Emotional Intelligence Part 4: Choosing Yourself

Learn to master four competencies that will allow you to start to respond to situations instead of reacting to them.

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Emotional Intelligence Part 4: Choosing Yourself Transcript

Hello. My name is Mensah Philippe Houinsou, and this is Leading with Emotional Intelligence.

The second pursuit in the Six Seconds EQ model is entitled “Choose Yourself,” and it is mainly meant to help you start to do what you mean to do as a true leader.

Once you have become able to tune in to your emotions and feelings, through the pursuit Know Yourself, the next step is to be able to channel that power towards achieving your goals. And this is what the second pursuit is all about. Here you will learn to master four competencies that will allow you to start to respond to every situation instead of reacting to them.

Competency Number 1: Applying consequential thinking.

This competency will help you evaluate the costs and benefits of your decisions. It empowers you to access the various options you have when facing a given situation. You will therefore be able to weigh the pros and the cons, and blend your thoughts and feelings to make optimal decisions that will benefit not only you but others as well. A very simple way to start using that competency is to weigh the advantages and disadvantages of the next action, whatever it is, that you will engage.

Competency 2: Navigating emotions.

This is the competency that truly helps you tap into the power of emotions as it empowers you to access, harness, and transform your emotions as a strategic resource. I personally think of it as the competency that helps you turn your emotions and feelings into your faithful allies. We are often told to control our emotions and suppress the so-called negative feelings such as anger, fear, or positive feelings like excitement and joy, from the decisionmaking process. Yet feelings carry insight and energy without which one cannot make decisions. Therefore, this competency makes you flexible with your emotions so you can use their insights and transform them into feelings that are helpful not only to you but to others as well. A few techniques that can help you navigate your emotions include a six-second pause or taking an emotional “audit” several times a day to determine what triggers your emotions or how you are feeling. You may find more about those techniques on www.6seconds.org.

Competency 3: Exercising optimism.

This competency empowers you to be hopeful in every situation and believe that everything is possible. It is often said that he who loses hope loses everything, and especially when a leader loses hope, an entire community might fail. In fact, an optimistic outlook increases the pool of choices and opportunities to success. Therefore, this competency is the drive for innovation and induces a solution-oriented approach that will propel you to new heights as you engage your own positive energy and that of others. One simple way to engage your optimism at all times is to count your blessings and turn your attention away from what is not going well. I call blessings everything you don’t have to fight for in order to have, such as the eyes that allow you to watch this video, and most importantly your breath or any other thing that you may deem necessary to feel grateful for. Expressing your gratitude for everything at all times is part of counting your blessings and thus will you help strengthen your optimism. The more you count your blessings, the more you will find the drive to remain faithful to your ideals.

Competency 4: Engaging intrinsic motivation.

Are you driven by external forces? Or do you engage your inner motivation and gain energy from personal values? Great leaders do not seek approval or external reward system to keep themselves on track. This competency helps you to draw your strength and motivation deep from within yourself so that you can remain faithful to your ideals despite external changes and circumstances. With this competency you can challenge the status quo, take risks and persevere when the going is tough — and most importantly, inspire that in others. The first step towards engaging your intrinsic motivation is to know your self-worth, and it begins with knowing your core values. To know your core values, you may make a list of values from which you identify the top five values that are most important to you. Examples of values include excellence, relationships, helping others, family, integrity, accountability, responsibility, personal development, creativity, health, etc. I know that you know what your core values are, and I suggest you identify and exploit them for this purpose. Your core values will guide your decisions and make it clear to your mind the things that matter at a given moment. Then will you be able to engage your intrinsic motivation at all times. You may find more tips on how to engage your intrinsic motivation on www.6seconds.org.

Thank you.

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