Boost Your Emotional Intelligence with Mindfulness

Boost Your Emotional Intelligence with Mindfulness
Photo by Kelly Sikkema / Unsplash

Hello! I recently attended a small women's leadership training where Emotional Intelligence was discussed and the conversation reminded me about my first encounters with Emotional Intelligence.

I remember it was a strange day in my career when we were encouraged to explore emotions at work. As a professional in an engineering position, I had more often been encouraged to leave my personal life and emotions at home.

Sadly, I never questioned that. It made sense at the time. I worked as an engineer, so most of my work was based on facts. We asked questions like,

What was our expected outcome?

Who is responsible for said outcome?

How can we perform better?

We didn't ask someone how they actually felt about their job. No one seemed to care if a case of the grumpies had any impact on our work. It just had to be done.

Painted eggs expressing a range of emotions from joy to depression.
Photo by Tengyart / Unsplash

So in that kind of atmosphere, it was easy for me to forget I was human and that I had a lot of stuff tugging at my attention day and day out, including emotions. I certainly didn't have the See Hear Feel mindfulness technique available to me back then.

But the good news is, if you are reading this, you do!

If you're not familiar with the See Hear Feel technique, here's an overview. First, it is a great way to tune into your feeling experience. It covers all the internal and external sight, sound and feeling spaces of our experience.

It is also one of the easiest techniques to use on the go, to say, fend off a reaction about to happen. For example, standing in line at the grocery store as you notice and label what's going on around you can become a fruitful mindfulness practice.

Try it!

It's important for us to bring mindfulness into real time interactions because we only have seconds, if we're lucky, to turn a tense conversation around.

And, just think about how many times our emotions get the best of us? Without mindfulness helping us track the movement of our emotions, reactivity can get the best of us.

Not good for those of us in leadership positions or our delicate new business venture.

Knowing what's going on within us helps us approach situations with empathy. Empathy seems to be a natural side effect from being able to detect and welcome our own emotions so the more we work we do with ours the better we can serve others'.

Relating this to business, the more skillful we are with empathy, the better our product or service is received and the easier it is for us to communicate with others. Emotional intelligence also helps us from burning out, too.

So learning how to place and keep your attention on emotions for a few moments at a time as part of your business building efforts can really help you get good at real time interpersonal communication.

And, with enough skill you can become known for taking what I call restful action, an ability to stay present and curious towards the other person as you calmly respond with skillful action.

I hope this peeked your interest. If you'd like to learn more about how to boost your emotional intelligence with mindfulness, let's talk.