Become Your Wisest Self – Be Emotionally Intelligent

Do you lead with confidence, leveraging your strengths, mindful of and seeking opportunities to improve? How often do emotions impact your decisions? How well do you manage stress? Are you aware of what emotions have to do with high performance?

We fly through busy schedules, ticking off task lists, moving through the items on our project plans. We feel securely armed with the technical skills and abilities earned by degrees and experience.

The skills of our trade or profession, often a point of pride and the foundation for our success, are accelerated by developing another kind of intelligence, your emotional intelligence. We are social beings. The quality of our relationships with others impacts the outcomes we get. Behind the task lists and project plans are the people who make it happen. And how we interact with people can become the difference between a good outcome or a great one.

We’ve all felt the sting of: speaking up too soon, missing an opportunity to build a connection, regretting a hasty decision or withdrawing in times of challenge. We’ve felt the disappointment of missed deadlines. We’ve experienced the lack of enthusiasm or interest that stifles engagement and productivity. How we “show up” in our personal and professional lives significantly impacts the outcomes we get. Emotional intelligence helps us to ‘show up’ in ways that build esteem, inspire self and others and compel the highest achievement.

Being emotionally intelligent fosters wellbeing, happiness and exceptional results. Add emotional intelligence to your personal and professional capabilities; it can help you survive and thrive in your personal and professional life.

Emotional Intelligence is:

  • an effective balance between compassion for self and others,
  • knowing when to ‘check your mood at the door’,
  • recognizing ineffective mindsets,
  • curbing impulsive decisions,
  • being flexible enough to invite fresh perspectives,
  • managing stress with tolerance, assertiveness and flexibility,
  • a balance of realism and innovation, and
  • enough optimism to widen the possibilities.

Appreciate and Inquire

Appreciative Inquiry is an insightful way to invite others into conversations of understanding.
Appreciative Inquiry is founded on the principles of positive psychology. Set in the context of a positive frame that broadens our thinking, appreciative inquiry is to “appreciate”, to increase in value. Individuals share ideas in story and conversation, building beyond the best we EACH have to offer, to include the best we ALL have to offer.

Appreciative Inquiry is a structured interview process designed to uncover the things that have significantly contributed to success for people, teams and your business/organization. Questions are asked in ways that invite deep listening. Stories shared bring the essence of people’s experiences and accomplishments to the whole group.

When we are in conflict, what have we or others done to effectively resolve our differences? If we are seeking the best for our team or our organization into the future, what do we most want to be recognized for? If we are combining teams or amalgamating whole organizations, what are the strengths we have each already built; what can we each bring to a new and changed environment to increase our effectiveness or enhance the services we have to offer?

Too often, when we seek to develop, change and grow, our options narrow to ‘either’ / ‘or’. We tend to miss opportunity because our thinking becomes polarized. Appreciative Inquiry invites us to think in terms of ‘both’ / ‘and’, to widen the possibilities. We look first to our history, to the times of greatest achievement and we use these strengths as leverage for continued success. We ask what needs to change in ourselves, our interactions or the current environment to help us thrive into the future.

Seeking out, acknowledging and sharing the bests we have to offer gives us enough of a glimpse of hope and possibility to break through cynicism, to bridge differences and to level hierarchies between us. When we appreciate and inquire with a friend, an acquaintance or colleague, in our cohorts or teams, across our organizations or with others in our community, we not only discover new paths to the future, we tap into the shared energy and commitment that allows us to create that future.