I first discovered emotional intelligence–often referred to as EQ–in 2003, when I was passed over for a promotion at work. I was devastated when I wasn’t selected, and went to my boss to ask for feedback. He told me I didn’t get the promotion because I didn’t have the proper credentials. I accepted that—until one of my peers got the position and he didn’t have the required credentials, either.
This peer (and at the time, my new boss) gave it to me straight: the reason I didn’t get the position had nothing to do with credentials, and had everything to do with emotional intelligence. It wasn’t IQ I was missing, it was EQ. He explained that I needed to learn how to “package my passion” in meetings. He also said something about “emotional leakage” and lack of empathy, but at that point, I was already captivated by the concept of emotional intelligence and how I could acquire it.
In the wake of this very direct yet constructive feedback, I asked myself, “How does one develop emotional intelligence? Is there a book or class I could take to cure my emotional leakage?”
I devoured all of the books, assessments, and many of the classes I could find, and even went on to complete a doctorate on the subject of EQ. I have learned so much over the past 13 years! Most importantly, I learned you cannot actually develop EQ from a book or lecture.
The theory of emotional intelligence is not only a cognitive process, but one that involves the entire nervous system. It’s easy to learn but difficult to teach, as the practice frequently crosses the line from training into therapy. To teach it–and teach it well–the facilitator must trigger the emotional centers while safely teaching the skills of self-awareness, self-regulation and differentiated empathy. Practicing these transformational skills is the foundation of emotional intelligence development and is one of my favorite workshops to teach.
In addition to my personal experience with EQ, becoming an EQ facilitator, and completing the work required to earn a doctoral degree on the subject, I have a bachelor’s degree in theater arts and a master’s degree in curriculum design and adult learning theory. All have served me well in developing training that is engaging, entertaining and effective.
I look forward to this adventure of building a community together. Women supporting women as we come together in our commitment to THRIVE is a very powerful journey.