Emotional Intelligence – The Goleman Way

There is a lot of talk about emotional intelligence these days. Emotional intelligence is not so much about our minds being “intelligent” and overriding our emotions. Instead, it is how adept we are at getting our emotions under control or following our emotions to know that we are on the right path.

Have you watched any of the Hallmark Christmas movies this past holiday season? I will admit that I watched a few too many while waiting for the news that my first grandchild was being born. She actually waited until after the holidays to arrive in the world. One of the ways I was able to remain patient, was by watching these movies and allowing my heart, mind, and body, to rest.

So, what about these Christmas movies? One of the more common storylines was that of the lead actor; they have a busy and important career in a city but come back to their hometown for Christmas. They are usually visiting after many Christmases’ away from home, and the “motivating factor” is one of their parents needs help, or a relative passed away and left their house, farm, or other property in their name. The lead actor always begins with the intention of returning to the city right after Christmas to a big new job or a promotion. Instead, they bump into an old flame and get involved in, or even organizing, a Christmas event or activity, and begin to realize that their heart belongs back in their hometown, and sometimes again in the house that they grew up in. What the viewer is usually treated to, is seeing the lead actor’s true self and passion come through. In the end, we are left happy for them, and almost wishing that we had a lovely hometown (and old flame) to return to.

Daniel Goleman introduced the paradigm of emotional intelligence over 10 years ago with his book Emotional Intelligence. He highlights “The Five Components of Emotional Intelligence” and one of these is “Internal Motivation”. Internal motivation is referred to as a passion for working, for internal reasons that go beyond money and status (external rewards). For instance, an inner vision of what is important in life, a joy in doing something, curiosity in learning, a flow that comes with being immersed in an activity. Sounds like our Hallmark Christmas movie lead actors have found their internal motivation and give up their city condos and office jobs for something more meaningful to them!

The other four of Daniel Goleman’s components of emotional intelligence are:

Self-awareness — The ability to recognize and understand personal moods and emotions and drives, as well as their effect on others.

Self-regulation — The ability to control or redirect disruptive impulses and moods, and the propensity to suspend judgment and to think before acting.

Empathy — The ability to understand the emotional makeup of other people. A skill in treating people according to their emotional reactions.

Social skills — Proficiency in managing relationships and building networks and an ability to find common ground and build rapport.

These hallmarks of emotional intelligence, as defined by Daniel Goleman, are fundamental to understanding why the Reset Zone app is an essential addition to our lives. Using the app allows us to take our self-awareness to the next level and find tools that can help us regulate our moods. The tools may be anything from a breathing technique to a grounding movement or quick meditation that brings more even breathing, a slowed down heart rate and a greater sense of presence. When we are calmer and more present, we can control or redirect impulses, so we can appropriately choose how to respond, taking a proactive versus reactive approach. This can also improve our empathy as we take that step back to understand where someone else’s behaviour is coming from. Then we can be responsive to them, more empathic, or sympathetic, instead of adding fuel to the fire by reacting from our own defences.

Developing and practicing our emotional intelligence is vital to our social connections as well. You can become a better listener when you are not interrupted by the rush of hormones released by an emotional reaction. People begin to trust that they can talk to you, that you are reasonable, and that you are someone they want to do business with or socialize with.

Using the Reset Zone app can give you practice using tools that can quickly help you release hormones associated with an emotional response. Each tool is just one minute long, so the time spent is short, and the practice is appropriate to reduce the time in which you spend in emotional reaction or turmoil. Therefore, using the Reset Zone app, whether as a practice or when you are feeling emotionally reactive, can help you improve your emotional intelligence!

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