05 Feb Emotional Intelligence – Part 2 – CHOOSE YOURSELF
Emotions are assets.
Daniel Goleman writes: “When it gets hot around us and the stakes are high, conscious people make sure that their emotional brain does not take control of the situation. An intense emotional state, in specific circumstances, can trigger a fight, flight or freeze reaction in the human brain. Rather than properly examining a problem and acting with reason when it happens, the emotions that arise can take control and cause us to act irrationally” (free translation).
- If the amygdala perceives a threat, it triggers a reflex that causes us to struggle, flee or freeze even before we have the chance to check if the threat is real, and diverts the rational brain (the phenomenon is often referred to as the amygdala hijack).
- The neocortex is the seat of reason in our brain. When he intervenes, he allows us to react creatively. Taking a six-second break will allow the rational brain to process the information and to take control in order to give an adequate answer. Breathing alone is the first step.
- Questioning a perceived threat gives enough time for an appropriate neural response to involve the neocortex. And, you will find the usage of words, the sense of synthesis in addition to reasoning.
- When we perceive a threat, the nucleus houses repertoires of memories and survival responses from the past of our ancestors that no longer necessarily correspond to today. It is these memories that first come into action if they are not regulated and trigger a movement, a gesture, a word, a reaction that is no longer appropriate and which we would have done well without.
Take a few seconds and remember an event where your emotions took over and triggered a reaction you would have liked to avoid, a word you would have liked not to have said. Share this situation with a colleague and ask yourself what would have happened if you had taken a few seconds to question what you were experiencing. This is what we call the Six Seconds PAUSE!
Let’s continue to the second intention of the Six Seconds model, that of “CHOOSE YOURSELF“.
To deepen the intention “CHOOSE YOURSELF”, one must master four skills:
- Apply Consequential Thinking, i.e. evaluating the costs and benefits of your choices;
- Navigate Emotions, i.e. assessing, harnessing and transforming emotions as a strategic resource;
- Engage Intrinsic Motivation, i.e. gaining energy from personal values and commitments vs being driven by external forces;
- Exercise Optimism, i.e. taking a proactive perspective of hope and possibility.
To develop these skills, why not decide to revisit our values, by making a list and putting them in order of importance. To get to know and appreciate one self, the exercise is worth it. Try it with the following website: Barrett Values Centre.
You want to explore more? Here is another interesting website that offers a survey of our character strengths and costs nothing but your time: Via Institute on Character.
Supported by this information, you will be able to determine which values are most important to you and which strengths you want to build on to deepen and work on your self-knowledge, to connect to your intrinsic motivation, and to continue to develop yourself using this beautiful quality that is Optimism.
Lastly, you will be amazed by the ability you will develop to extract the energy behind each of your emotions since you are now able to name and explain them. Thus, while watching yourself, you will “become smarter with your own feelings” by projecting emotions and thoughts into action. Your ability to make better decisions will only improve as you are aligning yourself.
If you want to discuss your findings, do not hesitate to reach for us because this could lead to an interesting discussion that would get us to the third intention of this dynamic system, the intention called “GIVE YOURSELF”.
Finally, think of a leader who is inspiring you today and ask yourself why he makes such a good impression on you. You will not be surprised to find that if one measured his emotional quotient, it would probably be higher than the average.
“The best way to avoid falling prey to the opinions of others is to realize that other people’s opinions are just that – opinions. Regardless of how great or terrible they think you are, that’s only their opinion. Your true self-worth comes from within”. Travis Bradberry – BrainyQuote
To learn more on emotion:
Vers une définition de l’émotion
The Wheel of Emotions, Robert Plutchik
At the Heart of Leadership : How to Get Results with Emotional Intelligence, Joshua Freedman
Emotional Intelligence, Daniel Goleman
What Makes a Leader, Daniel Goleman, HBR
Emotional Intelligence 2.0, Travis Bradberry & Jean Greaves
Top 10 Travis Bradberry Quotes