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E.I. Part 4 - Managing Yourself With Self-Awareness

Guiding Questions: Can you become aware of your emotions, especially the most intense ones, and become caught up in them without being swept away? When you get emotional, are you self-aware, do you become engulfed in them, or do you accept your emotions as they come and go?

Key Takeaways: Some of the best coaches and leaders I know when to yell at their athletes or teammates, get their energy up and respond quietly and talk to them to keep their energy stable. Learning to manage the energy and emotions of yourself and others without getting too caught up in them and without allowing them to control you is valuable.


We all feel different emotions differently. Some emotional feelings and responses help us, and some hurt us, but one of the foundations of emotional intelligence is awareness of your feelings and emotions as they come and go.


In chapter 4 of Emotional Intelligence, Danial Goleman tells an old Japanese tale that illustrates the difference between being caught up in a feeling and becoming aware that you are being swept away by it:


A belligerent samurai, an old Japanese tale goes, once challenged a Zen master to explain the concept of heaven and hell. But the monk replied with scorn, “You’re nothing but a lout—I can’t waste my time with the likes of you!”


His very honor attacked, the samurai flew into a rage and, pulling his sword from its scabbard, yelled, “I could kill you for your impertinence.”


“That,” the monk calmly replied, “is hell.”


Startled at seeing the truth in what the master pointed out about the fury that had him in its grip, the samurai calmed down, sheathed his sword, and bowed, thanking the monk for the insight.


“And that,” said the monk, “is heaven.”


Emotional Intelligent people feel all the emotions everyone else feels, they just know how to manage them and leverage them for good. It starts with self-awareness.


Some of the best coaches and leaders I know know when to yell at their athletes or teammates and get their energy up, and when to respond quietly and talk to them to keep their energy stable. Learning to manage the energy and emotions of yourself and others without getting too caught up in them and without allowing them to control you is valuable.


Goleman writes there are three types of people when it comes to managing moods and emotions:


1 - Self-Aware - They are aware of their mood as they have them and can manage them effectively.


2 - Engulfed - They often feel swept up by their moods and helpless to escape them.


3 - Accepting - They are clear and accepting of their moods and don’t try to change them.


Having and feeling emotions can help us and hurt us; it all depends on how we respond. Strong feelings can impact, or create havoc in our reasoning and ability to make good choices, but when we have no feelings, we lack the energy, urgency, and passion we need to be successful.


The key to being able to make great personal decisions is being able to tune in to and effectively respond to your thoughts, feelings, and emotions. SOMETHING(s) TO THINK ABOUT

1 - Which category do you normally fall in - self-aware, engulfed, or accepting?


2 - When does it help the most to be self-aware? When are you most self-aware?


3 - When does it help most to be engulfed in your emotions? When are you most engulfed?


4 - When does it help most to be accepting of your emotions? When are you most accepting?

Much of this information was taken from the introduction of Daniel Goleman’s book, Emotional Intelligence. You can find more about the book here: Emotional Intelligence Previous E.I. Posts - Intro - Part 1 - Part 2 - Part 3

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