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Transformational Leadership

Benefits of Emotional Intelligence Skill-building

Byron Stock asked:

Significant benefits in the three categories of decision-making, relationships, and health can be gained by increasing your Emotional Intelligence skills. Every behavior, every action and reaction, every situation you may encounter is impacted by the decisions you make, your relationships and your physical well-being. They apply to your family relationships as well as your business and professional interactions.

Decision Making

By becoming aware of what you are feeling in the moment you have information you can use to make a decision about what to say or do now. Developing emotional self-regulation skills allows you to quickly transform negative, draining emotions into more positive, productive ones, enabling you to think and act more rationally at any time. Your moment-to-moment decision-making is enhanced significantly. These skills will help prevent you from reacting and allow you to respond more thoughtfully and thoroughly. Being in control of your emotions has a huge positive impact on your performance, your effectiveness, your confidence and your motivation.

Relationships

Emotional Intelligence skills will not only empower you personally, they will have a positive impact on your relationships with others as well. For example, instead of blowing up when your project manager announces a deadline without consulting you, managing your emotional reactiveness enables you to remain calm, ask good questions, perhaps even influence the deadline – all the while preserving your good working relationship with your manager. In contrast, a breakdown in communication and barriers to working effectively would have been the result of a negative, reactive response on your part. You would have essentially lost ground in your relationship and would need to exert a great deal of effort and time to repair the damage. When relationships are maintained and enhanced, all parties benefit.

And at home, instead of putting a child who comes home with a lower grade than expected or a poor test score on the hot seat, you can show him you care and are concerned about him, and still maintain a firm but understanding approach to the situation. Think of the positive effect this is likely to have on your relationships with your children.

When using simple EI techniques, participants in my programs have been astounded by their children’s responses. For example an SVP of HR for a large organization discovered his son had charged a tank of gas on his credit card. His first thought was to get his son’s attention by grabbing a baseball bat and having a serious conversation. However, he was able to manage his emotions by using a simple, quick emotional management technique and asking himself, “How can I best handle this situation?”?As a result, he and his son discussed the situation calmly (no bat was involved). For punishment, his son was not allowed to drive his own truck for a week. When the son asked, “How am I going to get to work?” Dad’s reply was, “That’s your problem.” The next morning the son called his dad at work and thanked him for having a conversation instead of a yelling match.

This story demonstrates how managing emotions can have a significant impact. The conversation and interaction was very different than the usual, and the relationship was improved. And the dad was being a much better role model for his son.

Health

The third area affected by developing your Emotional Intelligence skills, but certainly not the least, is your health. Negative emotions fuel higher cortisol levels, often called “the stress hormone.Excessive cortisol levels, over time, can cause acid reflux, sleeplessness, asthma, ulcers, loss of bone mass and osteoporosis, low sperm count, redistribution of fat to the waist and hips, and fat buildup in the arteries, which can lead to heart disease and numerous other diseases (McCraty, Borrios-Choplin et al. “The Impact of a New Emotional Self-Management Program on Stress, Emotions, Heart Rate Variability, DHEA and Cortisol” Integrative Physiological and Behavioral Science 33(2):151-70, 1998). Mismanaged emotions, correlated with dysrhythmias in our Autonomic Nervous System, are associated with many diseases including asthma, chronic fatigue, depression, hypoglycemia, hypertension and many more. Learning to transform from negative emotions into positive productive ones throughout the day or night over a sustained period of time has been shown to have a positive impact on many health-related problems. In my programs, participants most frequently mention a significant elimination or reduction of sleeplessness, often in a couple of weeks.

Developing Emotional Intelligence skills is not difficult. People have realized the benefits in a very short period of time by applying simple, proven techniques consistently. They have reported improvements in all of the categories – decision-making, relationships and health.

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