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The Superpower for Emerging Leaders

By Shelley
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“Self-awareness, the foundation of Social and Emotional Intelligence is, quite simply, a superpower!” Shelley Cox

Decades of research has proven that emotional intelligence is a greater predictor of success than IQ. According to Travis Bradberry, co-author of Emotional Intelligence 2.0

  • 90% of top performers are high in emotional intelligence;

  • People with a higher emotional intelligence make an average of $29,000 more per year than those with lower emotional intelligence

  • There is such a definitive link between emotional intelligence and income that every point increase in emotional intelligence adds an extra $1,300 to an annual wage. This has been established across all industries, at all levels, right across the world.

At a recent workshop, I was approached by a young emerging leader, who with great emotion expressed they were hours away on giving up on their entrepreneurial journey!

This person voiced with great sincerity that they had connected their severe headaches as a wakeup call to ask for support! Preoccupation with their headache was apparently a symptom leading to a downward spiral of frustration, anxiety and depression! After several doctor visits they truly knew it was stress and was searching for a solution! After their own self-refection and during a short self – awareness experience, they identified they felt “stuck” with their inability to move forward. They were almost terrified to ask for funding to secure the skills and money they needed to bring their idea and passion to the world. This person voiced feeling “as if a veil was lifted” when they realized that making space to grow your social and emotional intelligence was like going to the brain gym, building your strength and stamina towards leadership and life resiliency!

This person explained further; “I grew grew up in a very high achieving atmosphere and had difficult connecting with my feelings and often if I did, these were not to be discussed openly!”

The knowledge that labelling your feelings and that we had so many emotions that could derail our leadership journey was a key “aha” for this person!

During this workshop I had shared this information:

Here is a competency definition from Dr. Laura Belsten of Emotional Self-Awareness:

“ noticing and being able to label your feelings, emotions, “gut-level” instincts or reactions; being able to connect these to their source; recognizing their effects on your mind and your body; using your feelings as a valuable source of insight and information about yourself, others and the situations around you."

People with this competence:

  • Know which emotions they are feeling and why

  • Realize, in the moment, the links between their feelings and what they think, do and say

  • Recognize how their feelings affect their performance

  • Are able to articulate their feelings and appropriately express them

  • Can tell – in the moment – when they are getting upset

People lacking this competence:

  • May receive messages from their bodies such as chronic headaches, lower back pain, neck, shoulder pain, heart racing, sweaty palms, anxiety attacks or other signals, but generally don’t pay attention to these signals or connect them to their source, to what’s causing these physical symptoms

  • Fail to gain insight and information from what their bodies might be trying to tell them

  • Get irritated, frustrated or angry easily, causing them to treat people in an abrasive way

  • Fail to see that what they are doing or being asked to do might not be aligned with their personal goals and values

  • Often feel stressed and out of balance in terms of their work life, health and family

This participant reinforced my perspective, that this competency is the single MOST important SUPERPOWER in our leadership career!

I’ve seen friends and colleagues who work crazy hard and burn out. People who are too nice get screwed over (I have my own stories), and super smart people who over-build an amazing program, software application, you name it, that no one wants.

My passion is helping you realize what you want, you’re WHY and how you will navigate your leadership journey to emerge strong. The ability to step back and view you from a third person perspective and be that self- aware is vital in the chaos of business, large and small in today’s market!

Some people naturally have a higher emotional intelligence, but the good news is that it’s something that can be grown and developed in anybody. With the latest research in neuroplasticity a common term used by neuroscientists, referring to the brain’s ability to change – physically change and grow – at any age – for better or worse, a coach can support you to learn not only this one superpower but 25 more Social and Emotional Intelligence competencies!

To start here is some practical tips for emerging leaders:

Reflect on the following:

  • Do you know which emotions you are feeling and why? Journal and spot links between your feelings and what you think, do and say

  • Recognize how your feelings could affect your performance

  • Are you able to articulate your feelings and appropriately express them?

  • Can you tell – in the moment – when you are getting upset?

Development tips:

  • Regularly check in on your feelings. During the course of the day, schedule brief but frequent check–ins on your emotional state as well as what your body might be feeling or trying to tell you

  • If you find yourself clenching your teeth, tensing your shoulders, feeling worn out or worn down, stop and ask yourself what your body is trying to tell you – are you feeling strained? Stressed? Anxious? Fearful? Overwhelmed? Discouraged? Burned out?

  • Name your emotions and connect them specifically to a source or to a situation, concern, or issue

  • “Listen” to what your emotions might be telling you in that moment

  • Use the information that bubbles up from inside, listen to your intuition to gain insight that could guide you in dealing with the issue or challenge

  • Take the time to be introspective, to listen to that quiet inner voice. Put aside some of your goal-oriented activities and think. Take long walks, know your core values, and especially stop thinking of your emotions as irrelevant or messy. Our emotions are an essential source of valuable information. *Compiled by Dr. Laura Belsten

A coach can partner with you to develop and build your emotional vocabulary, leadership insights, vision, goals and actions steps.

How you show up, your presence as leader, is modelling the way for others. Often we are the trail blazers and examples for others. It is a lonely journey as an entrepreneur or organizational leader at times; our actions may not make sense until our leadership story is seen in hindsight. With emotional self -awareness you will be strengthened on your journey before you are derailed so you will share your gifts to the world!

To this amazing young talented person who approached me.

EMERGE STRONG, the world needs you!

Shelley Cox, Principle of www.ShelleyCox.ca is a Professional Accredited (PCC) Executive Career and Leadership Coach. Shelley solves leadership overwhelm by providing her innovate signature program and movement called CALM Power™ with other leadership coaching services. Her passion is to build stamina and resiliency, helping emerging leaders, managers and entrepreneurs to emerge strong with an authentic leadership message.