What You Learned In EQ School

If it’s true that over 85% of human success is in the emotional and social intelligence domains (rather then remembering facts/figures of cognition), then are we really preparing our children and teenagers for living in the world of social connection and empathy?

How many of the following emotional intelligence (EQ) skills do you remember learning in your formal educational systems? Take this assessment and find out if you were prepared before you got into the workplace for the thrills and pitfalls of social navigation.

  1. I have a clear understanding about my emotions
  2. I have a wide vocabulary of feelings
  3. I understand how many different emotions can flow into one another at the same time
  4. I do not appear “stressed” even in chaos
  5. I understand and use effective impulse control
  6. I take time out to relax
  7. I use humor appropriately
  8. I accept responsibility for my own behavior
  9. I accurately read nonverbal behaviors in others
  10. I listen actively without merely waiting for my turn to speak
  11. I mirror insight about others’ feelings, motives and concerns
  12. I pay attention to people and relationships in my life
  13. I mirror other’s movements and tones
  14. I demonstrate compassion and regard for others
  15. I easily develop rapport with colleagues and employees
  16. I allow others to express emotions without trying to fix it
  17. I provide emotional support for others with ease
  18. I respond appropriately to people’s feelings and concerns without thinking they are playing victims
  19. I make personal connections with people frequently
  20. I seek relationships out
  21. I demonstrate respect for others – no matter how different they are from me
  22. I promote cooperation at work
  23. I can focus my attention on the task at hand
  24. I can recognize my strength’s and weaknesses
  25. I can re-frame problems to see the opportunities
  26. I display positive energy
  27. I celebrate small successes
  28. I know what I think, feel and want
  29. I can tell others what I think, feel and want
  30. People leave a conversation with me feeling really understood
  31. I am open to change and new ideas
  32. I talk TO others not ABOUT others
  33. Employees enjoy working for me
  34. Others like working with me
  35. People can count on me to give them information
  36. I receive positive feedback easily
  37. I receive negative feedback easily
  38. I am happy for other people’s success
  39. I take time for self-care and rejuvenation
  40. I create goals and then complete them

Did you miss out on some of these EQ skills? If you were like me, you were probably out sick the day they taught some of these and had to attend the school of “hard knocks.”

Many of us learned these social skills in the moment, in relationship with bosses, coworkers and customers. We fumbled right along with other humans gaining ineffective social cues from the playground to the watercooler, from the dinner table to the boardroom table, and from the classroom to the conference room.

We tried ineffective social norms like “going along in order to get along” selling out our true selves. We tried other behaviors like saying less in order to be liked or saying more in order to be noticed, and still feeling emotionally diminished. Since no one ever taught us how to get picked last for the gym team, when we were passed over for the promotion, emotions were stuffed and had no where to go but to be trapped in our bodies, manifesting in unhealthy cortisol and adrenaline. We constantly went to work feeling physically depleted and socially isolated.

The lack of learned emotional intelligence in childhood manifests outer wars on our planet, and inner wars in our bodies.

There is hope!! EQ can be developed. By following the 70/20/10 rule of effective human development, anyone can strengthen their emotional cognition.

  • 10% of your time should be on reading, journal writing, and attending formal classes on self-awareness, and emotional self-regulation. There are many books and resources on emotional intelligence online and in libraries. Learning about emotions and how they work inside of the body is the first step towards social liberation.
  • 20% of your time should be in a coaching/therapy feedback process. I define therapy as unpacking your past for a better present, and coaching as unpacking your present for a better future. The most successful humans do both to strengthen self-awareness and the integration of developmental feedback. Seeking out feedback about how you impact other people is a powerful skill that separates the boys from the men and the girls from the women. Having another adult to process the feedback is a powerful way to ensure accountability and support for change.

Highly emotional intelligent people not only ask for feedback, they actually seek it out because it builds stronger relationships with others.

  • 70% of your time should be PRACTICING what you are learning on the job and at home with your family and friends. The action is in the moment by yourself, track what you are thinking, feeling and wanting. The advanced practice is in the moment, with another human, clearly articulate to the other what you are thinking, feeling and wanting. (I definitely missed this module in grade school; however, just practicing this technique is amazing for staying in the MOMENT to verbalize what is happening inside of my own head.) Seriously, contrary to what you might believe or what you might expect, other humans cannot read your mind.

This EQ practice takes care of all of the guess-work, hunches and misunderstandings for the other person experiencing YOU in relationship.

Welcome to EQ School!!

Tracey Adams

Tracey has been teaching emotional intelligence within corporations and academia for over thirteen years. The evolution of her own personal work has sharpened her purpose of guiding other powerful women on the journey of self-discovery, personal power, and well being.

Partnering with the Well-Being experts at Gallup – this curriculum is transformational both in content and design. Her doctorate research (also in partnership with Gallup) explored the correlations of emotional intelligence and leader effectiveness. Tracey can be found in Portland, Oregon where she is raising two amazing teenagers, and facilitates emotional intelligence retreats for women and corporate teams.