

In parallel with the above, being equally mindful and sensitive to the emotions of other people can really help you connect with them. By listening better and being able to tap into their emotional cues, you can build a better rapport and be genuinely empathetic; consequently, people will be drawn to you.

3. Emotional Decision Making

Many might argue that we justify based on facts, but make decisions on emotions; think of buying a car. By taking the time to consider, not only the data/facts, but how those (including yourself) might be impacted emotionally by a decision you make, could ultimately lead to making better choices.

4. Self Management

This is the classic where something is upsetting, and do you react impulsively (typically followed by regret), or do you respond in a controlled manner and achieve the desired outcome? Taking time to consider (looking before you leap) is about taking control of the choices you make, in reasonable and responsible manner.

Emotionally intelligent behavior can be summed up as doing/saying the appropriate thing, with the appropriate person, at the appropriate time. In the case of Corrine and Taylor, this just never happened and consequently resulted in what was plain to be seen right up to the end; they couldn’t even look at each other. Everybody thought it was funny (and let’s not forget it was reality TV) but based on what we saw, who would want to spend time with either person?

The New Year and No Regrets

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I was recently asked by my own coach to identify my 100 Desires; anything I would like to do, to be, to taste, to go, to have or to experience. Whatever came to mind was written down with little or no judgment. Interestingly, the exercise turned out to be much more difficult than I thought it would be. The first 30 or so were easy, but then it got steadily more difficult and by 45, I was done. I put it aside for a few days and came back to it and added another 5. The more I reflected on this exercise, the more I thought there was a catch or perhaps I was missing something.
happy team
So, I decided to view this from the perspective of what would the people who I care most about say. I thought of my wife, my kids, my coach and some of my closest friends and before I know it the ideas were flowing again; it felt so good. Interestingly I found that this is pretty much a reflection of our personal and professional lives. Initially getting things done is easy, and then progressively becomes more difficult, until eventually we often give up. However, if you think of other people, you very often find a new lease of life and the creative process kicks in and you advance. Then finally your effort pays off and great things happen.

So, as we embrace the beckoning of a New Year, give this exercise a try. It may not be easy, but bear in mind that everything we set our minds to do is possible but perhaps takes time, money, creativity, and above all perseverance. Some might say where there’s a will, there’s a way and, by also considering what others might hope for you, it can be just the added impetus you needed. Start to live a life of “no regrets”, that’s filled with a sense of purpose and service, and you’d be pleasantly surprised how fulfilled and happier you can be.