Welcome to the Samantha Leith Show with me. Yep, you guessed Samantha Leith. Each month we dive into a different topic and this month is all about emotions, feelings, and moods. What they are, how we use them, the good, the bad and the what the… And how we can get a true handle on them to help us with our extraordinary lives.
Emotional intelligence is the capacity to recognize, understand, and manage our own feelings, and to recognize, understand, and respond effectively to those of others. First talked about in 1990 by Peter Salovey and John Mayer, it became more popular when the American psychologist Daniel Goleman came out with the book Emotional Intelligence in 1995.
In it, he stated there were five key elements: self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy, and social skills. Then in 2002, this was redesigned to four domains: self-awareness, social awareness, self-management and relationship management. Back to the basics. EI or EQ?
It’s a debate. We don’t say II with IQ, for intellectual intelligence. But with emotional, it hasn’t been consistent. EQ is the level of a person’s EI. For the purposes of this, I’ll abbreviate it as EQ. And don’t get cranky with me about it. Most people do all right. At a most basic level, improving our EQ helps us to be more successful in our personal and professional lives, from being able to manage stress and overwhelm, to being able to resolve conflicts and motivate others. It’s a skill. Like improving our confidence or lifting stronger weights, we can learn to develop ourselves in this area. And we should.
A 2003 Harvard Business Review reported that 80% of competencies that differentiate top performers from others are in the domain of emotional intelligence. It’s important. Making it not what you know or who you know, but how you work with them. New one. Like charisma, high EQ can also have a darker side.
When you have a strong ability to recognize and understand others, it can give you an upper hand to manipulate or take advantage of situations. I’m going to assume that nobody watching this video would have those intentions, so let’s keep going, shall we?
Self-awareness: it’s about emotional, accurate self-assessment, and self-confidence. This self-awareness is a continual motion throughout our lives. Sense an emotion, acknowledging the feeling, identify what the situation is. Asking questions, taking action, if and when needed; reflecting and learning. Becoming an expert in you. With this kind of self-awareness, including the ability to really acknowledge your strengths and weaknesses, it leads to greater confidence and emotional regulation.
Self-management: emotional self-control, transparency, adaptability, achievement, initiative, and optimism. Self-management is how you manage yourself; your actions, your thoughts and feelings. Being able to control your mind in these areas will not only help you achieve more and feel more connected, it’ll help you to stop those monkeys that take over your amygdala, creating chaos in your mind.
Now onto other people. Because well, hopefully, you’re not spending your time on this planet all alone. Social awareness: it’s about empathy, organizational awareness, and service. Have you heard this saying, “Read the room”? That’s social awareness. Our ability to notice what’s happening for others and using our own understandings; trying to sense what they’re feeling or thinking. This is where our capacity for empathy will help us to connect with them and respond in the very best way.
Lastly, there’s relationship management. Inspirational leadership, influence, developing others. Being a change catalyst. Being good at conflict management, building bonds, teamwork, and collaboration. This is where the dots from the other three parts are connected. If you’re struggling in one of those areas, it will impact your relationships. We know that. From getting a team on the same page in the workplace to negotiating with your five-year-old about bedtime, relationship management is a skill we all need.
What crazy person invented this stuff? Nobody on earth wants to be spun around in the air. Are they mental? I really don’t want to do this. I can’t focus. My heart is going to burst out of my chest. I’m so cold, but I’m sweating and I’m breathing like I just ran a marathon. Make it stop!
Let’s look at how we can improve our emotional intelligence, shall we? Well, of course we will. Step one: observe. Actually, I’ll just stop there. Right there. Don’t need to go on. Observing yourself and others sounds so simple. Yet, we struggle with it. Do we really notice and understand the cues our own body and mind gives us? Are we actually paying attention with two ears and two eyes to the people in our lives? Chances are you’re not. And when you do, my friends, there’s so much information to be had.
Depending on what area of your emotional intelligence you want to work on, some of these may be more appropriate than others. So, let’s go through them. Recognize, name, and accept your emotions and feelings. To label or not to label? That is the question. Well, labeling’s powerful. It’s not good or bad; it’s what you’re experiencing in the moment. Naming and accepting it will help you move on. Fighting it will soon have your monkey mind in fisticuffs. Be curious about what the emotional feeling is trying to tell you. These things don’t just pop on up to give you the shifts. They are guides, signals to something with deeper meaning. When you felt scared, walking down a side street with no lights on at midnight, all alone, it was probably for good reason.
If you are continually feeling frustration in a certain situation, maybe it’s time to change it. Then, notice the changes in your body to situations. We change physically, especially when a strong emotion is there to say hello. Have you ever thought to yourself, oh, hang on. How many times do I need to get that message? We’re human, so probably a lot. But starting to really pay attention to your physicality can help reduce the number of times you need that gentle reminder.
Practice showing authenticity, honesty, and vulnerability. We probably lie to ourselves more in a year than we do to others in a lifetime. That’s big lies I’m talking about. Not those little ones, the ones that you just think it makes life easier. When someone says, “How are you?” And you automatically say, “Okay,” even if you’re not. I’ve started to pause in these situations these days and answer more honestly. It doesn’t mean going into a 10 minute spiel about what’s going on, but showing up with more humanness is a good thing.
Use mindfulness habits, such as journaling and breathwork. I know; I say this in relationship to just about everything. Because it works. When you can look through a journal and see patterns or know to take those three breaths without second-guessing yourself, to help calm your nervous system in a situation, you will thank me.
Improve your general communication skills and help reduce a stigma around talking about emotions, feelings, or moods. Words can be big and scary. And we learn to dampen them down from an early age. Stop. “Big boys don’t cry.” “Ladies don’t say things like that.” Blah, blah, blah, blah. We live in a world with increasing mental health issues. And I wonder if we made it okay to share how we’re feeling or what we’re experiencing, without fear of judgment, it would be different.
Put yourself in new situations. I’ve recently been doing more charitable work, and it’s really opened my eyes and my thinking greatly. So, there’s travel, new social experience, studying, and even reading a different genre. Pick up of vampire fiction. Create boundaries, especially in areas you know are likely to set off an emotional reaction for you. You can go back to episode 25 for more help on boundaries. Bottom line: they’re good for everyone.
Finally, take responsibility, not just for your actions, but for the emotions and feelings also. Nobody can come into your body and make you feel something. You did that. It may be based on a reaction to a previous situation which you didn’t control. But that feeling, it’s all on you.
I had no idea we were doing this today. Am I happy or angry? Neither, I guess. It just all feels so unexpected. Who gets to be a kid like with this when we’ve all got so much adulting to do? I’m so wide-eyed, and I’m open to all these amazing possibilities around me. But my heart’s racing. And it’s kind of getting calmer, but it’s racing. And I feel all warm inside.
Thank you so much for watching this week’s episode. Please like, share, comment, and subscribe and help me to be able to bring you more juicy topics like this. And don’t forget to grab the worksheets on the website: SamanthaLeith.com/freebies. And please stay in touch on the socials. I’d love to hear what you’ve been up to.
Produced by Rebecca Saunders and Pyrmont Studios
Pharrell L Williams
Happy © Emi April Music Inc., Emi Blackwood Music Inc., Universal Pictures Music, More Water From Nazareth
Produced by Samantha Leith / Michael Tan
Vocals by Samantha Leith
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