Success in the world, whether it is at work in a professional environment or personally, depends on our behaviors, especially those that affect the feelings of other people. Unfortunately, many people cannot see, or refuse to admit that their behavior contributes to relational problems that they have. I am sure that you have worked with individuals like this. What they lack is the competency knows as emotional intelligence. Conversely, those individuals that get along well in relationships have a high degree of emotional intelligence. How emotionally competent are you?
There is science that supports the concept of emotional intelligence which begins with the study of the anatomy of the human brain. Daniel Goleman in his book Primal Leadership describes the root of all behaviors as physiologic responses to human emotions evoked through interactions with others. The limbic system in the brain is an open loop system which receives transmissions secondary to personal interaction or thought processes that can alter hormone levels, affect cardiovascular function, disrupt sleep rhythm and reduce the response of the immune system. In other words, human emotions are the most powerful motivator of our behavior, personal feelings and bodily functions.
Remember a time when you were angry or humiliated or frightened and how did that make you feel? Just as powerful as the effects of others on your emotions, are the effects of your behaviors on the emotions of others. Those individuals who evoke positive emotions in others are emotionally intelligent. Daniel Goleman describes two important components of the emotionally intelligent individual. The first is that of self-awareness translated as the ability to read your own emotions, know your strengths and opportunities and emit a self-confidence, and positive self-image. After the understanding of self, the second component is that of effective self-management. This includes social awareness of behaviors and the ability to positively manage relationships. The reality is that all of us throughout our lives is going to find ourselves in uncomfortable situations. It is how we understand our own personal behaviors and how we relate to others that will make management of difficult situations effective.
So what do emotionally intelligent people do?
In every situation there are three sides to every story: your side, the other person’s side and what really happened. We all see things the way we want to see them and everyone’s personal perception in their own mind is correct. The emotionally intelligent person realizes that they are looking through their own set of lenses and that they may have something to do with the situation.
The first step to becoming emotionally intelligent is first of all to understand the concepts as well as make a conscious decision to begin the process to improve this competency. Life is all about growth and self-exploration. At times it is painful but it is the road to improving ourselves and becoming good people.
About the Author: Dr. Val Gokenbach has a true passion for leadership and has been in administrative healthcare positions for over thirty years. As a professional dancer and fitness instructor for over 40 years, Val has led a dual life as a fitness presenter, consultant and dance instructor. She has been featured as a health consultant and guest host on multiple TV shows and QVC. As an international speaker and author, her goal is to share her life's philosophy with all nurses and help them realize their value to the world.
Click here to read more about Dr. Val Gokenbach.
Nurses, if you enjoy writing on nursing career, education or lifestyle related issues and are interested in becoming a NurseTogether.com contributor, please click here.