intelligenceHow to improve your Emotional Intelligence.  The Totem Way.

Improving an individual’s emotional intelligence is a journey.  We start with developing a keener self-awareness of emotions and progress to the managing of others’ emotions.

We take individuals or teams on that journey using master classes, workshops and 1:1 coaching, and we’ve found that a combination of those three methods provide the most dramatic results.

We start with self-awareness.  Being aware of our own emotions can sound strange – surely we know what we are feeling?  Yet becoming more conscious of these auto-pilot reactions can help us noticing the effect of emotions on our behaviour.  Sharing principles from Steve Peters’ The Chimp Paradox (the best-selling book from the man behind the GB Olympic Cycling team), we encourage individuals to reflect back on their reactions to situations, noticing themes if possible.

Discussing these themes with others and hearing how certain behaviours can come across grows awareness of the impact of behaviour. Some useful questions to begin with are:

  • What emotions am I experiencing?
  • How are they affecting my behaviour?

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We then aim to move towards self-management.  How can I manage my emotions consciously and take control of my emotional responses?  At this point we encourage the use of use practical tools like the locus of control, mindfulness techniques and concepts from cognitive-behavioural therapy that can be applied to everyday work and life.

Building on the self-awareness, individuals learn how to notice emotional reactions, take control of them and choose a different reaction.

And finally we address the awareness of others.  What emotions are others experiencing?  How do I know that?  How is that affecting their behaviour?  How am I affecting their emotions and behaviour?

Again there can be an assumption that we all instinctively know how to read others’ emotions – yet it is something many of us do not spend time focusing on.

In a busy restaurant or office, with customers or colleagues, we can miss the cues people are giving us to their emotional reactions.  Often we simply need to remind ourselves us of what we instinctively know – how people display their emotions and how those feelings can affect their behaviour.

If you’d like a little more information on Emotional Intelligence and its importance follow me!  Alternatively, check out The Chimp Paradox by Dr Steven Peters…