Every human has four endowments – self awareness, conscience, independent will and creative imagination. These give us the ultimate human freedom… The power to choose, to respond, to change.

My notes from the book Emotional Intelligence in Action: Training and Coaching Activities for Leaders, Managers, and Teams
by Marcia Hughes and James Bradford Terrell
Emotions are what move and motivate us. In anything we do, there is always a feeling involved – something that we are avoiding, and moving away from or something that we want and are moving toward. Fear and desire are two of our strongest emotions and have long been considered the most powerful motivators in the animal kingdom.

The chemistry of emotions can help us change our viewpoint and see the world through different attitudinal lenses depending on how we are feeling. When we create and maintain positive thoughts about ourselves and our world through self-talk, we support positive emotional states such as resourcefulness, optimism, and motivation. Emotional intelligence refers to the capacity to reason with emotions and emotional signals, and to the capacity of emotion to enhance thought.

Our ability to remodel, update, and upgrade our identity, to solve problems and conflicts, will be dependent on how consciously or unconsciously we process our emotions. If we, through self reflective processes – make ourselves more conscious of processes that determine our behaviour – we will be more flexible and tolerant, and have available to us a larger repertoire of behaviours.

15 competences of Emotional Intelligence

1. Self-regard
Skill of liking ourselves just the way we are, including self-confidence and self-respect: how good we feel about ourselves and our ability to accept ourselves. Without self-regard, we cannot participate authentically in life, be truly reliable in work or love, or fully express the gifts we have to give.

2. Emotional self-awareness “An awareness of one’s own personality or individuality”

The ability to recognise our feelings. To differentiate between them, to know what we are feeling and why, and to know what caused the feeling. To communicate our feelings to others. It helps us to keep our eye on the ball and stay aligned with our true motivations. Do I know what I am feeling and why? Did I notice when it first started, or did it sneak up on me?
We can consciously tune in to our emotions and ask ourselves questions about our current emotional state and identify the reasons for our emotions. Being aware of our emotions is key to successfully interacting with our environment. People typically project onto others what they feel inside. To improve our interactions and relationships, it is necessary to examine what is going on inside ourselves. Once we are in tune with our emotions we can develop strategies to eliminate the emotions that are bringing us down.

3. Assertiveness

Emotional strength that allows us to confidentially tell others what we like and want more of, what we dislike and will not accept, and what we stand for
1. Ability to express feelings
2. Ability to express beliefs and thoughts openly
3. Ability to stand up for personal rights

Assertive people are able to express their feelings (often directly) without being aggressive or abusive.
Ability to stand up for your rights, opinions, ideas, beliefs and needs while at the same time respecting those of others. Assertiveness empowers us and helps us define ourselves to others. It feeds our sense of self-regard because we are caring for ourselves by announcing our desires, feelings and thoughts and by clearly setting our boundaries.

Assertive responses involve standing up for oneself, yet taking the other person into consideration. The assertive style involves openly and confidently expressing personal feelings and opinions, valuing oneself equal to others, being prepared to listen to the other’s point of view…”

How much happier and more effective would we be if, in risky situations, we were consistently able to state our positions yet maintain or even deepen relationships? Assertiveness enables us to be true to ourselves and to respect others.

4. Independence
Ability to make decisions based on your own best-informed assessment and understanding of a situation without having to satisfy the perceived emotional needs of everyone who has an opinion about the matter.

5. Self-actualization

Competency of being able to set goals for oneself and then meet those goals. Our own measure of how successful we feel. You are engaged in life, fulfilled and willing to try new things because you know you’ll learn from them.
How be better actualise yourself?
– Get engaged with what excites you
– Set attainable goals and reach them
– Acknowledge your achievements – reflect on what you have already achieved
– Identify your values – journal about the things that are important to you and use your time accordingly.
– Accept yourself: believe in yourself, live aligned with your values. Increase self-awareness by doing Myers Briggs personality test
6. Empathy

Ability to listen and pay attention so we understand how other people are feeling and why, and even how their feelings might be likely to change.

7. Social responsibility

Being able to care and discipline our work efforts to serve the interests of individuals and groups outside of our personal needs, goals and concerns

8. Interpersonal relationships

Being able to initiate and sustain lasting relationships. Our skill in interpersonal relationships givers whether other people in our lives will feel eager to see us again or dread it. When our relationships are working well, they provide the common ground where we get to enjoy our own experience of humanness through sharing it with others.
The ability to establish and maintain mutually satisfying relationships that are characterised by intimacy and by giving and receiving affection.” 
9. Stress tolerance

Coping skill we use to keep the unavoidable pains, threats and intrusions of life form weaking our physical and emotional health. How can we build stress tolerance?
– Techniques to manage psychological impacts of stress: structured breathing, visualisation, affirmations
– Exercising
– Healthy diet
– Sufficient amount and quality of sleep
– Reprioritizing activities and involvement
– Apply generous doses of humour 🙂
10. Impulse control
Ability to regulate the buildup of nervous energy that accompanies stress without projecting it as anger. Problems in impulse control are manifested by low frustration tolerance, impulsiveness, anger control problems, abusiveness, loss of self-control and explosive and unpredictable behaviour. Controlling impulses will increase productivity and improve self-regard. It is liberating and empowering to use determination and higher order reasoning to overcome compelling urges.
11. Reality testing

Correctly evaluating the nature of our current situation according to objective criteria.

12. Flexibility
Skill to change direction rapidly without resistance and protest, and needing to be convinced when our reality changes. The ability to adjust one’s feelings, thoughts, and behaviour to changing situations and conditions. Ability to adapt to unfamiliar, unpredictable and dynamic circumstances. Flexible people are able to change their minds when evidence suggests that they are mistaken. However, flexibility must be exercised without compromising our values.
13. Problem solving

Process through which we solve problems in the world and thus are able to change it to better correspond with our needs and desires.
14. Optimism
Skill of positive expectancy that faithfully holds the vision for potential improvement in the future.
15. Happiness

Emotional skill of being more or less consistently content and satisfied in the present moment.
Tip from Basil Leonard, our motivational teacher: Stop trying to change other people. Be the change and influence them. You can change nobody expect yourself.

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