Capitalizing on Natural Feelings
“The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart.” – Helen Keller
There’s a lot of hype out there about positive thinking. After all, being able to focus on the positive is a valuable skill. However, in the study of emotional intelligence, it’s important to sense and acknowledge feelings across the full spectrum of emotions; only then can you truly gain perspective, relate to others, and use your insights as tools for success.
Exploring the Spectrum
Emotions themselves are your personal sounding board; the way things make you feel helps you to understand your surroundings, understand yourself, and understand others. As writer Thomas Edward simply puts it, “Emotions are vital to your success.” https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/231691
The best leaders don’t shy away from difficult emotions, but learn to identify and manage them thoughtfully. This means acknowledging feelings like disappointment, anger, and sadness – emotions that, in the workplace, are much healthier when accepted and valued rather than repressed or ignored.
As an article in the Scientific American puts it, “Although positive emotions are worth cultivating, problems arise when people start believing they must be upbeat all the time.” http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/negative-emotions-key-well-being/
Emotional intelligence means being familiar with the full spectrum of feelings; not just the fun ones.
Knowing a rounded emotional self gives you a deeper perspective of the world around you. As the Scientific American points out, “Unpleasant feelings are just as crucial as the enjoyable ones in helping you make sense of life’s ups and downs” http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/negative-emotions-key-well-being/
Psychologist Jonathan M. Adler of the Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering goes on to say, “Acknowledging the complexity of life may be an especially fruitful path to psychological well-being.”
Reaping the Benefits
By embracing the goodness of emotions – not just positive emotions, but difficult emotions too – you become a more intelligent, insightful, and compassionate leader.
Psychology Today defines emotional intelligence as, “…the ability to identify and manage your own emotions and the emotions of others.” https://www.psychologytoday.com/basics/emotional-intelligence
Experience the full range of emotions, and be willing to see and accept those emotions in others. Only then can you take real steps towards true emotional intelligence.