I first discovered the study of 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 my 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 and get my voice in the room with more empathy. I was a woman of action and I needed better relationship management skills. I had no idea what he was talking about or how to get more EQ.
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.
Emotional intelligence is not only a cognitive process, but a skill that involves the entire nervous system.
It’s easy to learn but difficult to teach, as the practice frequently crosses the line from education into therapy. Institutions and organizations fail to teach it because it is messy and often too “therapeutic.” It is only in recent years, that school systems are open to the idea of this type of curricula.
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 my favorite workshops to teach.
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.