Starting school and the subsequent reading that it requires has gotten me back in touch with the thing I love — learning. I have always wanted to be able to explain why things happen so I can reveal to others answers of healing and health and lead others to live great lives.
My leadership comes from my emotional intelligence.
This week I called some coworkers into my office to repair a spreadsheet that I mistakenly thought I had ruined. My coworkers generally do not express themselves easily, so I decided to play with them. The IT guy sat in my chair with a fan blowing on him since its so hot where I sit. I asked him to wear a cape as I was in need of his superpowers! I asked the other two if they could see his cape fluttering in the breeze as he rescued my spreadsheet. He gave me a small smile and jerked his head up as if to acknowledge my comment. The others smiled and chuckled. I kept up the banter, complimenting each in the room on how I benefited from their help in making my program a success. It was fun to see them a bit surprised and soaking in my words. Afterward, one woman stayed to show me some houses she was looking at buying. She is usually stoic and off-putting, so this was a big move for her to share like that with me.
My leadership created space for my coworker to share her emotions and open up to me.
Later this week as I was reading about emotional intelligence, a friend texted and asked “How does a person live when all they’ve done is work?” As I gently probed, he insisted that a lack of money was stopping him from doing what he really wanted. I told him that money was not the real block — it was fear. Fear of success, failure, rejection. I relate to his fear, and lead him to an understanding of how avoiding his emotions — his fear, in this case — was actually in his way of success.
I’m transforming my life through WGU’s emotional intelligence certificate program.
I think the biggest change for me since I began the emotional intelligence certificate and the noncredit Year of Transformation program has been in my relationship with my husband. I am beginning to shift my patterns of seeing myself as helpless and hopeless and am expressing my emotions more freely and responsibly. We are beginning to have conversations that are more responsible, and my openness to owning my emotions has made a big difference in the way we relate to each other. I am ready for this. I am smart enough for this. Being aware of my emotions and expressing them in the moment leads me to my own freedom, and I am becoming the leader that others will follow. ________________________________________________
Joyce Stephens is in her first quarter at the Wright Graduate University, taking courses toward a graduate certificate in emotional intelligence for leadership and coaching. She likes to meet new people and learn new ways to think about life. Wright Graduate University is a division of the Wright Foundation for the Realization of Human Potential, a leadership institute located in Chicago, Illinois.