Are You Communicating Your Emotions Openly, Authentically & Congruently?

Emotional Intelligence: Self-Expression Composite
To summarize the self-expression composite: our goals are to increase awareness and understanding, giving us access to transform the most powerful lenses through which we experience life and our relationships — how we see ourselves and what we believe at an inner most level about ourselves. This composite focuses our awareness and understanding on how we express ourselves.
Self-expression is about how we communicate our own emotions openly, authentically and congruently – while being a match for the situation and people involved – in ways that enable us to produce our desired results. In other words, given we are emotional beings, self-expression is how we share and utilize our emotions to create the results and quality interactions we aspire to enjoy.
The human brain is designed to create patterns. These patterns go deep and wide, which is why there is agreement amongst thought leaders that self-awareness is the most important success factor in leadership and life in general.
Given we all have patterned communication styles, the work begins with understanding your dominant patterns. Once you clearly see how you show up, you can allow yourself to go deeper into the less obvious patterns and perhaps get closer to understanding how others experience you. What we talk about, and more importantly, how we talk about it determines what gets done and doesn’t get done. Success or failure / isolation or connection is created one conversation at a time.
This idea is the same as what Covey coined as the emotional bank account – each interaction of importance either builds or erodes trust. Our ability to being effectively self-expressed is key to the reputation we have with others. Are you someone who leaves people empowered and mobilized in action on the right things with clarity; or are you someone who leaves people cut off at the knees, feeling small and confused?
Developing yourself in the self-expression composite will increase your effectiveness and the results you produce through communication – both verbal and non-verbal. In the coming weeks as we dive into the three competencies that make-up of the self-expression composite, remember that the goal is to see yourself as others see you.
Get started: Gather markers matching the colored dots below or use shapes to distinguish each style (∆ ♥ ◊ ○ □). Name the important people in your life (some examples are included) and reflect on the specific situations that fall under the headings provided. Using the colors or symbols identify what you see as your pattern with each person in the different scenarios.
Self-Expression Exercise

Tune in over the next 3 weeks, to learn about the 3 Self-expression competencies:
• Emotional Expression
• Assertiveness
• Independence

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EQ Emotional Intelligence Assessments are based on composites and their competencies. Each week in this series of blogs I will explore a composite or competency and its importance and impact on leadership; and then provide an exercise to help you expand that particular composite or competency. I encourage you to buy a journal for the walk into your greatness, to do the work thoughtfully, and share your discoveries and challenges with me – either through the comments section of this blog or at trudy@simplymore.ca.

 

Emotional Intelligence: Understanding Emotions & Their Behavioural Impact

Self-Perception: Emotional Self-Awareness Competency

PositionalViewsEmotional Self-Awareness includes recognizing and understanding one’s own emotions. This includes the ability to differentiate between subtleties in one’s own emotions while understanding the cause of these emotions, as well as the impact they have on one’s own thoughts and actions, and those of others.
Neuroscience research shows that 80% of what we see is seen by the patterns in our brain vs. reality in front of us.  Research also shows that we only take in information that validates our context (views, opinions, perspectives, etc.).  In part, what is at play is our inherent need to be right. Examples of this are: a person sees their boss as “a jerk or a terrific person”, or a sibling who has a conflict with another family member will naturally blame it on that family member’s character.
While our brain has the capability to see multiple perspectives, we automatically live in one of two positions: Good – Bad | Right – Wrong | I like them – I don’t like them | I like this – I don’t like this. Self-awareness requires each of us to look in the mirror at ourselves and no one else.  Look at your own thoughts, feelings, triggers and experiences as your own.
Emotional Self-Awareness Activity: Notice the position you take | Notice the impact it has on your communication/relationships | Notice the quality of your life as a result of the positions you take.
Daily Emotion Log – Record the events and emotions for a week of your life, and take stock of how your behaviour influenced the outcome:

  • When:
  • Event:
  • Emotions Experienced:
  • Behaviour:
  • Outcome:

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EQ Emotional Intelligence Assessments are based on composites and their competencies. Each week in this series of blogs I will explore a composite or competency and its importance and impact on leadership; and then provide an exercise to help you expand that particular composite or competency.  I encourage you to buy a journal for the walk into your greatness, to do the work thoughtfully, and share your discoveries and challenges with me – either through the comments section of this blog or at trudy@simplymore.ca.

Emotional Intelligence: The Willingness to Persistently Try to Improve Oneself

Self-Perception: Self-Actualization Competency

Self-Actualization is the willingness to persistently improve oneself, fulfill our potential and capabilities and; engage in the pursuit of personally relevant and meaningful goals, such that we live a life we love.
It can be as simple as giving yourself permission to honor what really matters to you!  For many of us, we know way more about what we don’t want, than what we do want.  In my work as an executive coach, I see people getting focused and even stuck on what they don’t want.  The saying “what we resist, persists” is true.  When we think and speak about what we don’t want (what didn’t work out, or didn’t meet our expectations, etc), we are actually feeding energy into that experience therefore keeping it alive in our reality.  The way to grow from an experience of something you don’t want is to consider, what it is that you really want.  In other words use that contrasting experience to clarify what we really want and what matters to us.
Many of us are so busy trying to be successful, we don’t make time for connection with those that are important to us, for those important conversations to discover, learn and appreciated.  We are too busy to step out for a few moments in silence with ourselves, too busy to say “I love you” and “Thank you”, too busy to reflect on our successes; too busy to enjoy the journey as we are in pursuit of some destination, and certainly too busy to be happy.
Defining Success:  Self-actualization is directly correlated to how you define success in life.

  1. Write down your definition of success.
  2. Ask yourself “Is this (what you wrote), what truly matters to me and has me be fulfilled?”
  3. Re-define success.

Years ago, my only measure of success was based on the dollar number I made, which translated into what I wore, drove, and had.  I’ve re-defined my personal success statement several times and I review it often particularly when I shift into a different life-cycle both in family and business.    The following is my current success statement:
“I am ever expanding and becoming my best self.  I am on purpose, doing what I love to do, creating and experiencing abundance of life, joy, love and opportunity.  I am prosperous — flourishing in health, experiencing peace and plenty.  I have freedom to pick people and projects to work with.  I am accomplished and satisfied with a lifestyle of choice and opportunity.  My kids are living a life they love, healthy, fulfilled and expressed. I am intimately sharing all that life has to offer with a great man while enjoying the pleasure of beautiful family and friends.”

Self-Assessment:  Reflective questions

  1. What would I be doing if I were not this busy?
  2. What moves and inspires me at the core of who I am?
  3. Who could I be and what actions could I take to expand those experiences in my life?
  4. If I could not fail, who would I be? What would I be doing? What would I have?
  5. Do one thing every day to breathe life into what you discovered in your answers.

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EQ Emotional Intelligence Assessments are based on composites and their competencies. Each week in this series of blogs I will explore a composite or competency and its importance and impact on leadership; and then provide an exercise to help you expand that particular composite or competency.  I encourage you to buy a journal for the walk into your greatness, to do the work thoughtfully, and share your discoveries and challenges with me – either through the comments section of this blog or at trudy@simplymore.ca.

 

EQ Emotional Intelligence: Do You Keep Promises to Yourself?

Emotional Intelligence Self-Perception: The Self-Regard Competency

A thermometer with mercury bursting through the glass, and the words Confidence Level, symbolizing a positive attitude
Self-Regard is respecting oneself while understanding & accepting one’s strengths and weaknesses. It is often associated with feelings of inner strength & self-confidence.
The single fastest way to grow your self-confidence and self-esteem is to keep the promises you make to yourself. I was in Dubai in January 2015 for a leadership program at Zayed University called “Being a Leader”.  One of the facilitator’s questions to us was “Do you care enough about yourself to honor your word, particularly those promises you make to yourself?”
As an executive coach, I see examples in the workplace where leaders promise to take action within a timeframe; and don’t.  In 2009, I made a promise to my dad to love him unconditionally.  About a month ago, I was reacting to something he said with criticism and anger.  As a result, there was an erosion of affinity in our relationship impacting both him and I, given I didn’t honor my promise.  In my own life, I’ve diminished my well being, sense of peace and personal power when I’ve not honored my promise to myself about health in my exercise and lifestyle eating regime.
“Put simply, people consistently act inconsistently, unaware of the contradiction between their espoused theory and their theory-in-use, between the way they think they are acting and the way they really act.” Chris Argyris, 1991, Teaching Smart People How to Learn (Harvard Business Review: May-June) 
Self-Regard Awareness Activity: Identify and acknowledge all the promises you’ve made and not kept in the areas noted below.

  • In the workplace
  • In my personal relationships & life
  • In my relationship with myself

I encourage you to address the less than positive impact with a simple apology and acknowledgement of the impact that made.  Then make a new promise in the area – if it really matters to you – and design a structure (actions and time-frames) that enables you to fulfill it.  If you authentically aren’t committed to taking action, care enough about yourself to accept yourself as you are and as you are not.  Taking action to acknowledge the impact will restore your integrity resulting in a “bigger” experience of yourself.  Said another way, your confidence will expand.

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EQ Emotional Intelligence Assessments are based on composites and their competencies. Each week in this series of blogs I will explore a composite or competency and its importance and impact on leadership; and then provide an exercise to help you expand that particular composite or competency.  I encourage you to buy a journal for the walk into your greatness, to do the work thoughtfully, and share your discoveries and challenges with me – either through the comments section of this blog or at trudy@simplymore.ca.
Related blogs in this series:

Can a Happy Family and Successful Business Live Together?

You can have it all—but you’re going to have to negotiate for it. Whenever there’s conflicting needs, working out the parameters ahead of time so everyone involved is getting what they need is the key to success.

Family needs and business needs often conflict. Spouses or partners make demands, children don’t understand, aging parents need help. How do you make it all work?
Sitting down with everyone involved and having a genuine open discussion about the reality of managing home life and the office is the first step. Explain business doesn’t come first and talk about how you’ve worked to create a successful company. Ask for co-operation so that family members feel involved and respected.
 

A man should never neglect his family for business.
– Walt Disney

 
Use the problem solving skills you’ve honed through coaching and at work to get and keep a happy family, while growing your business. Strike an agreement that works for everyone and then respect your part of the bargain. As in business, poor execution and lack of accountability can cause a crisis. Make sure your behaviour mirrors your intentions.
Related Search: Family Business Consulting
Real growth occurs when you communicate on an authentic level, seeking to understand, not just be understood.

Family Businesses – Fertile Ground for Conflict

In any company, there’s going to be conflict; it’s a normal part of everyday business. When the business is a family business or some employees are family, the potential for disagreement increases. Dealing with the issue(s) can be more challenging in a family-run business because the stakes are higher. Personal relationships can be threatened, and keeping the problem at the office becomes a problem in itself.

Related Search: How to deal with Conflict in a Family Business
Issues can snowball in a family business situation because three areas of interest come into play– family issues, business issues, and ownership issues says Don Schwerzler, a U.S. family business expert in Lawrenceville, Georgia, in 7 Rules for Avoiding Conflicts of Interest in a Family Business. Swcherzler recommends seeking out a mediator or consultant to help with family feuds.
A business coach with expertise in working with families can help with those difficult conversations and teach skills to family members so they can collaborate and work together.
Here are some helpful tips on avoiding havoc in family-owned businesses. Some of them are quite obvious, but it’s surprising how often people make these mistakes leading to problems with family members and non-family employees.

  1. Don’t put a family member on the payroll who isn’t contributing to the business. Make sure everyone has a role and responsibilities are spelled out and are very clear, says Jane Hilburt-Davis, president of Cambridge-based Key Resources and co-author of Consulting to Family Businesses in 7 Rules for Avoiding Conflicts of Interest in a Family Business .
  2. Keep strict boundaries between family matters and business matters.
  3. Be honest with your employees – don’t keep it a secret that family members are involved in the company.
  4. Don’t play favorites with family employees over non-family employees.

Related Search: Effective Business Communication
In any relationship–work or personal—genuine and authentic communication helps to resolve issues or to prevent them in the first place. Having someone with the experience to teach or guide family members in a business to communicate in ways that solve problems, not create them, can be the key to having a successful family-run company.
Photo Credit “David Castillo Dominici” Free Digital Photos.