Why do we have to talk so much about Emotions?

The reason why we are talking so much about emotions these days is simple. As a society, we have not been consistent or set as a priority to practice Emotional Intelligence with as much focus as we apply to other skill sets.

Our current environment is a perfect example of the importance of Emotional Intelligence and what a necessary skill set it is. In comparing world leaders, we see those who combine their intelligence with their emotions to deliver powerful messages. Others just bombard us with information without emotion, generally with negative results.

Emotional Intelligence is the blending or integration of cognitive thought and the emotions around that thought, creating a balanced approach for finding clarity and purpose, as well as making effective decisions. (My definition is an elaboration of that provided by 6seconds.org.)

Here is an example of the combination of thoughts and emotions to deliver the result one needs and wants.

On my run the other day, I started out wondering, “why am I doing this, I could be doing so much more.” Then I started feeling the aches and pains and considered just stopping.

I took a physical inventory to determine if I hurt because I needed to stop or because it was the beginning of my run. After exploring and analyzing the specific areas of concern, I realized they were part of the process and continued with the run.

At about 50% through, I think, “I have hit my stride, this is feeling good.”

Once I was about 75% complete, I felt tired and wonder if I can finish. I notice my thinking is, “Who will know if you stop a little early today, give yourself a break.” Then I asked myself, “How will I feel if I do not complete this run?” The answer: the disappointment would be worse than my current discomfort.

I finished the run, not my best time, but I am very satisfied with the results.

Throughout this process, thought and emotion either help me reach my goal or compete with one another.

The Five steps to integration are:

1.     Identifying what is going one right here and right now.

2.     Understanding with curiosity and explore the impacts and risks of continuing as is or are adjustments needed.  

3.     Revaluating the purpose of the activity or goal, the Why? 

4.     Choosing the best action even when there are feelings of discomfort or fear.

5.     Continuation of the steps 1-4 until you reach your goal.

In the example above, the integration of the “thinking” and the “feeling” went back and forth. It is not the feelings that halt us, and it is when the thinking and the feelings combine creates a situation that stops us. I was able to find clarity on my goal, my purpose was to finish, and the decision to continue even when feeling discomfort and recognizing that the result may need to be adjusted to complete my goal.

We need, now, more than ever, for everyone to find the blending or integration of thought and emotion for balance to deliver clarity, purpose, and effective decisions.

Take Care

Karla Campbell

4 Directions Consulting and Coaching, LLC