Rebecca Jackson

Learning emotional intelligence (EQ)

Emotional intelligence (EQ) is more than just a buzzword, but is one of those terms that has fallen victim to the corporate jargon label. I attended a great presentation last week ‘Grow your influence with Emotional Intelligence’ which covered a framework for developing emotional literacy. Yes, you can build your EQ… it’s not something you have or don’t have.

EQ is being smarter with your emotions and feelings, and those of others.

Key takeaways for me from the session:

  • Our emotions are neuropeptides – it’s a chemical process in our body
  • Being able to name our emotions is a key part of EQ- See Plutchik’s wheel of emotions
  • EQ starts with three pursuits: know yourself, choose yourself and give yourself. Those pursuits have related competencies which you can build to develop your EQ.
  • When we interact with people, how we do so has an affect on our adrenalin/oxytocin/dopamine (the chemicals which affect our mood).
  • Being present in conversation with people, having a genuine inquiry (without knowing the answer) and providing positive feedback builds up trust and encourages the positive emotions.
  • Your brain is optimal doing 20 minutes uninterrupted work before you need a break.
  • Our emotional reaction is very quick – 6 seconds. That’s enough time to use a breathing activity to distract your brain and have a more balanced emotional response.

The quality of the outcome depends on the quality of the question.

EQ resources:

I was fortunate to attend this session as a guest of Step Two’s Intranet Leadership Forum in Brisbane. If you’re interested in this topic and can get to Brisbane there is an event coming up on Thursday April 20:

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