Posts tagged 'Kevin McCowen'
Emotional Intelligence and Ten Tips to Start Improving Yours
This week we dig even deeper into what makes us tick by exploring emotional intelligence and our Emotional Quotient (EQ) scores. Emotional intelligence is a topic that, I think, is frequently misunderstood. Many people I have talked to explain it simply as being able to understand our emotions and why things make us feel a certain way. It is actually much more than that! If broken down separately into the two words from which the concept arises it becomes clearer.
Emotion results from an impulse to act. Throughout biological evolution, we have been primed for action with good reason. For thousands of years emotions were a primal experience. Emotions meant a here and now prospect of survival. Fear resulted from the impending fight with a large animal, while excitement meant we had defeated that animal. For eons our emotions served as a guide to our survival. Emotion led to taking direct action.
Intelligence, on the other hand, implies the idea of thoughtfulness. Of taking the time to think things through, understand them, and act upon them based on what we understand. Intelligence can be book smarts, street smarts, and directed at specific knowledge. You can see how the evolutionary notion of emotion and immediate action run somewhat counter to the idea of intelligence. Emotional intelligence is, therefore, understanding our emotions and applying the appropriate actions based on that understanding.
There is an additional component to emotional intelligence that is often overlooked, which is understanding the emotions of others and how our emotions have the ability to impact their emotions. If you have ever walked into a meeting that you expected to be about a common topic and felt some tension before anyone even spoke, you have experienced the influence of other’s emotions. There have been plenty of studies to show that while showing certain facial expressions as we speak, other people’s levels of stress hormones increase . Part of emotional intelligence is understanding the nature of these emotions and how to control the situation appropriately. Some of you have an almost innate talent for understanding how this works. Others of us may have difficulty in understanding our emotions or how we influence the emotions of others. Read More…
Are you Hungergized or Hangry? (Develop Leadership by Practicing Mindfulness)
This is one of the deep dives Greg has been talking about. Four lessons into the Transformational Leadership course and we finally hit the high dive. The previous three weeks have been preparation for this moment. There were definitions, clarifying what defines trust, an overview of the streams of leadership competence, the Myers-Briggs personality test, and the Trust quotient (in which we asked others to provide feedback about how they felt we rated on various aspects of trust). All of these topics were interesting and provided good information. It is vital that we understand how people feel about us, especially when it’s significantly different from how we see ourselves.
This next unit focuses on the specific and personal aspects of leadership, particularly on the six streams of leadership. If you recall, we spoke briefly on these in the blog post titled “Creating Your Map to Becoming a Better Leader.” These six streams were:
- Somatic Intelligence
- Emotional Intelligence
- Relational Intelligence
- Cognitive Intelligence
- Spiritual Intelligence
- Integrative Intelligence
Now we can start focusing on each one and begin your personal journey to change. This week, we will talk about Somatic Intelligence.
Can you let the princess go? Read More…
Are You Building Trust With Your Team?
I heard this recently: “Trust is the highest cliff from which a person can fall.” It seems fitting to beginning this article exploring trust and building it. We talk about building trust because it’s not something that exists without a foundation. When a building falls it often takes more to rebuild it than what it contained in the first place. In the book The Speed of Trust, by Stephen M.R. Covey, it states that trust is a function of two things: character and competence. I think it’s important to note that a person of good character isn’t always a person we can trust. Trust is not universally based on this idea, rather it’s situational. For instance, think about a person at work who you trust completely to make decisions. They are probably people who you see as having good values, reliable, and basically of good character. Would you trust them to re-wire your house? Maybe if you worked as an electrician. Their character didn’t change, but the competence for the task changed. Then again, a person of good character probably wouldn’t offer to re-wire your house unless they knew they were competent. When I look around my workplace, I think about whom I can trust and, yes, it changes depending on the task at hand.
What is Trust? Read More…
How Are You Selling Possibility?
“I tend to get bogged down in the process of writing and editing these blog articles. It’s kind of a feeling like I’m turning them in for a grade so they need to be perfect up front. What I really want to do is just write and see what works and what doesn’t.”
Create Possibility, Create Potential
It may have been somewhat foretelling that I said this to Greg (Executive Coach and Transformational Leadership Instructor) the morning before our third Transformational Leadership class. His answer was along the lines of, “Yes, just write and we’ll produce good stuff.” That night we watched a video, ‘Leadership, the Art of Possibility’ – a short piece featuring Benjamin & Rosamund Zander. Rosamund is a Psychotherapist who wrote the book upon which the documentary is based. Together, the Zanders present twelve practices, based on Benjamin’s experience as conductor of the Boston Philharmonic, to bring more creativity into our endeavors. One of their tenets is to give everyone in the class an A on the first day. As Zander says, “The A is a possibility to live into, not a standard to live up to.”