Do you sometimes find that your emotions sneak up on you suddenly your afraid of losing it? Either the tears threaten to leak out, or the anger boils over before you can control it. You are not alone. Many women have had the experience of being hijacked by their emotions. But here is the thing, It's not about having emotions, it's about not being able to control them. What you need to learn is to recognize your emotions and then manage them. You need to develop your emotional intelligence.
Become aware of and then manage your emotions
Emotionally intelligent managers kick butt over their unaware and knowledgeable deficient peers. These aware leaders not only know what their emotions are, but they can manage their emotions. That means they are in control of how they feel versus their feelings being in control of them.
Emotional Intelligence increases leader effectiveness
An individual who is high in EI rarely has their thoughts hijack them. Emotionally Intelligent Leaders don’t lose it when someone says something that sparks their anger or annoyance. A leader who is in control of what’s going on inside of them will be aware they are irritated, but be able to catch themselves before they roll their eyes, let out a sigh or have a sarcastic comment slip out.
How do you learn this?
Individuals that have high EI are incredibly aware. They know what triggers them. They are clear on what is going on inside of their head. They can identify thoughts and feelings. They name them. You my dear, need to become aware of what's going on inside of your mind. To increase your level of EI, you need to become aware of your thoughts.
Two Steps to Emotional Intelligence
Step 1 – Recognize emotions
Step 2 – Manage emotions
Do you know what your thought was?
It’s the thought part we want to drill down deeper into and see what’s going on there. That thought is dictating your emotion. We want to get to the point where you are aware of the thought and able to change it if need be.
Getting clear on your thoughts
To get a better understanding of what you are thinking, you have to slow down time. You have to widen that gap between the stimulus and the consequential feeling. It’s is like putting a magnifying glass on the event and your emotion and see if you can see in between the two. You want to detect what thought was there in between the event and the emotion.
It starts with reflection
To get awareness of what is going on in that gap requires intentional thinking. You must create a routine that has you look daily at that space between what happened and how you reacted. It’s hard in the moment. You will get there over time. Initially, though you will want to look back at what has happened and reflect on it.
Start with journaling
The best way to get this slow-motion replay effect is to spend time journaling. When you set aside a few minutes to let your thoughts and emotions flow on paper, you’ll start to see more of what is there. Doing this writing without judgment is critical. You must let your pen just flow. To get to that uninhibited place will take time and practice. It's worth the effort to do that.
The 6 tricks to rewarding reflective journaling
Do the work - Make the effort
Working on this first step of bringing awareness to your emotions and feelings can be hard work. We don’t naturally go there. It will feel weird and awkward perhaps for a while. In doing so, though, you will automatically become more aware of what’s going on inside of you that is controlling what is going on outside of you. Gradually you’ll gain back the control and learn to manage your feelings and responses to people and events. It takes time. Be patient with yourself. When you do, you’ll find it was worth the effort and commitment.
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Women leaders often hit a point where they find themselves in over their heads and wondering if they have what it takes to lead.