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


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


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.


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


Success and What It Really Means To You

ID-10041397What is success, really? Perhaps your beliefs about success are based on society’s definition and/or what you were brought up to believe. Is success for you money, prestige, public recognition…or could that be someone else’s view of success?
For many of us, our definition of success is based on a belief system resulting from past conditioning. How you define success may actually be holding you and others back. If you were to take the time to consider your present beliefs about success, you might see the ‘success’ you desire is being achieved at a high cost. The price might be paid in other areas of your life such as relationships, family or health, a cost many of us pay for our achievements.
Related: Simply More is an Executive Business Coach and Communication Consultant in Calgary.

Go deep
Take some time to reflect on success and what it means to you. What is REALLY important to you in your life? Is that where most of your attention is being focused? Family may be the most important thing in the world to you, but you may be spending most of your waking hours at work. If so, are you truly successful?
“A successful life is one that is lived through understanding and pursuing one’s own path, not chasing the dream of others.”  -Chin-Ning Chu
Reflecting on your beliefs about success may lead to redefining it. This may be a turning point—where you decide not to let others define it for you. No matter what we’ve achieved, many of us have a natural yearning for something ‘more in our lives’—the desire to be more, do more and have more. We may know what to do, but we aren’t taking the necessary actions to get there—to be healthier, to spend more time with our families, to take our careers to the next level. Often, we get in the way of our desires.
Get out of your own way
In his book “What Got You Here Won’t Get you There”, Marshall Goldsmith, one of the five most respected executive coaches by Forbes and a top-10 executive educator by the Wall Street Journal addresses the fundamental problems that often come with success, naming the 20 habits that hold us back from the top.
You – Reinvented
Perhaps it’s time to start the conversation. What do you want out of life? Really want out of life? This can be an opportune time to work with a coach to dig deep to get at your beliefs and explore them. And perhaps to redefine them.
Related: Simply More is a Business Consultant in Calgary specializing in executive coaching, team facilitation, and leadership training.

What Got You Here Won’t Get You There – Marshall Goldsmith
Bookclips: The only natural law I’ve witnessed in three decades of observing successful people’s efforts to become more successful is this: People will do something-including changing their behavior-only if it can be demonstrated that doing so is in their own best interests as defined by their own values.
Bookclips: Take a look at work. Why are you there? What keeps you coming back day after day? Is it any of the big four-money, power, status, popularity-or is it something deeper and more subtle that has been developed over time?
Success Intelligence – Robert Holden
Bookclips: Relationships are the heart of success. How true is this for you?
Bookclips: If you cannot see yourself being successful at something, you will probably talk yourself out of trying. Or, if you can see you have a talent for something, you may find all sorts of inner strength and external help. All your decisions are based on what you see you are capable of and, also, what you think you deserve.
What is Success – A Better Definition:
Questions that Create Success:
Steve Jobs explains the rules for success:

Getting from fear of conflict to embracing conflict in the workplace

If you’re in a leadership position, you need to understand conflict and leadership go hand-in-hand. While conflict is a normal part of any organization, the challenge lies in how you choose to deal with it. If you choose to conceal, avoid or otherwise ignore it, conflict will likely fester, creating resentment, withdrawal or  infighting within an organization.
As a leader, the ability to  recognize conflict, understand its nature, and resolve it, will serve you well. Conversely, the inability to do so could be your downfall.
Let’s take a look at conflict and conflict resolution.
Sources of conflict
There are many causes for conflict in any work setting. Some of the primary causes are:

  • Poor Communication: different communication styles can lead to misunderstandings managers and employees, and among employees. Lack of communication drives conflict ‘underground’.
  • Different Values: we all see the world differently. Conflict occurs when there is a lack of acceptance and understanding of these different values.
  • Differing Interests: when individual workers ‘fight’ for their personal goals, ignoring organizational goals and organizational well-being, conflict results.
  • Scarce Resources: when employees feel they have to compete for available resources in order to do their job properly, this can lead to conflict, despite awareness of how scarce resources may be. Personality Clashes: all workplaces are made up of different personality types. Unless colleagues understand and accept different approaches to work and problem-solving, conflict is going to occur.
  • Poor Performance: conflict is inevitable when one or more individuals within a work unit are not performing and this is not addressed.

Related Link: 5 Keys To Dealing With Workplace Conflict
Addressing conflict
How is conflict addressed? Here’s some of the ways people face conflict:

  • Avoidance: ‘hide our head in the sand’—hoping  the problem will go away.
  • Collaboration: work together to find a mutually beneficial solution.
  • Compromise: find the middle ground whereby a ‘little is given and little is gotten’.
  • Competing: ‘hoping the best person wins’.
  • Accommodation: surrendering our own needs and wishes to please the other person.

Collaboration or compromise are believed to be the most productive forms of addressing conflict because there are no winners or losers, but working together for the best possible solution.
Conflict resolution help
Resolving conflict is always the goal. How do you achieve conflict resolution? Here are some tips:

  • Clearly articulate the causes of the conflict. Openly acknowledging there will be differing perceptions of the problem(s).
  • Communicate how you want the conflict resolved.
  • Address the issues face-to-face (email, notes and  memos are not a productive way to resolve differences).
  • Stick to the issues. In trying to resolve conflict, while it is tempting to bring up past issues, it’s not helpful. It is important to address behaviors and situations at hand if change is to happen.
  • Take time out if necessary. In the resolution of a conflict, emotions can interfere with arriving at a productive resolution. If this happens, a time-out can be helpful and resume resolving the conflict at another designated time.

Be proactive
While conflict prevention isn’t always possible, the secret to conflict resolution is to prevent it where possible. By seeking out areas of potential conflict and proactively intervening in a just and decisive fashion, you may be able to prevent certain conflicts from arising. If a conflict does flair up, you may be able to minimize its severity by dealing with it quickly. As a leader, time spent identifying and understanding natural tensions will help to avoid unnecessary conflict.
Look for the opportunity
The potential for a tremendous teaching/learning opportunity lies within virtually every conflict . Where there is disagreement, there is an inherent possibility for growth and development. If you’re a leader who doesn’t leverage conflict for team building and leadership development purposes, you’re missing a great opportunity. Differing positions addressed properly can stimulate innovation and learning in many ways.
Smart leaders look for the upside in all differing opinions. Embracing workplace conflict can benefit your organization tremendously.
Simply More offers Workshops for Conflict Resolution