I have found that the term Emotional Intelligence has been so overused and under-explained that it has become nearly useless. This can happen in the business and leadership sector, they take a term from psychology and apply it to the workforce in such a way that it is improbable and immeasurable. I have worked with EI “experts” who who were so unaware of the emotions driving their words and behaviors that it verged on the hilarious. They, however were so sure they were experts because they had studied emotional intelligence, i.e. read Daniel Golman’s book.
So, if just reading about emotions, and claiming emotional intelligence isn’t the answer, then what is? Well, as I have studied (and put into practice) the art of emotions for nearly 25 years now, I have realized that because our culture and history is so right brain deficient, and so left brain dominant (reading a book vs talking from the heart with people you love, while being emotionally vulnerable); that even those who think they have ‘got it’ don’t. And it’s because they never experienced real vulnerability and connection on a safe level. It boils down to, they don’t know their emotional selves. They can’t see what they are missing, because it is so rare. And you can’t just ‘see’ it--
you have to feel it. This is sad, really, and sad that we have so far to go. The good news, however, is that we can go past emotional intelligence to what I call Emotional Agility.
In learning and practicing to feel and listen to our emotions, we become tuned in to our emotional lives and the messages they are sending to us. And, it doesn’t take us days or weeks or years to understand why that interaction or relationship that failed was so difficult, because we can learn to listen to our emotions as we are feeling them! We can use those important messages about our selves and our world in real time. We become more present in our own lives and in others. We learn to differentiate when we are feeling our own feelings or care-taking other people’s feelings. We know when what another person is feeling is about them, to give them time and space to feel and process whatever they need to, and when what we are feeling is coming directly from our own experience. Emotional Agility could be the key to your best life ever.