What is Emotional Intelligence?
Emotional intelligence (EQ) is the ability to notice and name your internal experience while you are having it, and then using this self-awareness to move into actions that are beneficial for you and your relationships.
It is integrating the thinking brain with the feeling brain to have better control over your choices because human emotion is the precursor to all action.
The human brain is an amazing organ and has over 100 billion cells and about 100 billion connections. For simplicity, EQ is targeted in two areas of the brain - the thinking brain (frontal neocortex) and the feeling brain (middle limbic system).
These two sections are wired together with super highways passing information back and forth to each other. Some of us have very strong and clear pathways where our thoughts and feelings flow in harmony. Clear cognition happens when you are aware of what you are thinking, feeling and wanting in any given moment without clutter or debris.
Other people, like me, often have branches and old wreckage to navigate. That often means I am either paralyzed because I am overthinking something that might be distressing, or impulsively acting without a "second thought."
Have you ever sent that email out and then regretted it, or bought something you could not afford and had to take it back? You get it, we do things we do not mean to do when our emotions are driving the car.
What is the difference between IQ and EQ?
Emotional intelligence (EQ) is not like intellectual quotients (IQ) where capability is assessed through the memorization of knowledge, words or concepts.
Emotional "smarts" live in the limbic system of the brain and, although connected to the thinking brain, skill development is sometimes practiced by emotional self-awareness activities or with a highly skilled coach or therapist.
This is perhaps why so many organizations hire to the skill rather than try to develop it. It can be very messy work. If you are in a situation at work and you are wanting advancement through people skills, navigating politics, or learning more about leading change, building your emotional intelligence will certainly help you.
If you lead other people, building your own emotional intelligence can make you a more effective leader.
If you have someone on your team or your spouse needs more work in EQ, this program will be a great resource for them.
But remember, leading others to water will not make them drink. Emotional intelligence can only be developed when a person is willing to change through self-awareness or when the pain gets too great. And even through great emotional or physical pain, it is still difficult to change.
It’s no surprise that over the years I have heard my participants say “my boss needs this class”, or “I am going to take this tool home to my husband, he needs to listen more…” People only practice self development when they want to... However, I have noticed that when I show up in my life more emotionally grounded, it is interesting how others show up to meet me there, too.
Watch the video below, and learn more about the power of Emotional Intelligence.
ACTIVITY: Where Are You Now?
(Refer to Your Workbook)
Practice: Self Awareness
Activity Time: 15 Minutes
Writing is the most powerful tool for self discovery in that the practice uses parts of your brain that speaking alone does not access.
Writing also slows down the brain's processing so that you can go deeper with your insights.
In your workbook, write out why you wanted to take this course.
After a few minutes of writing, think to yourself "go deeper" and see what else comes up.
To learn a little bit more about the human brain, and how we are "wired" to be social animals connected to one another, watch this Nova video on Mirrored Neurons.