What Your Emotions Are Sent to Teach You
What Your Emotions Are Sent to Teach You
Many people, including many leaders, don't like to deal with emotions in the workplace. They discard them as irrelevant in getting tasks done. However, as we have learnt from the motivational movement in the mid-1950's, emotions, as a way of motivating us, have a greater impact on how well we work than almost any other thing.
In this course, you'll learn what emotional intelligence is, why it is at the core of leadership effectiveness, and how, by seeing your own emotions as gifts of wisdom, can make you a better leader.
As usual in these courses, we'll give you the course transcript to read first, followed by the video for you to watch, and ending with a quiz to find out what you've learnt.
Our thanks go to Jim Dethmer and The Conscious Leadership Group for the concept and video.
So, let's look at the key points.
1. What Your Emotions Are Sent to Teach You: The Key Points
Almost 20 years ago now, Dan Goleman introduced us to the entire field of emotional intelligence. His groundbreaking research changed the game. Now, ongoing research has proven that emotional intelligence is more important than intellectual horsepower over the course of a leader's career.
But what is emotional intelligence?
At the Conscious Leadership Group, we say to leaders that, before you can become emotionally intelligent, you have to actually become emotionally literate. Literacy means that you know what an emotion is.
So, what is emotion?
We like the little idea that emotion is e-motion, energy in motion. A feeling is simply energy moving in and on the body. It's feeling that is alive in the body. So, the first thing we need to do, in order to become emotionally literate, is to know what a feeling is. Second, we need to know what the five primary feelings are because they're really the currency of emotional intelligence.
So, at the conscious leadership group we coach leaders in becoming incredibly skilled at being able to identify in any moment what is their current feeling state and to use the five key emotions to label them.
The Five Key Emotions
The five key emotions are anger, sadness, fear, joy, and sexual, or life-force energy.
Almost everybody is familiar with anger. It's that energy that rises up in the body that wants to say, stop, something isn't working here.
Fear is that wise emotion that comes into the body that says wake up, pay attention, face what's here.
Sadness is the emotion that comes into the body that says something or someone needs to be let go of. An old idea. An old relationship. An old belief system. Grief is that energy that says it's time to let go, to say goodbye.
Joy is that energy that comes into the body that says something wants to be celebrated, something wants to be danced into life, something wants to be excitedly said yes to in our life.
And sexual energy, now this is the tricky one because the vast majority of organizations think that sexual energy is horribly dangerous. What we say is that actually all of these energies can be dangerous when they are experienced in an unconscious way. If I'm unconscious with my anger, then I move in a way that aggresses against people or I move in a way that hurts me. Anger can be incredibly dangerous and destructive from below-the-line.
Sadness from below the line or in an unconscious leader becomes melancholy and it can hang around in a mood of depression for days and weeks and months and decades.
Well, so too is sexual energy. But what is real sexual energy? The truth of the matter is sexual energy often doesn't have anything to do with sex. Sexual energy is the creative life force that courses through the body of a leader, that allows the leader to create, to innovate, to improvise, to bring forward that which is new, that which wants to be birthed into the world.
So, we're teaching leaders all over the world how to feel their sexual energy and how to use it in creative productive ways and to be respectful and responsible in relating to other people while being a fully alive, fully feeling leader.
So what is emotional intelligence?
First, it's emotional literacy. You know what a feeling is and you can label your feelings in any given moment. But then emotional intelligence goes a step further because, not only can I label my feelings, I know how to be with my feelings in a way that allows the feeling to move through the body.
The research seems to indicate that feelings, if we deal with them in the now moment, only last 90 seconds or less. So, what does that mean?
We teach leaders how to locate a feeling in the body. Where is the anger? Oh, it's in my jaw. It's in my neck. It's in my hands. We teach them how to accept the feeling in the body and how to actually move and vocalize to match it. Because what we've discovered is that, when our expression of an emotion matches our experience of the emotion, the emotion runs through the body just like a wave builds, comes to a crescendo, crests, and then dissipates on the shore.
So do all emotions. If we don't resist repress and suppress them, they just come, crest, and dissipate. Emotional intelligence is literacy and then the ability to feel a feeling all the way through to completion. But that's not all.
Conscious leaders also know that every emotion brings a wisdom with it. Every emotion, once it is identified, labeled, and moved through the body, brings us back to presence. And we ask the emotion a question. We ask anger, what is it that I need to say stop to? What is it that is no longer of service to me, to the organization, to our purpose?
We ask sadness, what needs to be let go of. What do I need to release. What do I need to say goodbye to? Again it could be an old vision that no longer serves me or the organization. Or it could be an old relationship that is no longer optimally serving me or the other or the organization.
When it comes to fear, once we settle into presence, we ask what do we need to pay attention to, to wake up to. What do we need to face that we're not facing? Every single emotion has a wisdom.
Conscious leaders are practiced at identifying, labeling, feeling, releasing, and then getting all the wisdom the feeling has come to give us.
Now, to reinforce these key points, let's take a look at the video.
2. What Your Emotions Are Sent to Teach You: The Video
3. What Your Emotions Are Sent to Teach You: The Quiz
Use the quiz that follows to check how much you've learnt in this course. Simply type in what you think are the missing word or words in each of the statements.
We hope you score well, but, if you want to have another go, re-read the texts in this course or have another look at the video. All the answers are in there somewhere!
By entering your email address at the top of the quiz, we'll be able to send you your score and show you how well you did on each of the questions.
4. What Your Emotions Are Sent to Teach You: Your Action Plans
That completes this online course but, as a learner, it should be just the start of your application of the knowledge and skills in this course.
So, in our final exercise, use the form below to record the action you'll now take to put what you've learnt into practice.
That completes this MTL course but, hopefully, for you, it is the start of new opportunities in your life and work.
While you are here, take a look at all the other MTL courses on this site.
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From all the MTL team, thanks and good luck with all your learning!