Emotional Intelligence and Leadership

Who needs emotional intelligence (EI or EQ)? My answer is everyone. In fact, I think it is something that should be taught throughout school. It doesn’t necessarily need to be a stand-alone course, though it certainly could be. EI could definitely be included in courses for communication, psychology, sociology, and definitely be a part of nursing and medical curricula. How can anyone effectively work with people and not have stellar EI.

Daniel Goleman’s theory of EQ is as follows:

Emotional intelligence is the ability to perceive emotions, to access and generate emotions so as to assist thought, to understand emotions and emotional knowledge, and to reflectively regulate emotions so as to promote emotional and intellectual growth.”

Goleman also states that “Great leadership works through the emotions.”

(Goleman, Boyatzyis, & McKee. Primal Leadership: Unleashing the Power of Emotional Intelligence. 2013 )

What is the process for learning about EI? As with many things, it starts with self; Self-awareness and Self-management followed by Social Awareness and Relationship management.

I found a test online that can help you discover your EI and begin your journey. This test only gives you an idea of where you are, and it is not the full test. I encourage you to check this one or another one out.

Note that the first item of EI is Self-awareness. This is straight -forward, if you aren’t aware of your emotions, you won’t be able to change how you respond in various situations. Once you are self-aware you are in a position to self-manage, I also refer to this as self-leadership. Self-awareness is the foundation of all of the rest. Becoming self-aware also helps you to develop Social Awareness. Having paid attention to yourself, your emotions, and your reactions in various situations, you will be more likely to be able to notice how others react or respond to a variety of emotional events. Empathy comes into play in this area: being aware of what others are experiencing. This doesn’t mean you want to respond to someone going through a traumatic event with “I know how you feel”. That isn’t empathy. Empathy is understanding where that person is coming from. You understand the pain, grief, and sadness being experienced. Developing these three areas naturally leads to Relationship management. Our lives are filled with relationships.

Why does this make a difference to anyone, or in this case, to leaders? I want my boss, coach, guide, or anyone in a leadership role to have these qualities; to be Emotionally Intelligent.

A leader with a high EQ would be likely to be much better at inspiring and leading teams. Hopefully, an EI leader will guide and assist in the development of the other leaders in the organization. There can be more than one leader. We all have different skills and abilities in which we can lead. A socially aware leader will know when to call on others.

You do not have to be a leader to become more EI, it is worthwhile for everyone. Synchronicity occurred today: I am once again taking part in a research study and one of the lessons today was about the brain – our caveman brain and our frontal cortex. These are the areas involved in our reactions. Too much to go into here. But watch for my next blog on our caveman brain and our frontal cortex.

Image by John Hain from Pixabay

Whew! It Isn’t COVID What I’ve Learned

I’ve had a sore throat, runny nose, head and body aches, and have felt crappy for almost a week now. I canceled two medical appointments because I didn’t want to spread anything. I got tested for COVID – negative. A big sigh of relief.I thought about this and gave myself a bit of a kick for not listening to my intuition. I let my guard down and eased up on COVID precautions: I didn’t wear my mask if everyone had both their jabs. I went out a bit and saw a few people, I thought I was safe.

I haven’t had a cold in two years. Before COVID I was getting chemo. I completed chemo in February 2020, the beginning of COVID. During chemo, I was isolating a lot because my immune system was knocked out. So, the restrictions were merely a continuation for me, a bit more stringent as I hadn’t worn a mask, I just hadn’t gone out.

I concluded, the restrictions for COVID had aided in my not getting my usual frequent colds. I have believed in and practiced good hand hygiene for many years – that is what comes from working for years in an ICU.

I have a couple of autoimmune disorders that make it a bit more difficult to fight off infections and I’m considered a senior citizen (no one cares that I don’t feel like I’m old). Though I remain in remission from my cancer I still choose to be careful to not catch whatever is going around.

As we all wait for the restrictions to be over, so we don’t need to worry about getting sick, I am thinking of backtracking. I intend to go back to wearing my mask when in groups, if I can’t maintain a distance of approximately 2-meters when shopping (though I don’t like shopping and rarely do it). If I am sick, I will stay home, without visitors. I will continue to cover my mouth when I cough or sneeze – remember the phrase – sneeze in your sleeve.

I hope the days of going to work when you have “just a cold” are gone. If an employer expects someone to work when they have a cold and the employee doesn’t dare to go against that, I hope the employer is supplying masks for everyone and supplying hand sanitizer. Remember to wash your hands.

I hope the cleaning practices that have been learned will be continued. Maybe we can have a winter with less flu – oh yes, get a flu shot. The world in which we live is a dirty place. But we do know how to clean, make soap and water a priority.

A Closer Look at Following Your Heart

An Exerpt from HeartMath®

Increasingly, people are taking a closer look at what the age-old term “following your heart “means, and more are practicing heart-based living. The term heart-based living is a simple phrase which suggest that we are including our hearts’ intuitive feeling, along with our minds, when making choices and decisions that shape our life’s direction and happiness. Following your heart is learning to discern the wisdom of your heart feelings and then stepping into it. HeartMath’s research and tools were created to make this process easier.

Heart-based living includes practicing the qualities of the heart, such as love, compassion, kindness, patience, forgiveness, cooperation and more of these similar qualities. Being heart-based does not require being religious or belonging to any particular spiritual path. It is an intelligent way of living that would reduce most of the stress, separation and greed which drives the major problems that keep us from getting along with each other.

If you would like to learn more about Heart-Based Living and Following Your Heart, connect with me and we can chat. Book an appointment at a time that works for you at https://calendly.com/fromtheheartwithdr-elaine

Also, watch for additional HeartMathR and leadership information in my blogs.

Are Your Decisions Based on Fear?

When that bear is after me, I hope I can run faster than you can. I also hope that my fear has kicked in enough that I can actually run. I used to love running, but as with many of us old folk – the knees are gone.

If some dude or dudette breaks into my house while I am home, I hope I have enough fear to either hide or run. Fear can be good. The adrenalin gets you going, hopefully, to someplace safe. Fear today is different from the fear in the caveman days (I think there were cavewomen too, but we don’t seem to talk about them). We don’t have to run from the lion, tiger, bear, or any of those aggressive animals who look on us as prey. Today our fear comes from the political climate, the pandemic, racial issues and inequality, women’s inequality, the environment, and what we are doing about it – or not doing. Some still fear not being able to feed or house their families – wow – how long has this been going on??

Every day we are apt to experience fear when we drive, when we are walking, when someone we do not know approaches us, or if someone is not wearing a mask. How do you react to these fears? In most cases, you know your heart and respiratory rates increase. The increased heart and respiratory rate can also happen when we talk about politics and pandemics (starting to be hard to separate the two).

We are facing numerous fears with the ongoing pandemic. Mask versus non-mask, vaccine versus anti-vaccer, conspiracy versus non-conspiracy, and there might be other divides of which I am not aware. Why are these divides present – fear.  Fear is often the doing of politicians and the media.

There are numerous other things occurring causing us fear. No income, no school or only home-school, and you can’t work from home, not enough money to feed the family, pay the bills, and keep a roof over your head have become too common.

Our mental health is being stretched like it has not been in the lives of many of us. The Polio scare in the mid-50s, The Bay of Pigs, and the Cuban Missile Crisis in the early to mid-’60s when I was still fairly young, definitely scared us. By the time the Missile Crisis came along, I was old enough to read the paper and be frightened along with the adults. I didn’t understand everything, but I knew there was a possibility that we might be gone and I might not be with my mom when it happened. I was scared, really scared.

I am not scared now. I am fortunate and old enough to be able to live on my retirement pension. I will continue to look after my health, wear my mask (heck my immune system has been crap since long before the pandemic), and I have my two jabs. I wasn’t going out before the pandemic hit because I was undergoing chemo – I just haven’t changed what I was doing then.

That only gives us a bit of understanding of the effects of fear. When the pandemic has run its course there will be other fears. What else causes us to be fearful and how does fear influence our decisions?

We have been subjected to fear-causing news reports, health reports, and general pandemic discussions for a bit over 18-months. What an incredible amount of stress we have been put through, and that stress affects our decisions. Why? Because the fear creates stress which then influences our decisions. The decisions we make when stressed are often not the best decisions.

Some of the nastiest leaders in the world gain, and have gained, power because of the fear they instill. Is that what our leaders are doing now, or are they also being fed fear every day? I am not a conspiracy theorist. On the other hand, I do believe if you tell yourself something over and over again you begin to believe. After all, isn’t that what we are being taught to do to become more self-confident, to build self-esteem, and to make the most of ourselves? Darn right it is! And guess what – it works. So let’s use the same strategy to eliminate or reduce our fear now. You can stay in fear, or you can choose to live a beautiful life without ongoing fear.

It is a big ask for anyone who is afraid. Believe me, I have been there in the past. I am not there now and do not intend to be. I am in control of me, and I can help you be in control of you. Change is never easy, but small steps repeated over time accumulate and can make a huge difference. What is amazing is how the practices that can help get you out of a fearful state can be used every day, in a pandemic, or non-pandemic times.

At any time, each of us can benefit from someone who is a sounding board, or from a coach. Now, more than ever, someone to talk to is of the utmost importance. Many are experiencing feelings and fears they have never had to deal with before, and the people in their social support system are experiencing the same concerns. Find someone to talk to individually or as a group. I offer these kinds of services and I am sure there are others also offering individual and group coaching, mentoring, or training. As humans, we need each other. We are not meant to be alone. Seek what and who you need. You were not meant to live in fear.

Learn how to overcome anxiety, decrease your stress, and frustration. Book an appointment to chat at

Goals, Resolutions???

I’ve never been big on making New Year’s Resolutions. I have goals & they are written. I like to make sure that I am in control of achieving my goals. What would be the point if there was no hope of achieving. As much as I would like to get rid of COVID-19, it is not in my control. Who knows what 2021 might bring? After what happened in 2020 I don’t think we would be surprised by much.

A few days ago my husband & I sat down to go over our goals for the future. We did it together. We figured that way we would have an idea where the other one was coming from & where we want to go. Doing so let’s us also support each other.

For the last few years, my goals were not as usual. I suspected I had only limited control over my one very important goal – to improve my health by beating cancer. In a few days, it will be one year since my chemo finished & I am still in remission. I achieved my goal.

Now it is 2021, I can have goals other than just one. However, my health is still my major goal. Rather than a goal to lose weight, I have decided that improved health is better. I know I can control those things, mostly. Other goals include; clean & tidy house, yard & small vegetable, herb garden; acquiring clients for my coaching/mentoring business, & increasing my understanding of & growing my spirituality. I think these three goals are quite enough, as they are quite complex & I need a good handle on them before I take on more.

Whether we choose to make New Year’s Resolutions, or establish goals on a regular basis & when appropriate, what we usually want is to be successful in sticking to our resolutions or achieving our goals.

Saying all that gets me to what I really want to say – whether resolutions or goals – you get to choose what you want to accomplish. I do believe we are what we think about. That is not to say you get sick, or your relationship fails because that is what you were specifically thinking or wanting. However, were you thinking ‘I am strong, healthy, & have abundant energy’, or ‘my partner & I have a magnificent relationship, constantly growing’? So it isn’t just that you weren’t thinking negative, you might not have been thinking positive thoughts. Decide what you want, think about it in positive terms, don’t worry about the outcome, & do the work that needs to be done to get what you want.

You are the captain of you. You decide what you want & you can focus your attention specifically. Make sure you have the control to make your goals a reality. That means you are not relying on someone else to make your dream (goal) come true.

Make sure your goals & resolutions are achievable by you; that they do not rely on someone or something over which you have no control. You want to succeed. If you don’t succeed in some way, reflect on what you did or didn’t do, re-strategize & try something different until you get it right. Also, celebrate what you did achieve. And remember, sometimes it takes more than one attempt.

If you need some help to sort through all this, or someone to hold you accountable give me a shout. I’m happy to chat with you, see if & how we can work together to help you make your dreams come true.

You can contact me via email at fromtheheartwithdr.elaine@gmail.com