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  • Writer's pictureStephen

EQ Relationship Management & Withness

We have been on a journey exploring the realm of Emotional Intelligence (EQ). Today I want to conclude this series by thinking about a leadership concept I call Withness. I believe this idea is a simple way to summarize Relationship Management.

First, a quick reminder of all we’ve covered. Growing our Emotional Intelligence begins with becoming more aware of our own emotions (Self-Awareness), which leads us toward learning how to manage those personal emotions (Self-Management). Once we’re growing in those personal ways, we become more aware of the emotions of those around us, recognizing that their emotions and our emotions, interconnect (Social Awareness). Finally, this growing awareness of the interconnectedness of all of our emotions, leads us to realize how we can impact and influence each other (Relationship Management).

And now, Withness.

This concept can best be summarized by the phrase, “We are in this together.” It recognizes that each one of us is actually better, healthier, more whole and balanced when we learn to support and encourage each other to be the best versions of ourselves.

Someone recently asked me, “What makes a healthy relationship?” I answered them by saying that it involves each person involved in the relationship working to bring out the very best version of the other people in the relationship. When everyone involved is making this goal of serving and supporting each other their priority, then everyone involved can actually grow and flourish.

While we were talking about this in the context of family and partnerships, I actually think this is true of all relationships. When we can remember that we are all in this together, and my ability to help you thrive is a part of what helps me thrive, we are all elevated, growing into the fullest version of ourselves.

Of course, the opposite can also be true. We can function from a place of being selfish rather than a place of withness. It’s possible for us to only think about ourselves and strive to make our lives better, regardless of how that may impact others. But Withness says, “Your wellbeing supports and encourages my wellbeing, and it also impacts our collective wellbeing together!”

As you go throughout your life today and this week, how would your words and actions be impacted if you were focused on Withness. Who are you connected to this week who needs your support and encouragement to be the best version of themselves? How might encouraging them help you be a better version of yourself?

Here’s to Withness - because we really are all in this together!

Be Well,


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