It’s embarrassing to admit but I sometimes find myself searching for a magic bullet to teach emotional intelligence. I keep searching for that one perfect example or exercise to transform myself and my participants.
I fall into this trap because developing emotional intelligence is based on very basic everyday activities. Can these simple actions really transform our lives? Yes! In the same way that doing small stretches everyday changes the body.
Today I’m reminding myself: while developing EI is often challenging and the work of a lifetime, it isn’t based on complex knowledge.
We can develop our emotional intelligence everyday through
Listening Deeply --- to the words of others (develop empathy) and to our inner dialogue and our body’s sensations (self-awareness).
Reflecting—on our actions, words, triggers (to understand our patterns of behavior).
Journaling and/or Talking with others about our emotions– to bridge the divide between what our limbic (emotional brain) knows and what our “higher” thinking cortex knows (gaining the wisdom hidden in emotions).
Practicing New Thoughts and Behaviors and continuing to Listen, Reflect, and Journal/Talk to transform our patterns of behavior.