This blog is part of a series of blogs where we explore Emotional Intelligence. We will look at ways to be able to develop and enhance our own perceived levels of Emotional Intelligence.
What is Emotional Intelligence?
Take a look at our previous blog What is Emotional Intelligence and How Can I develop it, for more detail. A quick update, Emotional intelligence is all about how well you understand your own emotions and the emotions of others, and the ability to identify and manage them. Emotional Intelligence, also known as “Ei” or “EQ”, is now well established set of “Competencies” that contribute to performance, engagement and success.
Their are five key areas of Emotional Intelligence, Self Perception, Self Expression, Interpersonal, Decision Making and Stress Management. Within each of these areas there are three traits. We are going to discuss each of these traits in more detail with their own blog. This week we will be looking at Emotional Self Awareness.
What is Emotional Self Awareness?
Emotional Self Awareness looks at your ability to understand and recognise your own feeling and emotions. It is about how well you understand what caused different feelings and emotions and why you react in certain ways. This is a very internal process of understanding how you control those feelings in the short, medium and long term.
“Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.” – Dr. Seuss
How Emotionally Self-Aware Are You?
Without the ability to recognise your feelings, you can’t control them. This inevitably effects your disposition, and output at work and personally. The ability to understand what may trigger different reactions means you can handle them to be more productive, happy and healthy.
When Emotional Self Awareness is operating well:
- Regulate behaviour and controls the impact of emotions
- Drives engagement with team, resolving conflict and developing relationships
- Keeps calms and focused in upsetting situations
When Emotional Self Awareness is low:
- Has a tendency to dwell on why emotions affect them
- Jumps to conclusions rather than takes all the facts in to account
- Can be impulsive
- Doesn’t notice the impact their emotions have not he people around them
Developing Emotional Self Awareness
Emotional Self Awareness naturally has it’s ups and downs, some days we have a reaction to something and we handle it well and others we may over react. During Learning Cog’s Emotional Intelligence (EQ) Masterclass, starting with ‘Self-Perception’, we explain how to assess you own emotional intelligence and how to develop your EQ awareness. Here in this blog we have added some areas to think about when developing Emotional Self Awareness.
- Who do you know that seems to be able to hold it together and really understand themselves?
- When they deal with highly emotional situations, do they let it affect them?
- Do they stay calm and focused in particularly upsetting situations?
- What impact do they have on others?
- Do they take into account all factors when problem solving?
- What aspects of their behaviour would you like to demonstrate yourself?
- If someone was observing me would they know if I am upset, happy, angry? Do I know why?
- When your mood changes, make a note of the physical changes in yourself. Make a note of why.
- What are people saying to me about my mood, behaviour, and anything else they notice?
- What was I doing, thinking and feeling at the time of a mood change?
- Do I get over excited?What happens when I do?
- When I have received feedback about my behaviour do I dwell on them for a long time?
- What could I do differently?
Thinking and Reflection
Here is an exercise for you to complete to help build your understanding of your own Emotional Self Awareness.
Exercise: FOE, Self Evaluation
Use Focus, Openness and Energy as a way to rate emotions in you and others, on a scale of 1 to 10. Use this to calibrate yourself at the beginning of each interaction using the questions below:
On a scale of 1 to 10, where 10 is completely and 1 is not at all…
- F stands for Focus, how focused are my feeling right now?
- O stands the Open, how open am I feeling right now?
- E stands for Energy, how energetic are my feeling right now?
Then ask yourself, are these scores adequate to the situation? If not make an adjustment. So for example if you lack:
- Focus – try to remind yourself of the objectives and don’t allow yourself to deviate from the discussion topic.
- Openness – try to listen without prejudice, take on-board other people’s ideas and ask others what they think. Try to notice when you are being directive.
- Energy – understand why takes your energy, keep yourself hydrated and move around the room is necessary to get more energy.
It is important when working on self development that you pay attention to Doing things rather than planning. The practical element of everything you do is important.
- Improve your ability to accurately differentiate between similar types of emotions like annoyance, anxiety and fear.
- Notice what types of feelings are easier and harder for you to identify and express.
- Recognise the relationship between thoughts, feelings, sensations and action.
- Consider whether a surface feeling may be caused by some underlying deeper feeling.
- Observing which environment you are most comfortable expressing your feelings.
- Discuss the emotional content of books and films with others.
- Learn a mindfulness technique e.g. meditation, to use before identifying and expressing what you are feeling.
The more you consciously switch on to this mode of self observation, the more you develop your Emotional Self Awareness. Give yourself time, it may feel mechanical, clumsy and awkward at first, but with practice it will become quick and easy and automatic. Why not get in touch and talk to us more about developing Emotional Intelligence in yourself, your Leadership Team or your whole business. firstname.lastname@example.org
Look out for the next blog on Developing Emotional Intelligence – Part 4 – Emotion Expression
Or read previous blogs: