Okay…more seriously now, by becoming principle-centered, we are truly progressively killing our insecurities. By doing so, we are moving from being reactive — judging, labelling, making assumptions, unable to really listen, argumentative, seeking first to be understood, blaming others and making them responsible for our troubles and for feeling stuck, having emotional outbursts (from one person to another and, depending on the imbalance level directly linked to the hostility of our environment and our center (s), we could see one or more of those personality traits) to being proactive as a first step — understanding the trigger (s) of our emotions, owning them so that we could be able to manage them. This first step of developing our Emotional Intelligence is called in the words of Dr. Stephen Covey the “Private Victory”. Why victory? Because we have already defeated a big part of our ego.
This step is a crucial pre-requisite to the second one which is involving others. In this step, we start developing our active listening skills. What is meant by active listening skills? Instead of listening with the intention to respond, we listen to understand. Instead of listening to the words, we listen to the body language & emotions. Instead of listening with the ears, we listen with the heart. How is that even possible? Simply because, with the private victory, comes an amazing paradigm shift; namely seeking first to understand others’ emotions.
This new paradigm is literally the foundation for building trust and, consequently, healthy relationships. Now, raising the Trust Reserve or what we also call the Emotional Bank Account takes a couple of deposits:
- Attending to the little things: the free courtesies. In relationships, those little things are the big ones.
- Showing integrity: this is similar to honesty, but it goes beyond it. While honesty is conforming my words to reality, integrity is conforming reality to my words. For example, if I am saying I cannot take negative humor and that you tell a toxic joke making fun of a common friend let’s say. If I am laughing at it — thinking it is okay since I was not the initiator — well, you guessed right, I still have some work to do in relation to my integrity! Obviously, the integrity confrontations will not be pleasant and you will have friends who could get pissed off of you becoming too serious for them; you’re warned! The good news it that people would not be able to prevent themselves from respecting you anyway! Be a role model and take the risk of being rejected, it’s fully worth it! In the long run, they might get inspired and start reflecting on their own patterns! I might need to precise it will take us a while to be able to make the difference between healthy and toxic humor. Some non-exhaustive tips of teasing people could be: 1. You don’t attack their identity (which implicitly means being sure about how they identify themselves is a MUST). 2. You don’t tease something that is unchangeable and/or really important to them. 3. You don’t tease them for a detail in their past they haven’t managed yet.
- Clarifying expectations: one of the main sources of conflicts is supposing that our expectations are self-evident and shared by everybody. That’s why it’s so important, whenever it comes to a new situation, to get all the expectations out on the table.
- Keeping our promises: we tend to build our hopes and decisions around promises, especially when it comes to our basic livelihood. And even when it’s about a less vital need, keeping our commitments is showing we truly care, and this could build bridges of trust that span the gaps of understanding. I mean, let’s be pragmatic! We will definitely not be able to fully understand the person from the very first interactions even being armed with the most developed active listening skills. It takes time…
- Apologizing sincerely when screwing things up: it takes a great deal of character strength to apologize quickly out of one’s heart rather than out of pity. It needs a lot of security. That’s why reaching the private victory is a pre-requisite, simply because the security coming from the principles — unchangeable — is stable and gradually becomes limitless. That’s the reason why we become so able of vulnerability and exposing ourselves emotionally. We are not afraid of people taking advantage of our exposure. We won’t care because our new ‘self-love’ value is courage replacing the ‘ego’ need for protection.
This second step of developing Emotional Intelligence is called the “Public Victory”! When we reach this level, we move from the proactivity sphere to the interdependency arena. When I am physically interdependent, I know that I can do any physical task alone, but I also recognize that you and I working together, could do much better than, even at my best, I can accomplish alone. If I am emotionally interdependent, I am self-resilient and whole, but I also admit my need for sharing love. If I am intellectually interdependent, I can easily admit that our analytical skills put together could take us to the farthest places I would have never been able to reach alone!
Forget about your job! “Come on Myriam; you gotta stop confusing us!” I know most people tend to think developing the Emotional Smartness unique skill is only required for people who are willing to become “leaders” and drive a change!
Well, I’m sorry to deceive you guys, but it’s definitely not about work! The EI is a must-have for your life overall! Developing it is the key to build truly healthy relationships, which is a crucial component of our fulfillment and emotional health! I can fully understand that, in the quality of human beings, we tend to accept and appreciate specifically what we can relate to. That’s exactly why I’m telling you this is for ALL of you!
We are no different.
We are all hardwired for connection, curiosity, and engagement. We all crave purpose, and we have a deep desire to create and contribute. We all want to show up, learn and inspire. We all want to take risks, embrace our vulnerabilities, and be courageous.
— Brené Brown.
This is the real definition of a leader. It has nothing to do with the position. It has all to do with the interdependent person we are all able to become if only we give ourselves a chance to re-write our subconscious program and unleash our potential and divinity!