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Filtering by Tag: EQ

This Thanksgiving I'm Giving Thanks for Anger! Clarity #18

Alan Andersen

Seriously? What does anger and thankfulness have to do with each other?  I love all the gratitude and thankfulness pouring forth from the social media channels and ezine articles. I want to join in and say how grateful I am for a very powerful emotion: ANGER.  Weird, eh?

This week's Clarity challenge is focused on how to use anger appropriately and the danger of misdirected anger.  Yes, it's cheesy, but I'll say it anyway: anger is only one letter away from DANGER! Anger is an emotion alerting us to the fact thatsomething is not right. An injustice has occurred. The trick is slowing down the emotional flow to discern the injustice and what it is telling us needs to be righted. Here are some examples:

Relational Injustice

Anger in relationships can be a form of love when it is slow, focused and in control. Think about it: we defend that which we love the most. It is good that a dad is angry when his chid lies and cheats. Why? Because he is motivated to act towards defending his child's character and well-being for the future. It is an injustice that this child is not making good choices and if not dealt with, he or she will be lost and land in jail one day. Once again, how that anger is communicated is key. Remember stay in control and for the other person's well-being.

Social Injustice

Sometimes anger will surprise you and bubble up as you learn something for the first time. This new anger can launch you to defend and fight against an injustice you previously knew nothing about.  For example, perhaps you learn that more than 90% of women involved in prostitution are not involved by choice and would leave if they could. Or that human trafficking happens just around the corner from where you live.  You get angry and it moves you to action, perhaps developing an educational prevention program targeted toward at-risk young men who typically become pimps. You do something to right the wrong, and you are passionate about it driven by your anger. It might just lead you to your purpose and passion in life if handled correctly.

Perceived Injustice

Sometimes we don't have all the information we need, and we get angry about an assumed injustice. For instance, someone is going 55 MPH in the middle lane on the freeway, and the speed limit is 60.  You can't get around them due to construction. You are furious inside because it is not right that they go 5 miles below the speed limit. This is not RIGHT and the injustice is that you will be late. When you finally are able to get around the slow vehicle, you see an 80-year-old grandpa driving his elderly wife to the hospital but his reflexes are slower so he is cautious. DAH – the injustice was perceived.

Selfish Injustice

Anger also arises when we don't get our personal needs met.  Someone does not give you the credit you clearly deserve. You are not picked for the holiday party committee. Your husband buys himself a coffee but doesn't bring you one. Your kids claim their nanny loves them more than you. Your wife is 10 minutes late again and makes you look bad in front of your leadership team. Your anger is really about your own unmet personal need that you see as an injustice.  This is the one you can manage with more Self-Awareness and working on your personal EQ.

Next time, you feel that spike of emotion called frustration, irritation or anger, make it worth your raised blood pressure and trace it back to where you believe the injustice is and ask yourself: is it real? Perceived? Or simply all about you? Then reframe to either help meet the need of others or get your personal unmet need met in a healthy manner.

Anger will show you what you are most passionate about and what you care about most. For that you can be grateful for anger. You just have to make sure you manage it well.  Manage your anger during the holidays and learn a ton about yourself in the journey!

Please share your thoughts on anger. What has made you angry this week? Can you follow your emotion back to the injustice? Was it real, perceived, or selfish? What positive actions can it move you toward?

Your Coach For Clarity,

This article originally appeared at True Life Coaching

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Emotional Intelligence 101

Alan Andersen

What exactly is Emotional Intelligence?  There are many definitions out there and because it is a fairly new discovery I think we are still settling on the best one.

I like simplicity so for me…emotional intelligence is the ability to label, understand and manage your own emotions first and then to perceive emotions and empathize with others.

Robert Cooper, author of Executive EQ, defined it this way, “emotional intelligence is the ability to sense, understand, and effectively apply the power and acumen of emotions to facilitate high levels of collaboration and productivity.”

Best Selling author of the top selling book, Emotional Intelligence, Daniel Goleman, labels the five emotional competencies:

1. Self Awareness: The ability to recognize and understand your moods, emotions, and drives, as well as their effect on others.

2. Self Regulation: The ability to control or redirect disruptive impulses and moods and the propensity to suspend judgment and think before acting.

3. Motivation: A passion to work for reasons that go beyond money or status and a propensity to pursue goals with energy and persistence.

4. Empathy: The ability to understand the emotional make up of other people.

5. Social Skills: A proficiency in managing relationships and building networks.

By mastering each of these pillars, we are essentially managing and shaping our emotions in a way that will improve our ability to make decisions, increase influence, and lead effectively.

It's like taking your emotional temperature.  Putting it another way, I use the visual of 3 glasses of water.  While keeping one crystal clear, adding a few drops of red food coloring to the second glass making it cloudy and then dumping half the bottle in the third to show a definite change of color to red.

Knowing when are you escalating from clear to cloudy before you escalate to red in self-awareness.  Once in red, you are now in a stormy emotional state and your thinking brain shuts down. When we get to “red” our body feel threatened and kicks into the fight, flight or freeze state hi-jacking our logical, rational brain.

Dr. Leslie Parrott, Co-Founder of Real Relationships, absolutely nailed this first pillar, Self-Awareness.  Using her vast knowledge of counseling, therapy, leadership training, and relationship coaching she gave us a road map to follow to increase our ability to know and understand our personal self better.

My favorite tool at the 2011 Women's Leadership Summit was the way Dr. Parrott applied the Johari Window to our self-discovery experience – awesome.  She also drilled down and gave amazing insight into the make-up of our emotional brain.  I loved her analogy of wishing we had an “emotional storm predictor”  YES – I wish I had a barometer warning me that today I would be taken hostage by my emotions so be warned – prepare.  NOPE – those darn emotions hit us out of no where so we need to be prepared.

What is EQ to you?

Your Coach,

This article Emotional Intelligence 101 previously appeared on True Life Coaching

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