THE LINK BETWEEN EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE + RESILIENCE
Emotional intelligence is the ability to recognize and understand our own emotions, the cause of them and the impact they have on our thoughts and actions and those of others. The skills of emotional intelligence are developable and hold the promise of well-being, happiness and performance. And who among us doesn’t want to feel well, be happy and be the best we can be?
In the workplace, research studies suggest that up to 60% of our success is attributed to emotional intelligence. Building the skills and competencies can support us in:
• Being self-assured and self-respecting knowing we have strengths and limitations;
• Pursuing meaningful learning and growth that is aligned to our personal values;
• Expressing ourselves in a way that respects our feelings, thoughts, beliefs, personal rights and values and allows the same for others;
• Building mutually satisfying relationships that are characterized by trust and genuine care
• Accessing clear thinking, elevated problem solving and decision making
• Being flexible in the midst of unpredictable circumstances, ideas and people
• Managing stress reactions in adaptive ways
• Adopting an optimistic perspective about the future.
“We are creatures of emotion
long before we are creatures of logic”.
Neuroscience supports the observation made by this pioneer of adult education and self-improvement. Humans are wired to MOVE TOWARD that which is rewarding and to MOVE AWAY from that which is perceived as threatening. In both scenarios a cascade of biochemicals are released into our bloodstream anchoring us to an emotional experience which either energizes/revitalizes us or drains/depletes us. And that’s where the Resilience part comes in.
Research shows that our emotions are reflected in our heart rhythm patterns which travel to the brain. When our patterns are coherent and in sync, the brain can think clearly and operate from a place of choice and responsible action. Emotions like happiness, satisfaction, joy, excitement, harmony, appreciation are feel-good emotions. When we feel good we tend to do better! When we are under threat, a stress reaction ensues, the heart rhythm pattern is chaotic, the brain shuts down and our ability to think clearly, to problem solve, to stay focused and to manage ourselves in the moment is difficult.
Think of a time you were stuck in traffic, running late for a meeting, had misunderstanding with a co-worker, a spouse, one of your children, an aging parent. Think of your emotional state at that time; were you worried, anxious, annoyed, frustrated, angry etc
• How well did I manage myself in that situation?
• Did I say or do something I wasn’t proud of or later regretted?
• Did I ruminate endlessly over what was said or done?
• At an energetic level, how did I feel?
Emotions experienced in a threat response help us when there is a real threat! Social psychologists however tell us that the brain can’t differentiate between a real or perceived threat. When we experience “negative emotions” we are drained and exhausted.
Now more than ever, people and organizations are under siege (aka; threat!); struggling with complex challenges and frequent change due to factors of which we have no real control. The ensuing stress reactions are derailing our individual health, the health of the teams we work on, the organizations we work for, indeed the very health and well-being of our families and society. We are increasingly operating from a deficit position.
Building your levels of resilience means you would have the capacity to prepare for, recover from and adapt in the face of stress, challenge or adversity.
Emotionally Resilient people are aware of their emotions and value the powerful messages they impart. They are able to name their emotions and shift and change their emotional states more quickly for better results. Emotional resilience underpins good decision making, strategic thinking, innovation, effective communication and improved relationships and as human beings we are hardwired to be connected, to collaborate and support one another. Just feels better doesn’t it!