Jul 12 2011 | Tags: Emotional Intelligence
My EQ Experience
“How is this happening again?
I swear I’ve been here before,
This is the same argument, scenario, confrontation,
It’s all the same, though the setting & characters have changed.
It can’t be my fault; they’re in the wrong,
I can’t control how they react.
But there must be a reason…
A reason this keeps occurring.
What can I possibly change?
I can’t control the uncontrollable –
People, circumstances, dilemmas…
So what can I control?”
This is where I found myself not so long ago. I had been working and managing in hospitality for almost 8 years, I had achieved some great things, and moved up steadily in my career. However there were a couple of scenarios that seemed to be reoccurring themes for me. Certain confrontations and arguments seemed to be repeated over the course of a few years in different environments.
At first, young and naive I found it hard and refused to believe that this possibly had anything to do with me, maybe it was just a regular issue in hospitality that I had to face being a senior female manager in a male dominated industry (It is always easier to blame others for pitfalls than look at ourselves).
There have been certain scenarios that how the other party has spoken me to is inexcusable; HOWEVER, as I said there was a reoccurring theme and I seemed to be the common denominator… There had to be something I could learn or change about these interactions. As I said in the dialogue above, I cannot control the uncontrollable – particularly how other people respond to me, BUT I can control how I interact and approach people.
There was something about the way I was approaching all of these situations that was creating the same outcome time and time again. Einstein’s definition of insanity is: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results – This is exactly what I was doing!
So where to from there? Well first I had to acknowledge my part in these interactions, look at my past interactions and reflect on them with space from the heat of the moment and then… look to make a change.
Easier said than done some may say. Well to me, this is where my interest in emotional intelligence has stemmed from, as I believe there has to be something more to these interactions, something more we can learn and master next time around – for what is experience if we learn nothing from it? Experience gives us the foundation; emotional intelligence gives us the insight to build on that foundation.
Acknowledging and learning more about emotional intelligence and how it plays a major role in our interactions was like turning on a light in a room for me, then going through my Emotional Capital Report (ECR) was like focusing a laser beam on this new awareness. It got to the core of my strengths and areas for improvement and made complete sense of all my interactions (good and bad) in regards to management and leadership. In all my years of management this has been my most valuable lesson in regards to leadership, and I only wish that I had learnt more about it years ago. I truly believe that this is not only valuable, but also necessary in every field, and look forward to my EQ journey.