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Emotional Intelligence Skills – Emotional Expression

Emotional Intelligence Skills – Emotional Expression #4

There’s no “should” or “should not” when it comes to having feelings. They’re part of who we are and their origins are beyond our control. When we can believe that, we may find it easier to make constructive choices about what to do with those feelings.

~ Mister Rogers

 

 

Have you ever been in a conversation with someone and you knew they were lying, but couldn’t tell why you knew that?

There was a TV show I loved named Lie to Me that focused on the micro-expressions of people – those facial movements and involuntary body language – to determine what they were really thinking and feeling, to reveal the truth instead of the lie.

We do this every day. We judge what people are saying based on their body language, their tone, and their words. We judge people so fast in our subconscious, we don’t even realize we’re doing it. We just “know” that we agree or disagree with their words on a deeper, many times unexplainable, level.

Emotional Expression is authentically expressing your emotions both verbally and non-verbally. People who effectively express their emotions are seen as open and honest because their words, body language, and tone are all congruent. People believe you when your face, your words, and the way you say something “seem” to be in alignment.

Let’s look at a couple of stories to explain.

First, remember (for those of you who are old enough!) President Richard Nixon when he uttered those famous words “I am not a crook” at a press conference in 1973 (a little thing called the Watergate scandal)? Patti Wood, a body language expert, said upon reviewing this tape that “He says ‘I am not a crook’ and immediately goes into retreat. His body backs away. Really clear tell. When somebody makes a statement, a definitive statement, and immediately retreats, we know they don’t think they’ve told the truth. They’re escaping that lie. He goes immediately from that to suddenly crossing his arms to protect himself.”

Second story. In 1982 James Burke, then chairman of Johnson & Johnson, went on TV to condemn the poison someone slipped into several bottles of Tylenol, resulting in seven deaths in Chicago. He explained they were recalling all Tylenol bottles across the nation. His remorse, the tears in his eyes, and obvious sadness and pain, all showed the authenticity of his emotions. “Marketers predicted that the Tylenol brand, which accounted for 17% of the company’s net income in 1981, would never recover from the sabotage. But only two months later, Tylenol was headed back to the market, this time in tamper-proof packaging and bolstered by an extensive media campaign. A year later, its share of the $1.2 billion analgesic market, which had plunged to 7% from 37% following the poisoning, had climbed back to 30%.” Why? Because people believed Burke. And Johnson & Johnson took steps to ensure safety – they walked their talk.

How are you showing up in your communication with others – both verbally and non-verbally? Are you congruent in your words, tone, and body language? Do your people believe you?

Think about those companies who say “today we are unveiling our values of integrity, honesty, and our people first.” They put the values up on the walls, on the elevators, and little laminated business cards for you to put in your wallet. But, it sounds like something a PR firm came up with, not what you think your leaders really believe. And then three months later there is a huge layoff. There must be congruency between your words, tone, and body language before your people will believe you.

So, what can you do? Here are 6 questions for you to reflect on to increase your usage of this emotional intelligence skill of emotional expression.

  • Which emotions are easier for me to express? (you can look at charts such as this to go beyond the basic mad, sad, glad emotions)
  • Why do I think it is easier for me to express those emotions than others?
  • What other emotions would I like to express more easily?
  • Our emotions come out in physical ways as well. Where do my emotions show up in my body?
  • What do I typically do with my emotions? Do I stuff them, explode with them, reflect on them, or … what else do I do with them?
  • What can I do today to make a constructive choice about how to express my feelings?

You cannot control what happens to you, but you can control your attitude toward what happens to you, and in that, you will be mastering change rather than allowing it to master you.   ~ Brian Tracy

This week notice how in alignment you feel with your words, tone of voice, and body language when you’re having specific conversations. You’ll probably recognize it more easily by seeing how it is affecting the people around you. By being authentic and congruent in your verbal and non-verbal emotional expression, you are building trust and loyalty. These are vital for your being able to inspire and influence your team.

As we continue our exploration of the 15 emotional intelligence skills, the next 2 blogs will also be skills under the Self-Expression umbrella – Assertiveness and Independence. And the first three blogs in the series can be found here – Self-Regard, Self-Actualization, and Self-Awareness.

This week, begin to notice how your expression of your emotions is reflected back to you from the faces and reactions of the people with who you are talking. Are you having the impact you intended, or is the reaction very different than you expected? If different, what might that say about your congruency?

If you are interested in a journal/adult coloring book to help you implement emotional intelligence skills into your life and leadership, get my book: Coloring Outside the Lines: A Grown-Up’s Creative Guide to Increasing Emotional Intelligence (on my website or on Amazon). For information on leadership, Emotional Intelligence & Negotiations, Strengthening your Inner Genius, Hiring the Golden Unicorn, or any of our programs, call us at 682.200.1412 or go to http://www.apexlmastery.com/

For the next skill in the Emotional Intelligence series – Self-Awareness, click here

Emotional Intelligence Skills – Self-Awareness #3

At the center of your being you have the answer; you know who you are and you know what you want.

~ Lao Tzu.

Some people would totally disagree with Lao Tzu’s statement. However, I find in my coaching practice that the more questions I can ask, the more my clients get real clarity and the truth of who they are and what they really want rather than staying stuck on the surface wants/needs.

These last 3 blogs have been emotional intelligence skills that fall under the Self-Perception umbrella – Self-Regard, Self-Actualization, and Self-Awareness. They all focus on the Inner You … understanding yourself and your emotions, and how confident you feel about yourself, what you’re doing and where you’re going in life.

Self-Awareness is being able to accurately understand what you’re feeling – more than just mad, sad, glad, or scared. You can identify a spectrum of emotions. For example, are you mad, critical or skeptical? Are you scared, anxious, or feeling foolish? Each of the main emotional categories contain many numerous nuances that many people fail to consider. Can you identify what you’re truly feeling?

An example is that employee who just heard there were going to be changes in the department and he comes up to you extremely angry. But, if you dig a little deeper you realize he’s not really angry, he’s scared. What if he gets laid off? What if it changes his hours? What if he doesn’t know how to make the change and feel as confident as he does now in his work? If you approach him assuming he’s angry, he’ll stay angry because you haven’t addressed his true emotion of being scared.

It’s the same with you. Once you can accurately identify what emotion you’re having, then it’s easier to address it and/or be present in it. If you can’t recognize your emotion, then you can’t manage it. Just being able to master this one skill will enable you to improve the other emotional intelligence skills much easier.

Another part of being self-aware is also recognizing what impact your emotions are having on the people around you. It doesn’t just affect you when you’re angry or ecstatic! Others feel that energy off of you and it affects them as well!

I’m not telling you that you have to overanalyze your emotions at all. Nor am I telling you to stuff them down, or try to ignore them. If you can identify and get a handle on your emotions, then you have greater choice in the way you think and act; so that you aren’t driven by your subconscious rather than your conscious thoughts.

So, what can you do? Here are 6 questions for you to reflect on to increase your usage of this emotional intelligence skill of self-awareness.

  • What are my strengths? My weaknesses?
  • How are my strengths and weaknesses reflected in my leadership actions and styles?
  • When was a time when I was in the midst of a situation where I was frustrated and/or confused?
  • If I could have handled it differently, what would I like to have done instead?
  • What were three gifts (benefits) that came out of the frustrating situation? (Note, this question helps you recognize the learning in any situation which enables you to grow from it and not get stuck in it.)
  • What can I do today to manage my emotions so they serve me?

There are certain emotions that will kill your drive – frustration and confusion. You can change these to a positive force. Frustration means you’re on the verge of a breakthrough. Confusion can mean you’re about to learn something. Expect the breakthrough and expect to learn.   ~ Kathleen Spike

This week recognize what emotion you’re feeling, what thoughts and actions/behaviors you are having because of these emotions, and how your feelings are affecting others around you. These steps enable you, versus your subconscious, to be in control of your decision making. Not to mention, how positively it affects your leadership style!

As we continue our exploration of the 15 emotional intelligence skills, the next 3 blogs will be skills under the Self-Expression umbrella – Emotional Expression, Assertiveness, and Independence.

If you are interested in a journal/adult coloring book to help you implement emotional intelligence skills into your life and leadership, get my book: Coloring Outside the Lines: A Grown-Up’s Creative Guide to Increasing Emotional Intelligence (on my website or on Amazon). For information on leadership, Emotional Intelligence & Negotiations, Strengthening your Inner Genius, Hiring the Golden Unicorn, or any of our programs, call us at 682.200.1412 or go to http://www.apexlmastery.com/

For the next skill in the Emotional Intelligence series – Emotional Expression, click here

Emotional Intelligence Skills – Self-Actualization #2

You are essentially who you create yourself to be and all that occurs in your life is the result of your own making.

~ Stephen Richards

 

What’s great about this quote from Stephen Richards is the fact that if you like who you are, keep doing what you’re doing. And if you don’t like who you are, you have the power to change.

People who have their Maslow’s Hierarchy needs met (physiological, safety, love and belonging, and esteem needs) have the need now to pursue a life of meaning. They want to reach their full potential. They want to learn and grow and consistently be their best. They want their life to have a purpose. They want to leave a legacy. They want a mastery mindset. Self-actualization is that pursuit of meaning, striving to achieve personal goals and self-improvement. This emotional intelligence skill tends to be associated with feelings of self-satisfaction. They like where they are in life, and would like even more, deeper, richer meaning.

Whereas the average individuals often have not the slightest idea of what they are, of what they want, of what their own opinions are, self-actualizing individuals have superior awareness of their own impulses, desires, opinions, and subjective reactions in general. ~ Abraham Maslow

How can you get there? Here are 5 questions for you to reflect on to increase your usage of this emotional intelligence skill of self-actualization.

  • What are some of the things I truly enjoy doing?
  • How do I currently make time to do these things?
  • What areas in my leadership would I like to further develop?
  • Why is it important to me to develop these areas?
  • How can I incorporate these things I enjoy doing and these areas of my leadership development into my current lifestyle today?

Once we accept our limits, we go beyond them. ~ Albert Einstein

Look honestly at yourself and see what you have accomplished. See where you have limited yourself out of fear. Good leaders have good self-actualization. People want to follow leaders who have the confidence in themselves to go further, and are excited about doing so. These types of leaders make people feel braver themselves.

I briefly mentioned above that self-actualizing leaders want a mastery mindset. I will be talking about this throughout our conversation on the 15 emotional intelligence skills. For this Self-Actualization EQ skill, a mastery mindset means that the goals you set are mastery vs performance driven. Most of us have been taught that it’s about the outcome, the results, and the performance. How many times have you almost achieved the goal, but not quite, so you believe you have failed? When, in fact, you have gone further than you would have if you had not done anything. A mastery mindset creates goals that focus on the journey not the outcome. What I find is that those types of goals actually get me better results than performance driven goals.

An example – I have a vision of running a marathon and today’s goal is to run 6 miles. This is a performance driven goal. During the 6 miles I am simply focused on how much more time do I have, how many more miles? It’s hard work and at the end I may have achieved your 6 mile goal, but I’m exhausted, beat up, and not looking forward to tomorrow’s run.

However, a mastery driven goal is that I will work on my arm placement the whole run – ensuring my arms are in the right position against my body, at the right angle when swinging forward and backward, for maximum push and slicing through the air with minimum pull. At the end of this workout you have achieved your goal, and you may be exhausted, but your long-term goal of the marathon will not be simply running 26.2 miles, you will do it more cleanly, more easily, and have more fun doing it.

A mastery mindset focuses on the longer vision while working on today’s action goal. It’s the difference between running and being a runner – performing and being a master. It’s about the journey. What kind of journey do you want to have in the long run?

If you are interested in a journal/adult coloring book to help you implement emotional intelligence skills into your life and leadership, get my book: Coloring Outside the Lines: A Grown-Up’s Creative Guide to Increasing Emotional Intelligence (on my website or on Amazon). For information on leadership, Emotional Intelligence & Negotiations, Strengthening your Inner Genius, Hiring the Golden Unicorn, or any of our programs, call us at 682.200.1412 or go to http://www.apexmastery.com/

For the next skill in the Emotional Intelligence series – Self-Awareness, click here

Emotional Intelligence Skills – Self-Regard #1

No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.

~ Eleanor Roosevelt.

 

I love this quote from Eleanor Roosevelt. It reminds us that we have choice, we have control over our thoughts, feelings, and actions.

People who decide they like who they are, the way they are, warts and all, these are the people who can succeed in many areas of their lives. Why? Because they have a healthy self-regard – that ability to respect yourself, accept yourself, know your strengths and weaknesses. This emotional intelligence skill tends to be associated with feelings of self-worth, self-confidence, inner strength, belief in yourself and your capabilities.

How can you get there? Here are 8 questions for you to reflect on to increase your usage of this emotional intelligence skill of self-regard.

Successful people have fear, successful people have doubts, and successful people have worries. They just don’t let these feelings stop them. ~ T. Harv Eker

  • What are my top professional and/or personal goals for the next 12 months? Which one is the biggest goal?
  • If I knew I could not fail in a BHAG (a big, hairy audacious goal) of mine, what is the first thing I would do?
  • Why is this goal important to me?
  • What does it look like when I achieve this goal? Be specific in the details (where am I, who is there, what am I doing, – the more specific you are the easier it is for your mind to see it when opportunities to achieve it start coming your way).
  • If I knew I could not fail in a BHAG (a big, hairy audacious goal) of mine, what is the first thing I would do?
  • How can I use my strengths to achieve more of my goals?
  • How can I overcome my weaknesses on the way to achieving my goals?
  • What is the bravest thing I could do right now to move toward my BHAG?

Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy. ~ Dale Carnegie

Be brave. Look honestly at yourself and recognize both your strengths and weaknesses. Good leaders have good self-regard. Who wants to follow a leader who doesn’t believe in themselves?

Another self-affirming exercise you can do is to look at your list of strengths and pick your greatest strength. Write it at the top of a new piece of paper. Every night this week write down at least one thing that shows how this strength has helped you in various situations during the day. This will bring your focus onto this strength, growing your confidence in this area, and your awareness of how often you use it. Your self-regard will grow as you become more aware of your strengths!

For information on leadership, Emotional Intelligence & Negotiations, Strengthening your Inner Genius, Hiring the Golden Unicorn, or any of our programs, call us at 682.200.1412 or go to http://www.apexmastery.com/

For the next skill in the Emotional Intelligence series – Self-Actualization, click here.

Being Bold!

Fortune favors the bold.
~ Virgil.

 

Have you ever set a BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal) that scared the baheebees out of you … but you did it anyway? That’s what I’m doing this year – becoming a published author. I’ve been a featured author in The Change book series and now I want my own book. My area of focus is on coach centric, emotionally intelligent leadership. There’s so much out there now and my Inner Critics have been having a field day, screaming “What if you fail?!”

However, I teach how to Strengthen Your Inner Genius, so in utilizing some of the tools I teach, my Inner Genius said to Be Bold!

I believe being bold is a skill leaders must master.

Bold people are easy to spot. They are confident and believe in themselves and their dreams. We all have boldness in us – really! I believe that when the time comes, the bold step up instead of stepping back. Think of Alek Skarlatos, one of three Americans who courageously took down a gunman aboard a high-speed train in France. Or Malala Yousafzai, the young Pakistani school girl who stood up to the Taliban by being an advocate for girls to go to school, was shot in the head, and upon recovery became a global advocate, winng a Nobel Peace Prize. Or Rosa Parks, the African American woman who refused to give up her seat on a bus for a white man in 1955, sparking the beginning of the non-violent mass protests in support of civil rights. All of these were “average” people just living their lives. Then they came upon a situation in which they could have ceded power to the stronger or stood up for what was right. Instead, they chose to be bold.

Here’s 7 steps of how you, too, can be bold.

  1. North Star. Knowing your vision, goals, and priorities are vital for a bold leader. If you aren’t clear on your path then your focus is distracted. Don’t get distracted by the unimportant tasks or the shiny object syndrome. Instead, get clarity on your direction and seek those opportunities that will propel you forward to success.
  2. Self-Awareness. Understanding your strengths and weaknesses is crucial for a bold leader. Leaders need to consistently develop themselves, assess their skills, and find people to surround them who have strengths in the leader’s weaknesses. Don’t try to hide your problems or failures – own them. To be bolder, become more self-aware. Where are your weaknesses? Who on your team has strengths in those areas so you can focus on your areas of strength and together your team is stronger?
  3. Be Assertive. Leaders who are bold don’t let fear or their Inner Critics hold their tongue. No! They speak up and voice their opinions and thoughts. Bold leaders know their thoughts have great weight and power so they choose when to speak up, when to use the tool of silence, and when to encourage others to speak up.
  4. Be Decisive. Bold leaders are able to gather information, assess, make a decision, and act quickly. They’re not rash. Instead they research, conduct due diligence, and act. This increases not only the leader’s confidence, but the team’s confidence in the leader – not to mention increasing the number of success! Boldness is the opposite of hesitation. Stop hesitating … decide and act.
  5. Build Momentum. Bold leaders see there are opportunities everywhere. They look for the smaller wins while the big opportunity is coming their way. They step up and take action where others see “stinker” projects. They build a foundation of solid wins so when the bigger opportunities come, they have the experience, wisdom, and a team who is aligned to ensure success. They build their reputation and confidence on the consistency of their wins. They seek opportunities and conquer them.
  6. Stress Tolerance. Many people let stress and failure stop them in their tracks. However, bold leaders realize failure is simply a learning opportunity. They believe in failing forward. As Thomas Edison said, “I didn’t fail 1000 times. The light bulb was an invention with 1000 steps.” Use risk to your advantage. Make failure an acceptable part of your process. Teach your team how to mitigate risks so failures are more missteps than catastrophes. Then teach them to learn from the failure and use it as a step toward greater rewards next time.
  7. Say No. Be willing to say no when you should. Whether the request is out of alignment with your values, or it takes you off the path for your vision, or it’s simply a bad idea. Be direct with respect, not polite and vague. Say what you mean. “Thank you, but I must say no.” You don’t have to make up an excuse or explain your reasons. We teach people how to respond and treat us. When you treat yourself and others with respect and honesty, they will reciprocate. If you do say yes, though, make sure you deliver what you promise. When you follow through, you earn people’s trust. And trust is important when you’re leading a team.

Are you ready to be bolder? What’s one thing you’re going to do this week to be bold? Step up!

To our success!

 

For information on leadership, Emotional Intelligence & Negotiations, Strengthening your Inner Genius, Hiring the Golden Unicorn, or any of our programs, call us at 682.200.1412 or go to http://www.apexmastery.com/