What is Emotional Intelligence (EQ) anyway? Simply put, it is the way we recognize emotions in others and how we manage the emotions in ourselves. While EQ is a very important component in all of our relationships, it is a critical component of our relationships with our family. As we all know from being in a family, there are ‘triggers’ in our family that can lead to very positive reactions and memories as well as ‘triggers’ that can create miscommunication and damage in our relationships. It is particularly important, then, to be able to discern how we are experiencing these triggers and to keep them from driving poor decision making or choices we make inside of our families and inside our family businesses. You will find numerous resources on our site that will teach you more about EQ. If you would like to complete an EQ assessment to find out what your particular EQ strengths and challenges are, please let us know and we can make that happen. But for now, let’s learn a bit more about the foundation of EQ — self awareness.
Self-awareness is important because by tapping into the information your emotions provide you can change your behavior and thinking in ways that often can turn situations around. The key to using emotions intelligently is to make your emotions work for you in ways that make your life easier. Self awareness really asks you to examine yourself: what’s important to you, how you experience things, how you feel and so on.
Self-awareness really starts with the idea that we are separate from other people and that we can take responsibility for our one actions and reactions. We have our own intentions, thoughts, wants and feelings and it important to acknowledge them. We really need to ‘experience’ our emotions — all of them. Basically there are seven emotions: anger, anxiety, fear, joy, love, sadness and shame. (Please take a look at some of our other EQ resources to understand the definitions of each of these emotions.) We all are not the same in our ability to discern our emotions, one from the other. For example, many of us may experience anger a lot, but we may not differentiate our anger from sadness, when it might be very important to be able to do that.
Some tips for self-awareness are: practice being present – feel now instead of waiting to digest feeling and information until the evening; notice if you are experiencing any physiological changes; reduce your internal “chatter” to get out of your head; practice naming and reflecting neutrally on your experiences of things as they are happening; focus on what you want and not what you don’t want; notice your level of intensity at different times during the day. You may want to keep a daily ‘Experience’ journal for the 30 days, focusing on what experiences you are having as well as noticing how other people’s experiences might look to you i.e. can you tell when someone is sad as distinct from frightened, or can you tell if someone is simply in a state of ‘joy’ during the day etc.
Have you heard of EQ or EI? Do you want to know how it can help you in your family, business and/or family owned business? This video describes what Emotional Intelligence is and the components that contribute to it.
Have you ever had a reaction to something someone does and label them something – jerk, nice guy, etc? Has this colored your perception of that person after? This Prezi presentation explains that there is difference between what happens, a behavior, and whoever is making that behavior. Demonstrating how observing vs. judging can and does contribute to a positive EQ.
Did you see our Introduction ot Emotional Intelligence segment? Do you want to have some tangible practices to improve your EQ today? This video isolates the first steps of EQ and behaviors to practice.
Did you watch our Judgment vs. Observation Prezi? Did you want some tips and tricks to notice neutrally (observe) instead of make judgments? This Slideshare presentation explains how we are able to reframe our experiences and wire our thoughts to see actions, as just that, an action and not a positive or negative.
Do you tend to avoid ‘negative’ emotions? Or do you tend to keep emotions at bay in work situations? This exercise is designed for you to see the benefits of all 7 essential emotions and why you may want to spend more time with your emotions.
Are you interested in beginning you EQ journey? This segment explains what self-awareness is and why we recommended it as the first step for improving your Emotional Intelligence.
This video explains how when you are aware you can begin to change your Emotional Intelligence responses.
Are you wondering how to continue to practice EQ Self Awareness and Self-Regulation? This segment reviews how we can create mechanisms to help us stay motivated on the Emotional Intelligence path.