Daniel Goleman, in his research, describes emotional intelligence as.
“a person’s ability to manage his feelings so that those feelings are expressed effectively and appropriately”.
According to Goleman, emotional intelligence is the largest single predictor of success in the workplace.
This was the theme of the Search Inside Yourself (SIY), classes that held during the brush up week of Emba 27 anchored by Brig. Gen. Patrick Manuel Olatunde (aka PMO) and Yinka Reis. It was a class I was not particularly looking forward to due to my track record and personal dislike for anything relating to therapy sessions. However, as it turns out, it was a deep dive into the soul to find a place of comfort and discover new perspectives to listening, speaking and emotional control.
The sessions usually started with something PMO and Yinka called “A MINUTE TO ARRIVE”. This was essentially a time when we were advised to relax and take off the tension before proceeding into any kind of academic activity or discussion. It involved literally easing the shoulders, sitting comfortably and easing the teeth and the tongue. Basically, relaxing the mouth and preparing to the body to be more receptive rather than simply wanting to attack.
SIY sessions encouraged us to be better listeners and we were often sent to breakout rooms with another course mate, and we were encouraged to speak while the other listened for a period without any interruptions. The tables were then flipped and the other would speak while the previous speaker became the listener. A minute was then taken to reflect on what it felt like
WHAT I LEARNT LISTENING
It was a rude awakening for me to realize that the human brain is somehow programmed to be defensive e and always wanting to go on the attack (or better put on the defensive). This is not something bad as we are hard wired to protect our interests wherever possible. However, I learnt that by the simple act of relaxing my tongue and not gnashing my teeth, I became a better listener. I am also able to project a caring and attentive outward appearance to the speaker. If I do not prepare my mind to listen, how can I even be prepared to respond? A good question for later.
An important aspect to note for emotional intelligence are Daniel Goleman’s five key emotional intelligence skills, these are;
- Self-Awareness – Self-awareness, or the ability to recognize and understand your own emotions, is a critical emotional intelligence skill. Beyond just recognizing your emotions, however, is being aware of the effect of your actions, moods, and emotions on other people.
- Self-regulation – it simply means waiting for the right time and place to express them. Self-regulation is all about expressing your emotions appropriately.
- Social Skills – Being able to interact well with others is another important aspect of emotional intelligence. Having strong social skills allows people to build meaningful relationships with other people and develop a stronger understanding of themselves and others.
- Empathy – Empathy, or the ability to understand how others are feeling, is critical to emotional intelligence. But it involves more than just being able to recognize the emotional states of others.
- Motivation – Intrinsic motivation is another important emotional intelligence skill. People who are emotionally intelligent are motivated by things beyond external rewards like fame, money, recognition, and acclaim
Search inside yourself gives a practical meaning to everything Daniel Goleman portrays in his research.
SIY in summary teaches us to.
- Take care of ourselves.
- Develop emotional intelligence when life becomes challenging – Monitor our feeling and emotions in order to guide our thinking and actions.
- Remove ourselves from autopilot traits that may sometimes prevent us from being the best of who we are or who we ought to be. This can be done by several ways, some are;
- Be mindful – clam, clarity and happiness.
- Be integrated in the moment.
- Be dedicated and meditate.
In all these, it is important to note that paying attention to everything and being conscious of what is going on around us can go a long way to discovering the best of who we are.
For me, I can certainly say I am a better person and more emotionally aware of the situations around me and, even though I am a work in progress, I believe the finished article will someday be shown to the world.
God help me!!!