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Leading with Emotional Intelligence

My mother taught me the art of leading with emotional intelligence from the moment I was born. Before I even had words.

She's an extraordinary woman who has lived an extraordinary life.

No matter what's happened to her she's responded to life with love, compassion, grace, courage and strength.

She guided me to make wise choice albeit in my younger years I often chose reckless things. Not things wisdom and emotional intelligence would choose. 

But those lessons instilled in me were to reveal themselves later in my life. 

You can't control what happens to you, Jo. You can control how you respond. And how you respond changes everything.'

Her words still ring in my ears. 

She taught me you can do everything right. You can be a good person. And stuff will still happen.

All we truly have control over is what we do with the things that happen. And it's not only our responses to the 'bad' things. It matters just as much what we do with the 'good' things. 

Many people crash because they don't know how to handle so-called good fortune. 

Why is it some people seem to have a natural capacity for emotional intelligence? My mother never attended any courses. I on the other hand had both my mother and courses in my belt. 

Yet I struggled.

Leading with emotional intelligence
- are we nature or nurture?

We're a culmination of nature and nurture.  

We're influenced by our karma. We bring with us from thousands of lifetimes a temperament, a personality and an emotional body and habits. Things we've chosen to work with and learn in this lifetime.

Our Soul's only desire - to expand in Light. Everything we are, even our challenges, work in our best interests.

I call this karma our fate.

Give a group of people the same set of food ingredients and the dishes will be varied.

The influence our parents have is to show how leading with emotional intelligence can turn our fate into destiny. 

And we first learn about emotional responses* by osmosis . Even when we are in the womb. 

* I do not cover in this article the impact trauma and environment have on us, nor how it affects our ability to respond to situations. Still to come. 

In our adulthood, it's now up to us to be leading with emotional intelligence skills AND also with spiritual intelligence skills (that's for another day.)

Life is challenging enough. When we don't have a handle on our emotions and we can't control how we respond, life becomes a nightmare.

Because our emotions not only govern how we FEEL about ourselves and our life, but they also govern our choices, our behaviours and our capacity to redirect our lives when we need to. 

Daniel Goleman's Emotional Intelligence

Daniel Goleman's Emotional Intelligence Model

In Daniel Goleman's book, Emotional Intelligence, there are five skills he discusses.

  • Self-Awareness
  • Self- Management
  • Social - Awareness
  • Relationship Management
  • Empathy

And without these 5 skills, your emotions control you. Leading with emotional intelligence requires you have control over your emotions.

Leadership expert Blaire Singer says when our emotions go up, our intelligence goes down.

Having any power over our destiny requires wisdom. And wisdom is easily clouded by heightened emotions.

To successfully be leading with emotional intelligence, mastery over all 5 skills are necessary

What follows are healthier relationships, a greater ability to achieve goals and a wider choice available to live life to the fullest.

Growth isn't equal

Now, some people have great awareness but lack the capacity to manage themselves. Others have the management down, but not an ounce of awareness on how they are in the world and how they impact others.

Personally, empathy came easy to me since childhood. Growing up though I had neither awareness nor management. I was all over the place creating chaos in my life.

After my first crash in my twenties, I developed awareness quickly. Suddenly I could see EVERYTHING. So much so at times, it overwhelmed me.

My management ability did not grow at the same pace. This left me pained.

There is a reason they say ignorance is bliss. When you know and you don't have the means to DO... life can become freaking depressing.

Until I understood that just because something 'seems' hard doesn't mean it can't be done.

It's all spiritual, mental and emotional muscle. And everything can be developed.

It was part of my Soul journey. To grow the muscle of will power with love and compassion.

I began with FOUR THINGS: Acceptance, Patience, Belief & Neutralise

4 ways to start
leading with emotional intelligence

  1.  ACCEPTANCE: Acceptance of who you are and where you are in life. 

    For me it mean knowing the lack of management ability didn't make me any less. 

    I stopped judging people who lacked awareness or empathy skills. Like me, they were on their own journey. Like me, they would discover themselves in their own away and their own time.

  2. PATIENCE: The patience to allow your life to unfold. 

    I cultivated the patience to not hurry life. Healing and growth can be rushed. 

  3.  BELIEF:  If you don't believe you can do something, any action towards it feels like a waste of time.

    Overcoming self-doubt is a continuous challenge. With each breakthrough, growth in my external world expands. 

  4. NEUTRALISE EMOTIONS: I practised tools to neutralise  and release my painful emotions.

These four things ALONE gave me a sense of personal power over my life. Most importantly over my relationships. 

'Stuff' still happens. But I don't let that stuff into a ticking time bomb.

I leave you with these words:

“Look, no matter how much you want to be, you cannot be reborn as him. You are not. It's okay for you to be you. However, I am not saying it's fine to be 'just as you are'. If you are unable to really feel happy, then it's clear that things aren't right just as they are. You've got to put one foot in front of the other, and not stop.” 

― Ichiro Kishami and Fumitake Koga, The Courage To Be Disliked: How to free yourself, change your life and achieve real happiness

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Hi, I'm Jo, a qualified coach and facilitator. Host of the Dare To Love Club. Creator of The FreshStart Love Journey. I'm lover of love, a relationship explorer. You can find out more about my story and my professional qualifications and experience here.  xo, Jo

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