Emotional Intelligence Feed

Finding Contentment

Being content is a wonderful place to be. To me it implies perfect inner piece, a state of mind where "It's all good."

But are we ever really there? Can we ever be?

Yes, we can, but like all things worthwhile, being content requires work ... inner work of the mind and soul.

Finding and maintaining contentment requires constantly cultivating an attitude of gratitude. It requires a mindset change, which is harder for some to do than for others, although most of us to some degree long for something that we do not have.

We can all learn to be content.

One approach to develop your contentment "muscle" is by being aware of how many times you complain about your circumstances. To change your mindset, try one of the following this week:

  1. Each day this week write down 10 things you are thankful for. The catch: Don't repeat any of your items.
  2. Keep a complaint journal each day for all the complaints (thoughts or spoken words) you have about your life. At the end of the week look at your journal and write down something you could be thankful for to counteract each of your complaints.

Finding contentment takes practice but it can be done with a little discipline by retraining ourselves to be thankful in all of the little things. No matter who we are, we've all got something to be thankful for.

What techniques do you have to develop an attitude of gratitude? Share your thoughts with us in a comment by clicking the comment link below!

Change Your Perspective, Change Your Life

Having the right perspective works wonders for our outlook on life. An accurate perspective overrides emotional responses, brings forth optimism in bad circumstances and gives us confidence to move forward. How accurate is your perspective?

It isn't always easy to gain an appropriate perspective when we are in the thick of an emotional or stressful situation, but it is possible. When you find yourself rattled, following are four types of perspectives you can use to reframe a situation:

  • The Big Picture - How does this relate to the whole of my life? How important is this in the grand scheme of things?
  • The Objective Bystander - What would a person not emotionally attached say about my situation?
  • The Comprehensive Exam - How might all of the other people involved see things differently?
  • The Whole Truth - What do you need to know to be confident in moving forward?

Sit down with your situation in mind and thoughtfully write out the answers to these questions. If you still need some help, gaining perspective is a key reason people seek to work with a professional coach.

If you can't get an unbiased and trusted opinion, the above questions don't resonate with you, or you don't want to hire a coach, take my mom's advice and just tell yourself "Things could always be worse." That's another way to reframe!

On the other hand, if you are considering hiring a coach, why don't you contact me for a free consultation? You'll be glad you did. Click the following link to schedule your appointment now --> https://my.timedriver.com/FYFYS

Emotions and Productivity

You've just been unjustly insulted by a coworker in an email she copied to your boss and entire staff. The family member who always pushes your buttons just did it again. You keep thinking about the loved one you miss who is no longer in your life.

Which one of these scenarios triggers an emotional response in you? How might such a response affect your ability to carry out your responsibilities?

Emotions and experiences can be enablers or disablers.

In addition to how they affect the way we think and behave throughout the day, the physiological changes they produce in our bodies via stress hormones are real and help or hinder our performance. Scientific research suggests an average negative experience produces physiological effects that last for approximately four hours, during which time our optimal performance is compromised.

The good news is that we can minimize the effects of negative emotions by being aware of what triggers them and structuring our days to include good emotional experiences to counteract the bad. We don't need to let our emotions hijack us completely.

What activities, people or situations make you feel better? Feel worse? Make a list for each. Insert positive items into your daily routine when you need a mood lifter. Use the "bad" list to let you know when you need to schedule in an uplifter.

We have more control of our emotions than we think. Start being proactive today and watch your quality of life and your productivity improve.    

The Best Worst Speech: Thoughtful Thursday

Speaking up about high stakes emotional issues takes a lot of thoughtful pre-planning. Proper timing and proper word choices are essential. Get it right and you've deepened a relationship and made forward progress. Get it wrong and you've got an even bigger mess to clean up.

Today's Thoughtful Thursday post concerns one of the worst times to communicate-when you are angry. Consider the following:  


Speak when you are angry and you will make the best speech you will ever regret.-Ambrose Bierce


1. What difficult conversation do you need to have in the near future? How can you best prepare for the conversation?

2. How long do you need to wait to "cool off" before having the conversation?

3. What recent conversation do you regret having? What could you have done differently to cause a different outcome?

Leading from the Heart

With leadership comes great responsibility. Leadership requires more than vision casting, goal setting, project planning & task management. With leadership comes the role of a shepherd, to care for those under your charge, ensuring their safety and ongoing development.

Great leadership combines competence with compassion.

Leading from the heart looks like this:

  • Be available to your "flock" for counseling on personal matters. A listening ear and a kind word can help get them back on track professionally.
  • Be protective of your direct reports. Let them know you are on their team.
  • Be watchful for new opportunities. Don't be selfish with your star performers. Let them take on new roles when they arise. The more they succeed the better you look!
  • Be real. Live and lead authentically, sharing your failures along with your successes. Real people develop loyal followers.

Great leadership extends from the heart. How heartfelt is your leadership style? If you have anything to add to my list from your experience, leave a comment by clicking the comment link below. We'd love to hear from you! 

Connecting Learning with Leading
1.  How well do you lead from the heart?
2.  What two things can you do this week to show your direct reports how much you care?

Need help in becoming a better leader? Contact me at 913-219-7844 for a complimentary consultation to learn more about how you can lead to your full potential.

Leadership is Influence

Leadership. It’s all about influence. Without influence, effective leadership does not exist, yet too many people in positions of responsibility rely solely on their official title, assuming they have influence on their direct reports.

They may have less influence than they know. Influence comes from more than just a title. While position carries some influence, true influence happens with a heart connection.

Did you know that influence can be effortless? When we live from a place of authenticity and integrity with humility, vulnerability and a servant’s heart, showing vulnerability, people will be compelled to follow.

A true leader needs no title or position. Leaders influence with their lives.

As I sit here in the unusual quiet of a local coffee shop, I can’t help but think about a dear friend’s influence in my life. We were friends with a deep mutual respect for each other.  We didn’t work for the same company, but shared a passion for a common cause.

Because of her influence, I’m sipping coffee from a porcelain mug, listening to instrumental music on my ipod for focus, and smiling about the wireless mouse that we both love because it has the fastest scrolling capabilities on the planet. That’s influence.

I’m surrounded by and forever changed by her influence and I don’t even know how it happened.

Competent, caring leaders with influence have the potential to change the world by just doing what they do, being who they are. They don’t need titles or position. Who do you need to be so you can be a person of influence?

What stories of influence (or lack thereof) would you like to share in a comment below?

Your Body Speaks: What is it Saying To You?

Knowing our body's language is key to effective leadership. Outwardly, our body language communicates to others. Inwardly, our body speaks to us through our emotions. How well we understand what our emotions say impacts our level of success in many facets of life. How well do you understand your body's language?
From my own personal experience in Corporate America as well as from discussions with other executive/leadership coaches, I've learned that self-awareness is probably the most lacking essential leadership skill among top-level leaders. Self-awareness is the ability to perceive your emotions in the moment and understand your tendencies in all types of situations.
In essence, self-awareness is understanding your own body's language! Why is this important? Because self-awareness leads to better self-management. Excellent self-management skills translate into higher Emotional Intelligence (EQ) and more success at home and in the workplace. Unfortunately, most people don't take the time to get to know themselves through adequate self-examination.
One way to increase your self-awareness is through professional assessments from a qualified distributor. Utilizing a personal coach along with the assessments will help you learn even more in "real time" and move forward with what you learn.
Remember, emotions aren't bad. They are just your body's language. Learn your language and see how much more effective you can be.

What are your thoughts about emotions? 

Want more information on Emotional Intelligence and how you can benefit from increased self-awareness? Contact me at 913-219-7844 for your complimentary consultation.

Emotional Intelligence?: Rep. Joe Wilson's Outburst

Sometimes its best to just zip the lips. I'm sure Congressman Joe Wilson wishes he'd kept his mouth shut last Wednesday night instead of yelling "You lie" at President Obama during the President's speech on national TV.

This was emotional ignorance at its best. Regardless of whether Rep. Wilson's outburst was factual, his timing was definitely poor. I wonder how big of a hit Rep. Wilson's career will take because of his recent gaff.

We've probably all had emotional outbursts at times, but most likely not on such a grand stage.  I know I have said things before that I regret. We can all learn a thing or two from this example.

It is almost common knowledge in leadership circles these days that Emotional Intelligence (EQ) trumps IQ in almost every role, especially leadership roles, because leadership involves working with people. Past a certain point, IQ doesn't really matter tremendously in the modern workplace. To the contrary, EQ always matters because the higher our EQ, the more effective we are in getting things done through others. 

Emotions are not bad in and of themselves. In fact, they provide valuable insights into what triggers our behavior. A lack of emotional control, however, can prove costly in both the long and short term. Fortunately, unlike IQ, EQ can be improved over time. We can learn to check our emotions at door and think before we speak. We can also learn to think and not speak!

Do you know your EQ? If so, what are you doing to improve your personal and social competencies? If you've ever worked with a coach on EQ, would you share your experience with a comment?

If you'd like to learn more about how to improve your EQ through coaching and assessments, I'd love to talk to you. Contact me today for a complimentary consultation!

Did You Know? Video: Rapid Change Calls for Leadership

Times have changed in the realm of management since the advent of computer technology. In the old days,we had managers who taught people what to do. Now, because what needs "doing" changes in the blink of an eye, it is imperative that we become leaders and start teaching people how to think.

The following five minute video, "Did You Know?" brings our fast-paced world to light. To quote some of the stats in the video, did you know?

  • The top 10 in-demand jobs in 2010 did not exist in 2004.
  • We are currently preparing students for jobs that don't yet exist, using technologies that haven't been invented, in order to solve problems we don't even know are problems yet.
  • It is estimated that a week's worth of the New York Times contains more information than a person was likely to come across in a lifetime in the 18th century.
  • It is estimated that 4 exabytes (4.0x10^19) of unique information will be generated this year. That is more than the previous 5000 years.

After you watch the video, I'd love to know what you think.  The video and its music alone is sure to get your heart pounding.  Then, you can think about all of that information and its impact on your world.

Management is obsolete. Leadership is necessity. How are you preparing to lead? How do you handle all of the information coming at you? What will you do with what you know?