Working with leaders to improve emotional intelligence skills, I’ve noticed that emotional intelligence is often described as controlling negative reactions. However, positive emotions also get in the way of our success.
Following a post on three ingredients of an actionable action plan, people asked about the best way to get started with a new action plan. Once your vision and goals are clear, starting small and building on success is key.
A lot of us are not that aware of how we actually feel or why we react the way we do in many situations. Emotional self-awareness, the ability to understand what we are feeling and why we are feeling that way, is the foundation of emotional intelligence. The good news is that it’s never too late to learn how to recognize and manage emotions.
Focused attention is rare in a world of increasing distractions and multi-tasking. People often run on autopilot. They constantly rush to the next meeting and attention is pulled in multiple directions. This is both stressful and risky for those responsible for making decisions affecting their companies!
Before we stand a chance of influencing other people, we must show we can lead ourselves in a positive direction. 360 feedback, self-assessments, and reflection can be excellent channels to seeing ourselves as we are. However, we don’t tap into full value of this increased self-awareness until we act.
Self-awareness leads to better performance, influence, and authenticity. One tool we use to jumpstart self-awareness is a personality system called the Enneagram (ennea is Greek for nine and gram means figure or model). The Enneagram describes nine different ways people think, feel, and behave and sheds light on what is actually motivating our behavior most of the time.
A 360 feedback report landing in our email in-boxes or in our hands can trigger our “not-so-rational-and-perhaps-a-bit-emotional” reactions. These reactions are prompted by whether we believe the feedback to be true, by the relationship with the person giving feedback, and by what we believe about ourselves.