Building Emotional Intelligence: Investing in Yourself
I’ve never heard anyone claim that they wanted to spend all their time working. Are you that person who is working only for the future? Is there a point to filling your bank account with all those fat stacks? They will sit solidly in their bank accounts gathering dust, while you work yourself to death. You need a plan for them, you need a plan for YOU. The majority of people recognize that there is more to life than striving to increase their wealth. As a fee-only financial advisor, I believe how you handle money is important. As a family man, who has a wife and children, I believe how you handle your life is critical!
I’m also a certified Life Planner. I like to develop life plans while working with physicians and their finances. During the process of developing a plan, the physician (you) will learn that money has its place, and so do your dreams. I believe emotional intelligence also has a place. A big place.
What You Will Learn
Yes, you still have to be an adult and plan for the future. However, it’s important to enjoy the present. It may be all you have!
Emotional intelligence will help you enjoy the present, but it also allows you to build a foundation for your future self.
Nobody has ever said, “more money in the bank”. The regrets of the dying were actually made into a book by a palliative care nurse. One of the top five regrets was the wish people had that they hadn’t worked so hard. They regretted not spending more time with loved ones, especially their children.
Think about that for a minute. Who do you care for and want to spend time with? What do you want to experience in your lifetime?
Maybe you have never heard of emotional intelligence. In this case, what you don’t know might be hurting you and your relationships. It may be crippling your ability to develop a full and satisfying life.
How can a high level of emotional intelligence benefit you? I’ll tell you because it is so important to accomplish goals! You will be able to clearly see what you want and need. You will be able to communicate your needs and listen to someone else’s needs.
First of all, you have to know what emotional intelligence is and learn more about what it can do for you!
Defining Emotional Intelligence
It’s all about your emotions!
Your emotions can tell you a lot if you listen to them. They are a mirror to “you”.
Humans are funny creatures. We are oftentimes driven by our emotions. We feel them. We may react to them. However, we rarely think about them or consider how they impact our relationships and all the other areas of our lives!
- Are you aware of them?
- Are you able to name them?
- Are you able to control them?
- Are you able to express them?
- Are you able to handle other people (or yourself) with empathy?
Knowing how you feel about a situation can make all the difference. You are able to make adjustments to your life in order to make it feel better.
When you feel better you will make better decisions at work and in your relationships.
My goal is for you to become aware of your EQ. I want you to read my blog and be able to reflect on your emotions and how they impact what is happening in your life.
I want you to grow your emotional intelligence and become a happier YOU!
Emotional Intelligence and You
Becoming aware of your emotions is empowering.
You can make better decisions when you know where you stand and how you feel about any issue.
However, your emotions and what you are saying must be in alignment! Quick, answer the following question: How are you feeling?
What popped into your brain?
I hope it wasn’t “fine”. Fine is a bland answer. It doesn’t really indicate how a person is truly feeling. How did your gut answer the question?
Are you saying one thing, but your “gut” is feeling a whole other emotion? Maybe an emotion that you would judge to be “wrong” or “guilty” for feeling? Do you even know how you feel? Is there a conflict? I would like you to see how growing your emotional intelligence is hugely beneficial.
Emotional self-awareness is a beautiful thing.
When we repress our actual emotions our mind and body takes the hit. The effects of stress on our appearance and health have been well documented. So, taking the time to figure out what you are feeling without judgment is imperative.
If the effects of your emotions on yourself wasn’t an important enough reason for increasing your emotional intelligence, then perhaps the effects on your relationships will be!
There is power in acknowledging and taking care of your emotions.
Embrace emotional intelligence because taking charge of your feelings improves your relationships. You will send fewer mixed messages and have a shot at getting what you actually want.
Emotionally deficient people say they want one thing, but really feel something else (even if they don’t acknowledge that “something else”). There is a chance you will react in disappointment and lash out leaving the other person bewildered, after all, they can’t read your mind.
Don’t be emotionally deficient!
Which type of person are you?
The glass is half-empty or half-full kind of person?
Are you dealing with life in a positive or negative manner?
Positivity is a plus–just saying!
One way to increase your daily dose of positivity and increase your emotional intelligence is to ask yourself a couple of simple questions:
- What wins did I have today?
- What fun or cool thing happened in my day?
Acknowledge the positive or special events during your day, no matter how small they may be. Take time to reflect on those! This helps to bring the practice of positivity into your daily equation.
Acknowledging your emotions, embracing positivity will increase your happiness. Another tip for increased happiness is letting go of things (including attitudes) that no longer serve you.
Emotional Intelligence: The Path
There are different aspects of emotional intelligence. They are broken into areas, so you can see the personal and social competencies. Reading through these will help you see the areas that you struggle with. Below is a brief overview.
Self-regulation: Knowing your emotions, understanding (and acknowledging) your needs and being confident in your decisions.
Self-management: Do you have self-control? Are you adaptable? Are you able to be transparent?
Social regulation: Learning to be empathetic; Ability to serve others
Social management: Are you able to manage conflict? Do you have the ability to work as part of a team?
Emotional Intelligence allows you the ability to build trust. That trust builds its own bonds. As you improve your emotional intelligence you will be able to connect and listen better.
Whatever your struggles emotional intelligence will help you deal with them. You will be able to recognize how you are feeling. Eventually, you might be able to recognize patterns to what you are feeling. Those patterns will tell you if there is something you need to work through.
The point is to care about how you feel!
Self-Awareness and Social Competence: The Root of It All
Self-awareness is a huge topic that covers many different competencies. However, when you possess the emotional intelligence competency of self-awareness you can move about in your personal life and work with confidence in your own self-worth and your abilities.
You are able to make a decision and stand by it. You are confident in speaking your truth when your opinion is different from the majority of your peers. You are not easily swayed by the opinion of others.
Does this sound like you?
You may realize that you need to work on this area–and that’s okay!
Because another emotional intelligence competency area is accurate self-assessment! Are you able to acknowledge your strengths and weaknesses? Do you continually strive to learn new things?
You are reading this blog, so learning and self-development must be something you embrace!
Are you open to new ideas and information? When there is a problem do you look outside the box for solutions? If you answered yes to these questions, then you have the emotional intelligence competency of innovation!
How adaptable are you? I know you’ve got this one!
I feel that being adaptable is a “must have” trait for physicians. Afterall, part of the job description is handling multiple demands in a rapidly changing setting!
And although there are other competencies, we will end with self-control.
Let me just say, that we all know the physical and mental demands of a physicians job can’t be understated. As a physician, it is a necessary part of the job to maintain your focus under pressure and keep your emotions in check at the same time.
That being said you can’t stuff everything down for the long-term.
There is a definite need after any particularly harrowing event for a physician to express feelings and deal with any lingering emotions. Instead of doing anything self-destructive, reach out for help if necessary!
It also helps to have emotional intelligence in the social aspect of our lives. It helps with our relationships and our professional lives.
Now, let’s take a look at how we manifest our ability to be socially competent.
How do you handle other people’s feelings or their point of view on any issue? The ability to have empathy for the feelings and needs of your patients and peers is especially helpful to a physician.
If you are able to have empathy for others, you will probably be very good with the diversity competency. Diversity is the ability to respect people from backgrounds different from their own.
Are you good mentor material? The ability to mentor someone requires you to help another person grow their skills. Your emotional intelligence must already be well developed in order to become a successful mentor.
Emotional intelligence also involves a wide variety of social skills. You may already have some of these skills, but you may need to develop others!
Ask yourself some questions to assess whether you have some of these skills (or if you will need to work on them):
- How do you handle conflict?
- Are you able to communicate clearly?
- Are you able to function as part of a team?
- Are you able to influence and lead people?
- Are you able to nurture your relationships?
- Are you able to facilitate any necessary change?
There is an art to conflict resolution. The ability to turn the tide during a volatile situation is imperative. Tact is required.
In short, the ability to handle conflict is a superpower for a physician!
When you have your own practice, leadership is emotional intelligence that can save the business. A great leader will lead by example. She will need to guide the employees with a shared vision and keep up morale. She will be able to delegate necessary tasks, assess employee performance and hold the employees accountable. It’s a tough job that someone has to do (and do well).
An unhappy, unorganized and strife-filled workplace invites a high turnover in employees. A workplace situation that wouldn’t bode well for the physician, employees or patients!
As you can see, first you have to know yourself, then manage your own emotions before you can influence others or mentor them! Building your emotional intelligence is worth the time and effort in the long run!
Have you noticed an area of emotional intelligence that you needed to work on? Which competency did you need to work on? What did you do?