Neural-Cultivating, Emotional Intelligence
A breath of fresh air
Balancing the predictable with the unknown
Ways to develop Emotional Intelligence
“You take people as far as they will go, not as far as you would like them to go.”
– Jeannette Rankin
We’ve all heard of IQ. Our Intelligence Quotient is the measure of our ability to reason and solve problems. Emotional Intelligence (otherwise known as the “Emotional Quotient” or EQ) is the ability to understand, use, and manage our own emotions in positive ways to relieve stress, communicate effectively, empathize with others, overcome challenges or defuse conflict. In today’s fast-paced world with information streaming at us from all directions, having and improving our emotional intelligence can stabilize us along life’s journey. With this stabilization comes the ability to relate better to other people, form healthier relationships, achieve greater success at work, and lead a more fulfilling life.
Even though experts vary on the exact number, there are many quotients that science uses to measure our ‘humanness’. Below are a few other “Q’s” that provide insights
“Happiness depends upon ourselves.”
A Breath of Fresh Air
A highly emotionally intelligent person is said to make the warmest friend, the greatest coach, the wisest parent, the finest teacher, the smartest student, and the happiest human being. They live happy lives – with purpose. Highly emotionally intelligent people are usually kind, compassionate, and strong. Being near these kinds of people elevates our energy level. Around them, we feel safe, inspired – yet challenged. They will accept us as we are, yet they cause us to want to be more. Rather than placing demands, they set examples that invite us to improve.
We all know the feeling of being around a highly emotionally intelligent person. It’s like a breath of fresh air. They converse easily, almost effortlessly, whether injecting humor or imparting gravity. They can engage us in discussions of great depths that offer opportunities for profound growth. These are people of openness who allow us to freely share and explore ideas. They tend to have higher levels of gratitude and general appreciation for things that most of us seemingly take for granted.
To be clear, a highly emotionally intelligent person is not a Pollyanna. These types of people see and experience the same world with the same challenges we do. Their attitude or life philosophy is that the immense world around them conspires to do them good. These people take responsibility for their actions. This is a state of pronoia, quite the opposite of the fearing state of paranoia.
Balancing the Predictable with the Unknown
As humans, we continually adapt our perceptions using our life’s history along with the ever-changing world that surrounds us. Humans desire the predictable and fear the unknown. Deep within our genetic hardwiring, humans look for patterns to quench our avid desire to predict. There is nothing we fear more than the unpredictable or unknown. Just like the equally important contrasting states of being awake and being asleep, we also need the tension of the dichotomy of predictability and uncertainty.
People with high emotional intelligence are adept at balancing both. The right combination of sureness and alarm will result in that all-important human condition called, “growth”. Without this combination and equilibrium, we may either be paralyzed into hiding and or stray to the opposite extreme.
Further, internal expectations (predictions) shape what it is we see and how we react to the world around us. Humans rely upon expectations (predictions) to perceive the world around us – even to the point of overshadowing our sensory world. For example, A person exposed to something new will immediately pull from similar experiences to try to deduce information about the new thing – and create an expectation of what it ought to be. However, just like our 5 senses are sometimes ambiguous, our expectations can be a poor indicator of future results, especially in a rapidly changing environment. Our biases and assumptions are ingrained, but we can expand them.
Ways to Develop Emotional Intelligence
Below are a few ideas to boost emotional intelligence:
- Be independent
- Plan ahead
- Actively and incessantly read and research to stimulate a hunger to learn
- Reflect, self-examine, and analyze experiences through several perspectives
- Find humor in things around you, and laugh at yourself
- Embrace problem-solving opportunities
- Cultivate curiosity and open-mindedness
- Allow creativity and imagination
In our automated, high-tech, and hurried world, we are told to “think on our feet” and “hit the ground running.” Those among us with high levels of emotional intelligence rarely follow this directive. Rather, they prefer to slow down, take the time to mull things over, and consider their actions. They are conscious of the world and their place in it. This is not to say they are poor decision-makers or slow to act. Not at all. Highly emotionally intelligent people think more deeply, make decisions more mindfully, and act more deliberately.
As Stephen Covey has suggested, effective (emotionally intelligent) people seek to understand before being understood. If we can begin each conversation as an explorer, we open the door to learning and growing. We’ve all heard the adage, “We don’t know what we don’t know.” What if we have a goal of knowing less at the end of a conversation with another person than we knew at the beginning? Sounds counter-intuitive, right? Think of it this way:
When we can be comfortable doubting ourselves (our perceptions) at the most fundamental level, then and only then, can we begin to see the outlines of new possibilities. Rather than letting the reflex of response be guided by our experiences and biases, start to allow the possibility of asking rather than telling. In every conversation, step into that space of “I don’t know. This requires a certain level of responsibility. This is the transformative influence of a learning mind.
Our perceptions may not represent the world the way it is. Once we increase our understanding of perception, we can engage in dialogue with others differently. Everything we perceive is grounded in our history, our experience. And, the same goes for the other person in the conversation. Their history grounds the perception they bring to the conversation. Imagine the possibilities if we enter conversations of uncertainty (especially confrontations and conflicts) with a question instead of an answer.
Conflict increases awareness of problems that exist and provides a reason for finding a better way forward. The way we enter conflict is usually trying to convince the other person that they are wrong and to shift them towards us. And, they are trying to do the same thing – to shift us towards them. In conflict, we want to win, not necessarily learn. Changing our perception requires us to enter a conversation with a question, a doubt, or uncertainty. Entering every conversation to try to learn another’s perception opens the possibility that we know less than we think we did. This is powerful.
“Nothing interesting begins with knowing, it begins with not knowing.”
Expand Our Humanness
I opened the blog this week by describing the characteristics of emotionally intelligent people. They are often optimistic and hard-working. Their emotional intelligence allows them to adapt and adjust to new situations easily. During difficult or unfamiliar circumstances, they can avoid frustration. Emotional intelligence improves their relationships, brings them more confidence, and drives their professional success.
These people walk through life with genuine curiosity and sincere interest in others. They ask thoughtful questions that invite us to share our ideas, experiences, and perceptions. Since we all desire to make sense of our place in the world and do good, let’s advance our humanness by expanding our EQ – our emotional intelligence quotient. By doing so we may be bestowing the greatest gift one can give another.
It is my greatest hope that you will implement some tips from our Bio-Cultivating and Neural-Cultivating blogs. Further, it is my hope you will be inspired to pass these learnings along to family and friends. We all have people in our lives who have the desire but lack the accurate information to improve their health. It is frustrating to sift through the bombardment of data and the misinformation in today’s world. It’s no wonder some give up in frustration. I believe that we deserve the healthiest choices that honest modern science can offer. It is my mission to help as many of us as possible get and stay healthy.
As a tennis coach myself, I found the compression industry to be unacceptable for our needs. I set out on a journey to help you and your students. I know we all get beat up. The harder we compete the more we get injured. All compression is not created equal! At Body Helix, we start with an unapologetic obsession for exceptional quality. Our design philosophy is to create modern, innovative gear that surpasses that which is offered in the global marketplace. As a privately held, Veteran-owned, North Carolina company we challenge global leaders to elevate their compression game or step aside. It’s compression gear designed by tennis players for tennis players.
Recommended learning this week is this TED Talk with Beau Lotto. You will find this very entertaining, and thought provoking.
Beau Lotto – How we experience awe — and why it matters and Cirque du Soleil
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