Emotional Intelligence is the ability to understand and manage your emotions as well as to understand the emotions of those around you. I believe what is at the core of this is mindfulness. According to Harvard Business School, there are four core competencies of emotional intelligence.

They are:



Social Awareness

Relationship Management

Within these quadrants, two components are directed at self, which are self-awareness and self-management while the other two are focused on others. Self-awareness and social awareness, as their names imply, focus on awareness while the other two focus on actions.

Knowing that we control our actions and reactions, and learning how to do so, is fundamental to emotional intelligence. Another way to say this is to know the difference between reacting and responding. Usually when we react, we are acting spontaneously and with little thought. When we respond, we are thoughtful and mindful in our response. Think of it as responsibility with response being the root word.

How does mindfulness support emotional intelligence?

When a person is mindful that means they are able to stay in the present moment. As a certified life coach and certified hypnotherapist, I am trained in mindfulness and teach my clients the power of living in the present moment. When you are mindful, you are not anxious about the future and do not dwell on the past. Being in either of those places - the future or the past - usually creates an emotion inside of you. When you are mindful and living in the present moment you are better able to receive and give and are alert and sharp to the happenings around you. When you are alert, you know the emotions you are feeling and can respond to them rather than react.

Why are emotions so important?

If you think of the last time you had the most incredible day, it is more than likely because you had an emotional charge connected to joy, excitement, fulfillment, or something similar.

The same is true when you think of the last time you had a very bad day. More than likely you had an emotional charge connected to anger, sadness, hurt, fear, or another similar emotion.

When you think of your average day you probably don't remember much about it. This is because you do not have a high or a low emotional charge connected with it.

It is because of the emotions that we connect to an event or situation that makes it memorable. We then attach a meaning to it of either "good" or "bad."

Hypnosis works at the subconscious level of your mind. All of your emotions are stored in the subconscious. This is why, as a certified hypnotherapist, I am well versed with emotions and the meaning people put towards them.

As a business owner of BU2BFULL Hypnosis and Coaching located in Janesville, Wisconsin, I support employers with emotional intelligence training. This is done in person, but work can also be done remotely, too, when needed.

Many people run away from emotions because they make you uncomfortable. Or, you have been taught that certain emotions are "bad." Emotions actually inform us. When you believe anger is a bad or negative emotion, you don't realize that it informed you that someone contravened your standards and that is not something you will tolerate. Knowing that is a good thing! You may have been taught that anxiety is bad. Anxiety can be good when it informs you of something that doesn't feel right to you. Yes, there are other examples of anger and anxiety that may be negative, but they are not always that way

It is when you let your emotions get the best of you that they are bad or negative. If you allow your anger to turn into rage and then you hurt someone as a result, that is an example of that emotion going too far. If you allow anxiety to prevent you from living the life you desire, then the anxiety has moved from being informative for you to destructive for you. It is important to understand the difference. A way to do this is by being mindful and staying in the present moment. When you do this, you can also trace the emotion back to where it started.

I teach many of my coaching and hypnosis clients that thoughts create an emotion and an emotion creates an action. Repeated actions become our life. I suggest to my clients that when they are suffering from a heavy emotion to rewind to the thought they just had. When they can train themselves to do this, they discover that the preceding thought to the negative, unproductive emotion was one that did not serve them. My clients have learned the "light switch" technique, which is to notice an unproductive thought, stop it, and then change it to one that is productive for them. When they switch the thought to one that is unproductive to one that is productive, it is similar to flipping on a light switch.

Why do people get emotional at work?

Emotions flare at work for several reasons. Competition being one of them. Individuals who vie for the same position and one receives a promotion over the other oftentimes creates resentment, jealousy, and overall hard feelings. Has this ever happened to you?

Another reason is different personalities and not understanding each other. If you have a personality that is friendly and chit-chatty, to a personality that separates personal life from professional life and is direct and to the point you may come across as someone who doesn't take work seriously and likes to slack off. Also, the direct and to the point personality can come across to the friendly personality as rude and inconsiderate.

Favoritism, whether real or perceived, is another reason for emotional charges, along with a whole host of other results.

Favoritism, whether real or perceived, is another reason for emotional charges, along with a whole host of other results.

I have found in my 30 years of a corporate career that having emotional intelligence saves a lot of heartache. I did not always have it as it was something I developed from reading books, talking with others, and simply desiring to not have roadblocks in my life. This is why I teach this important topic now because the sooner people can understand what it means to be emotionally intelligent, the better the work place and the world in general will be!

I have learned that when you are confident and steadfast as an individual you are better able to see beyond the behavior in others that is before you. Oftentimes it is a personality trait, a wounding the person carries, and many other possibilities that have nothing to do with you. When you can learn to not take things or people personally, that is a first step to mastering emotional intelligence. Many times, the actions in others tells us much more about them than it does us. It also gives us a glimpse into their personal woundings, personality traits, or challenges they carry with them from other relationships. When we make an effort to see and recognize those possibilities rather than taking it personally, emotions do not get in the way.

Why do I need to be emotionally intelligent when those around me may not be?

As I like to tell my clients and the attendees of my emotional intelligence workshops: "Someone needs to be intelligent! Why not you?" I say this both as a joke and with all sincerity.

Why not be the person that models the way for others? Why not be the way-shower? I realize not everyone will be able to change their ways as a result of your modeling a better way, but it is the mature thing to do and is an action that can make you proud at the end of the day.

How can I learn to be emotionally intelligent?

There are many books and podcasts on this topic. I would start by reading or listening to some today. Another step is to begin to live mindfully; slowing down in your thoughts, actions, and reactions. Another way is to reach out to me to work with you one-on-one or to speak to your employees through a workshop format.

According to research by Korn Ferry, managers who lead with emotional intelligence retain 70% of their employees for five years or more.

From a Lee Hecht Harrison Penna survey, 75% of respondents used emotional intelligence to determine promotions and pay raises.

Emotional intelligence in the workplace can make a profound impact with better communication, deeper engagement at work, improved performance, and stronger relationships with colleagues.

If this is something you are interested in learning more about, would like to work with me one-on-one to grow your emotional intelligence, or to have me facilitate an interactive workshop at your place of business, please reach out to me at cholmes@conniejoholmes.com. You can learn more about me and my business, including my 30+ years of corporate leadership experience, at www.conniejoholmes.com.

Thank you,
Connie Jo Holmes
BU2BFULL Hypnosis and Coaching