You at work and you at home- they are not separate people

So have you heard the one about Andy? Andy worked as an Operations Director at a large training company in the North. He was also a recent father of twins with his wife, Hayley. During a difficult period of turnover at the Company, Andy lost his temper and began shouting at a member of his team in front of another member of the team and a manager from finance. Later that week, when their twins wouldn’t fall asleep, he had a similar outburst at home.

The root of relationship problems in our work and life are often the same. In this case, brought on by mounting stress and a lack of self-awareness. I have read a lot about emotional intelligence in my psychology degree and while qualifying as a master coach. It is an important building block in our development and something we must constantly engage with.

Emotional intelligence isn’t just for the workplace.

The brain doesn’t distinguish between our personal and professional lives. Of course, most of us have learned ranges of how to behave in different situations: there are jokes you’d tell your mates at a bar that you would never tell in a meeting with top brass at work. But overall, our weaknesses tend to remain the same at home and at work, emerging in similar ways despite different contexts. Therefore, when we develop emotional intelligence competencies, the benefits permeate all aspects of our lives.

Emotional self-awareness is a critical first step in improving EI and initiating positive behavioural change. This will help you recognize patterns in how you react to stressful situations, or how you handle unexpected challenges. With self-awareness, you might say to yourself, “I’m about to make a scene with my anger by blowing up. But I sense discomfort or fear in the person I’m speaking to. Perhaps I should take a breath and reassess the situation.”

This awareness is a catalyst for beginning to balance your emotions more regularly, for preventing outbursts, and ultimately for being more effective and compassionate in your communication.

Some of the world’s most successful leaders in business and philanthropy have worked with coaches to create anchors, or tools to trigger self-awareness or indeed to consult their own self-awareness in situations that arise. It takes time and effort but the benefits are demonstrable straight away with your interactions with others.

Think of emotional intelligence in a holistic way. Just as a self-assessment alone won’t give you an accurate EI profile, only accounting for your competencies in the workplace won’t give you a full picture of your emotional intelligence. Conventional executive coaching isn’t always as transformative as we might hope when it only focuses on performance metrics. Coaching that addresses the whole person, including our personal and professional goals, problems at home and at work, and our values and passions, is far more likely to yield productive insights and lasting change.

Personal and professional development of emotional intelligence are one and the same.

While some competencies (such as achievement orientation or organizational awareness) may be more exclusive to the professional realm, the following four aspects of EI are omnipresent in our lives at home, at work, and everywhere else: 

·     Self-Awareness

·     Self-Management

·     Social Awareness

·     Relationship Management

By understanding emotional intelligence in terms of our experiences as people – partners, parents, friends – not just professionals, we can more readily recognize patterns in our behaviour and take steps for improvement that permeates all of our relationships.

To talk more about emotional intelligence for you or your team speak to Stuart at Coyne Recruitment about out training & development and coaching sessions around the subject.

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