When you are a certified facilitator in IHHP’s Science of Emotional Intelligence training, in addition to having a huge positive impact on other people’s lives, you can’t help but benefit from the work yourself. As you are delivering Emotional Intelligence – or any type of Soft Skills Training – you can’t help but think “how am I doing at the very things I am standing up here telling people to do”?
A few examples
– We teach strategies to remain calm in the face of frustration, ensuing that we can think clearly and strategically, and so that we don’t trigger the people around us with our anxiety and stress
– From our research study of 12,000 people, we identify three behaviors associated with top 10% performers:
O Are able to listen without jumping to conclusions
O Are willing to admit a mistake
O Can received critical feedback without becoming defensive
– We teach skills to be able to approach difficult conversations skillfully
As I talk about these things, I first find myself thinking about my work: how am I doing at listening (interrupting is one of my default behaviors when I am under pressure), am I open to feedback or do I get defensive, and am I approaching difficult conversations in a good way?
Then I get thinking about my personal life – am I staying calm when people around me are getting upset (I have 14 and 11-year-old daughters!), or am I triggering and raising my voice? One thing I know about teaching my children to be emotionally intelligence is that modelling is one of the most important things I can do. One of my favorite quotes is:
“Modelling is not the main means of influencing people, it’s the only means”. Albert Einstein
So, when I start raising my voice when my daughters are fighting, not only does it not tend to stop them from fighting, but far worse is that I’m actually teaching them to raise their voices when they are frustrated, which is the exact opposite of what I want to teach them.
That’s thing about the emotional part of our brain – it doesn’t think cognitive thoughts like “what’s the best way to calm down this situation” or “what behavior do I want to model for my kids right now” – it just reacts, moving us to a fight or flight response. Those default behaviors are almost always unskillful because in those moments we are more reactive, more judgmental, and we are focused on our own thoughts and feelings.
Now imagine I am standing at the front of class and while they are doing an exercise, this is all the stuff I’ve been thinking about! The good news is that in addition to reminding us that we want to be our best in our high-pressure moments, you also get to learn strategies and skills so you can respond more skillfully in high stress situations, you can listen even when your emotional brain is screaming at you to interrupt (or walk away if you are having a flight response) and you can model hoe to handle frustration for your kids.
I consider it an honor to be able to deliver our Science of Emotional Intelligence training as it can’t help but make me a better leader, husband and father!
IHHP provides programs on Soft Skills Training to business leaders world-wide.