So first off let's chat practical basics... what is mindfulness and what is emotional intelligence?
(If I have to also tell you what Nutella is, we have a big problem)
A simple definition of mindfulness is "being aware". This means all your attention and focus is on that exact moment you are in. Nothing else of the past or future matters in this moment. Mindfulness is the Nutella.
Emotional intelligence (EI) is the ability to:
- recognize, be aware of, and manage our own emotions
- recognize, be aware of, and influence the emotions of others
- use this information to guide one's thinking and actions
This definition is from two well known researchers in the EI space, Salovey & Mayer. Having EI means being aware that emotions can impact our behaviour and therefore can have an effect on other people. It is also the skill of learning how to manage and display these emotions - both our own and others. Emotional intelligence is our bucket of strawberries.
Emotional Intelligence is widely known for having 5 juicy strawberries aka. domains, as described by Daniel Goleman from his book titled Emotional Intelligence.
1. Self Awareness
2. Self Management
3. Motivation (Alignment & Resilience)
5. Social Skills
In our busy, stressful, always-connected, VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous) world we end up running through our day on autopilot! We spend 47% of our time with a wandering mind (Killingsworth and Gilbert, 2010). We're disengaged with what we're doing, we act from habit patterns, and we feel controlled and compelled by our emotions. We feel lost, confused, and often at odds with ourselves and others. As we begin to use mindfulness strategies to help us build and train EI, we naturally see that being more aware of our autopilot tendencies can enable us to:
- Increase our awareness of our emotions as they happen in real time - self-awareness. Noticing the smile that comes on our face after the first bite into the delicious strawberry & Nutella combo.
- Equip us to better handle ourselves and our emotions, because there are different ways to express our anger, frustrations, etc. - self-management. Deciding if this is the right moment at the dinner party to blurt out your joy of said delicious combo while your friend is sharing sad news.
- Get clear on what drives us in our daily decisions - motivation. Realizing that you like and value both strawberries & Nutella individually.
- Find alignment which leads to a meaningful & happy life - motivation. Realizing that when you align 2 great things, strawberries & Nutella, you feel more fulfilled.
- Build resilience to navigate through inevitable obstacles that will come our way - motivation. How to keep your cool when you run out of Nutella when you want it most.
- Understand others better and communicate more effectively - empathy. When your friend tells you she ran out of Nutella, you let her share her feelings instead of butting in and saying "you should stop complaining and just drive over to the store right now."
- Engage more fully, confidently, and with increased integrity - social skills/leadership. Know you love strawberries & Nutella. Own it. Also, always take it to dinner parties.
Statistics show that when we use mindfulness tools and understand the neuroscience behind these tools we are able to effectively increase our emotional intelligence. Here are some stats from participants who have taken the 2-day Search Inside Yourself course that I facilitate:
Reduced levels of stress:
“I am able to let go of negative thoughts when I become aware of them.”
Greater ability to focus and optimize their mental state.
“I am able to notice when my attention has been pulled away and return it to the present moment.”
Performance: Greater resilience and mental readiness to meet daily challenges.
“I feel that I can bounce back quickly after an emotionally challenging situation.”
Leadership skills: increased ability to maintain calm and poise in challenging situations.
“I am able to pause before reacting.”
As you can see from the statistics and your taste buds, using mindfulness to build emotional intelligence is a match made in heaven. To learn more about how to bring these benefits to your team, book a complimentary call here and let's chat!