In his book, Working With EQ, Daniel Goleman reported a study of Harvard graduates in the fields of law, medicine, education, and business and found that a person’s scores on an entrance exam had no connection whatsoever to that person’s eventual career success. Indeed, just the opposite was the case. In many situations, the higher a person’s entrance exam scores, the lower his/her success later in life.
That’s absolutely amazing. When you think about it, each of those careers focus almost exclusively on IQ or intellectual ability to get into those fields, but it is the person’s EQ or Emotional Intelligence that carries the most weight in determining who will become the leaders in those fields.
In study after study, Goleman concluded that Emotional Intelligence is the best predictor of a person’s success.
So that begs the obvious question. What is Emotional Intelligence? In simple terms, EQ STARTS with Self-Awareness or really knowing yourself … the good, bad, and the ugly. And then it CONTINUES onto managing yourself well enough to bring about the results you want.
To become more Self-Aware and have more Emotionally Intelligent Self-Leadership working for you, try these two strategies.
► 1. Get to know yourself more and more.
On the surface, you might think that Self-Awareness is a no-brainer. But some people spend a whole lifetime and never get to know themselves.
And that’s a shame. Because if you don’t know yourself, it’s almost impossible to bring out your best. For example, I thought I was a really nice guy when I first got married. I soon learned that I can be selfish, critical, impatient, and overbearing sometimes. Until I learned that about myself, there was no way I could become a better husband.
The same is true of you. The more you know yourself, the more you can grow yourself. So I would suggest that you ask yourself some brave questions once in a while. Try these for starters
► What are your gifts and talents?
You are born with certain talents. And yet you may be unaware of your unique talents, simply because your talents are so much a part of you that they often seem hardly worth mentioning.
Begin the process by asking yourself, “What have you always been able to do with very little effort? What do your friends and family continually ask you to do over everyone else? What activities are you consistently drawn to?”
Go ahead and write out your talents. And keep adding to the list as you become aware of other talents you possess.
►What fascinates you?
Your fascinations reveal a great deal about who you are and where your head wants to go.
Ask yourself, “What subject do you never tire of discussing? What topics cause your ears to perk up when someone across the room begins to discuss one or more of those topics? What causes you to stop your channel surfing when you see it come across your laptop? Do you read a number of books all focused on a particular subject? What do you find to be of perennial interest?”
Write out another list of all the things that fascinate you.
► What’s your passion?
Your passions reveal another aspect of who you are and where your heart is drawn.
You see, you have a fire burning inside you, whether or not that fire has been encouraged to grow or left to smolder.
To get a clearer handle on your passion, ask yourself, “What is it that would flare up and burn brightly in you if you gave it the slightest opportunity? Is it a cause, a vocation, a book you want to write, or picture you want to paint? What do you find yourself daydreaming about?”
Make out another list of your passions.
So that raises the question, if Emotional Intelligence is one of the best predictors of success, can it be taught? Can people actually learn to be Emotionally Intelligent?
Yes! Absolutely! I teach it in my Emotionally Intelligent Self-Leadership master class.
When Peter Vetter, a Labor Relations Manager for the US Postal Service, took the class, he said, “Dr. Zimmerman’s Emotionally Intelligent Self-Leadership master class got me thinking more deeply about my role in shaping my work and personal life. I left the program empowered to bring out the best in myself and others. And it worked like magic!
►2 Learn to manage your emotions better and better.
For example, you may be one of the millions who decided to try a particular diet at one or several times in your life. And you may be one of the millions who give that diet a try, give up, try a different diet and give up again.
Do you know why that happens? Because your emotions get in the way. At some point, you “just didn’t feel like eating that way,” and so you gave up. It’s called Emotional Slavery.
You need to know how to do what needs to be done, whether or not you feel like it. The truth is you’re always going to have feeling and it’s not a sin to have them. It’s when you blindly follow your feelings that you get into trouble.
Take a lesson from professional stunt woman Kitty O’Neil. She could have easily been angry or discouraged considering all that happened to her. But because of her own Emotional Intelligence, she accomplished a great deal.
O’Neil’s bravery was wide-ranging. She was born deaf; became a champion three-meter and platform diver whose Olympic aspirations were dashed by a bout of spinal meningitis that doctors said would permanently paralyze her and survived two grueling sets of cancer treatment, all before her 28th birthday. In 1976, she became a Hollywood stunt woman and was featured in dozens of TV shows and movies and held the record for the highest stunt fall by a woman at 105 feet.
When she took her shot at the land-speed record for female drivers at the Alvord Desert in southeastern Oregon, the record hovered around 400 mph. Observers reported that O’Neil’s car actually reached a top speed of more than 618 miles per hour in various practice runs.
When the day for the “real” race came, Sports Illustrated said, “There is no doubt that by dialing in more power, Kitty would have gone still faster — and maybe even past the sonic barrier.”
However, dialing in more power was not an option for O’Neil. Under her contract, she was only permitted to drive her car to a new women’s record. The movie director Hal Needham had paid $25,000 for the chance to steer the car to a new overall world record, and he was determined not to lose that chance to a woman.
So, after O’Neil set her record, Needham rather unceremoniously demanded that she be pulled from the drivers’ seat. His spokesman even told reporters that it would be “degrading” for a woman to hold the “man’s” record.
While the lawyers squabbled, it began to snow, and the race track was closed for the season. Needham never even got behind the wheel. And O’Neil retired in 1982.
If Kitty O’Neil had NOT been an emotionally intelligent self-managing person, she might have gotten very angry about all of that. She might have exploded and gave them all a piece of her mind. Instead, she knew how to handle herself with poise and professionalism and went on to gain and hold 22 speed records on land and water.
Like Kitty, you can have Emotionally Intelligent Self-Leadership skills working for you. Try these two tips from today’s Tuesday Tip, and you will be on your way.