EQ & Self-Management
We are continuing our journey through the concept of Emotional Intelligence (EQ). As I shared, one of the exciting realities of EQ is the fundamental belief that it can be grown and developed within us.
Today I want to share some thoughts on the second component of EQ, Self-Management.
Once we have started by becoming aware of our emotions and their impact on us (Self-Awareness), the next step is to learn how to better manage those emotions within ourselves. This is the essence of Self-Management - learning how to better navigate our personal emotions so they don’t circumvent and short-circuit our lives. This can take the form of gaining more control over our emotions, adapting our responses to them, and even adjusting our outlook to see our emotions as positive helpers/indicators.
For example, we might be in line at a store and someone cuts in front of us and we have an emotional reaction to it. Through our growing Self-Awareness we notice and get curious about the emotion of being upset or frustrated. But when we move into the space of Self-Management, we decide if we want to act on that emotion and say something to the person. Or perhaps we might decide to make a generous assumption about the person and believe they didn’t notice us in line. We might even Self-Manage and use this experience to recognize how important a sense of fairness is to us. The bottom line of Self-Management in EQ is allowing ourselves to grow in our ability to be in control of our emotions, instead of allowing our emotions to control us!
One of the tools I find very helpful in these first two stages of Emotional Intelligence is the wheel of emotions.
You may have seen (or used!) something like this before, but as we more clearly identify what we are exactly feeling (“I’m not just mad that person cut me off in line, I’m actually frustrated that I am not being treated fairly!”), we can take more effective steps to be in control of our emotions, rather than letting them control us.
Next week we’ll consider how we can become more aware of other people’s emotions, but for this week, perhaps the first step in Self-Management is to learn to step back from the emotions we are experiencing, and attempt to look at them from a distance. This will help us start to get them under our control, instead of us being under their control.
As we step back from our emotions, we will already be working to increase our Self-Management and our EQ!