Emotional Intelligence

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“The last of human freedoms is to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances.” ~ Victor Frankl

This brief article is excerpted from a weekly ezine (“Monday Morning Muse”) offered by The Coaching Corporation (www.TheCoachingCorp.com). Each Muse has been prepared under the guidance of Inga Estes, president of The Coaching Corporation.

We’ve all heard the term Emotional Intelligence (or “EQ”) tossed around for a few years now, and many of us may still be perplexed at the entire idea. Here are the four fundamental steps of EQ in a nutshell:
1. Pay attention and recognize your own feelings
2. Manage and choose your responses to your feelings
3. Notice the reactions and feelings of other people
4. Influence, lead, motivate, and engage others

These four steps pack a wallop when you work them through. While all of us want to be able to lead, motivate, and engage others, what we too often overlook is that emotional intelligence starts with knowing ourselves.

When you begin to pay attention to and recognize your own feelings, you may find some surprising new insights about yourself. Do you notice that you have a full range of feelings; that sometimes you are happy, delighted, joyous, humored, cajoled, engaged, angry, sad, lonely, bored, confused, or interested? What we don’t recognize in ourselves, we can’t recognize in others.

Here’s a wonderful EQ laboratory: watch the primaries and notice the emotions that the candidates evoke and notice your response to them. Practice emotional intelligence this week. Notice and be curious about your own emotions and the emotions of others, and see if you can choose your responses instead of just reacting.
This first step of emotional awareness gets us on the fast track to powerful leadership.

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