Have you ever experienced that nagging feeling, when you know something is wrong, but you don’t know what or why? I usually feel it in my chest first, then in my stomach. Some call it intuition. It might be easy to figure out, when something specific happened and you know it isn’t resolved – at least not to your satisfaction. Other times it’s a mystery… You feel tension or friction with another, but don’t know what’s going on. Do you speak up or do you keep quiet? It takes keen emotional intelligence to discern which path to choose.
Right now, I’d love to give you a definitive answer to the question “do you speak up, or stay quiet?”, but I can’t. I’m actually going through one of those situations right now. My emotional head is telling me to go ask questions and get to the bottom of the situation. Clear-up whatever “it” is. But my logical head is telling me to wait. The mediator in me wants to get all the information on the table and sort it out. The Emotional Intelligence coach in me is telling me to recognize what I’m feeling but, more importantly, tune-in and get a sense for what the other person is feeling and might need right now.
Did you know as much as 75% of our success in personal relationships, and in our careers, stems from our emotional intelligence versus our I.Q.? Emotional Intelligence 2.0, by Travis Bradbury and Jean Graves, reports that after testing more than 500,000 people, it is clear that our first reaction to anything will be emotional – we have no control over that. It is just how the brain works. However if we are aware of our emotional response, we can control the thoughts that follow, as well as how we respond.
So, right now I get to choose and I really want to get this one right! As I type, I’m considering what I know about the other person in this situation: I.Q, E.Q. and personality traits. He has a very high I.Q.; he is good at recognizing and responding appropriately to the emotions of others (so his emotional intelligence must be high too); and, he leans heavily toward the introverted side, keeping personal and/or emotional things to himself.
OK, I’ve decided. I’m going to stay quiet this time. Maybe he needs to process something that has nothing to do with me… I don’t know, but I’ll be available if/when there is something he wants to discuss. If my nagging feeling doesn’t go away in the next couple of days, I can always make a new choice. Thanks for working through this with me!
Emotional Intelligence takes practice. What are you practicing with today?
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