Just wanted to take a moment to share some things I have enjoyed using in working with individuals and teams this summer. Here is my summer edition of light reflections for you.
Recently, I have been focusing on what I think is a significant development opportunity for leaders, specifically those who are members of a team, as well as have direct reports and multiple stakeholders in their sphere of influence. This work has been led by a nonprofit organization who are committed to working effectively individually and as a team to understand and incorporate Emotional Intelligence Competencies as a core leader practice. This is learning so integral to one’s own inner workings that it is an act of courage to engage in the required reflection, feedback and demonstration. The leadership team first did an Emotional and Social Intelligence 360 Feedback Assessment. Then the exploration began to learn the implications of Emotional and Social Intelligence in their interactions. I applaud them for engaging fully and wanted to share some key aspects.
For my summer light here are four suggestions that are a thought- provoking way to get you started on your own journey and perhaps challenge you to continue to discover more about yourself and your impact on others.
- Watch: the YouTube video that allowed for deeper understanding of Daniel Goleman’s premise and research. (well spent 55 minutes)
- Watch: How to understand the difference between Empathy and Sympathy. Empathy is a competence in Emotional Intelligence. (well spent 3 minutes)
- Consider:Why Empathy or self -management doesn’t always come to mind first. Considerations that will help you identify the things that trigger reactions in you that seem to hook you quickly into a position of being right or…. (well spent 10 minutes…)
- Exercise and Assignment: Excerpts from Article from HBR article Emotional Agility by Susan David – Founder Harvard/McLean Institute of Coaching and faculty at Harvard that provides steps to unhooking from triggered behaviors (15 minutes and a lifetime of practice)
- YouTube video by Daniel Goleman. If the Harvard PHD and New York Times writer is not known to you for his work on Emotional and Social Intelligence, this is well worth watching. If you are aware of his background, you could start at 3:25 into the presentation. Once you hear his discussion you will no longer wonder why you should be capable of identifying the range of your own emotions and the ability to consciously manage them in multiple settings. But also how to become more aware of others and their emotions, as well as how to increase understanding of the positive and negative impact emotions generate. A key to this is to reflect when you are sure you are being completely sensible and rationale.
Prepare to listen to his presentation by:
- Asking yourself how well you understand emotional impact on daily interactions?
- How richly can you describe even to yourself the feelings you are experiencing that are driving your actions?
- Understand the implications of the neuroscience and why it is likely it unconsciously governs your actions.
- Explore how you might become more aware of what is occurring internally.
- Consider how you might manage your awareness to engage with others from a place of transparency and effectiveness.
- The Brene Brown New York Times bestselling writer and research professor shares the HUGE difference between Empathy and Sympathy.
- To prepare for this one take a run at defining Empathy and Sympathy before you watch it. The presentation is simple, profound and creative.
- Tuning in to Self-Awareness: The Amygdala Hijack:
The Amygdala, the brains’ emotional control center –saved our ancestors from a dangerous world, anticipating threats, and flooding the brain with hormones to prepare for the fight or flight. The amygdala reacts in an instant, much faster than the parts of the brain where we make rational, informed choices. Although we are more developed now, the amygdala can still hijack our thinking brain before we are able to work out whether our reaction is reasonable or appropriate. It’s not easy but in developing our emotional self-awareness you will gain an understanding of what might trigger your emotional reactions and therefore be able to spot situations where you may need to use your emotional self-control.Think of a time recently, that you’re reacted intensely/overreacted to a situation because of a past trigger/hook. Your DRR (Disproportionate Recurring Response) reaction then is intensified because of the association, not because of the current situation. The purpose of this exercise is to learn about some of our hooks.
- When has this happened to me before?
- Who does this person remind me of?
- When have I heard this message, (or these exact words) before?
- When have I had similar outcomes? Are they familiar? Typical?
- How old do I feel right now?
- What is the earliest time I can remember feeling this way?
- Excerpts from Emotional Agility by Susan David of Harvard (attached). How to take steps to unhook from your emotional reaction stronger and often somewhat unrelated to what is occurring in the moment.
Exercise: Choose a challenging situation in life, (i.e. receiving negative feedback from your superior) and then do the exercise that’s listed in the article under “Evaluate Your Emotional Agility Exercise” and read the points to consider.
If these offerings stimulate thinking, personal reflection and new perspective it has served its purpose. If you have questions of thoughts you’d like to share I would very much enjoy hearing them.