Have you ever wished you were more in touch with your feelings?
Maybe you’re a “tough guy” who was raised in a household where feelings weren’t okay. Maybe you were told not to get emotional, or that it wasn’t okay to express anger or frustration. Maybe emotional displays even irritate you or make you feel uncomfortable.
Yet, you probably know the importance of emotional intelligence skills—especially in the workplace. Studies are now showing working with emotional intelligence is vital when it comes to leadership and success. In fact, in many leadership roles, a high EQ is more valuable than IQ. By understanding the four components of emotional intelligence and how they correlate with our feelings, we can start to boost our EQ.
We all have feelings, of course. Our feelings are powerful tools to guide us. We all have an emotional core. You might also think of our emotional core as a “personality type.” Some of us are more outgoing and expressive. Others of us are more analytical, reserved and cautious. There’s no right or wrong to our personality type, but understanding where you fall on the personality spectrum helps guide you in your interactions with others.
Now we’ve all sat through conferences and training seminars where we’ve talked about different personality types—how they balance and intertwine. You’ve probably even taken a few personality assessments if you’ve been in the business world. The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator is a common test, but there are many variations out there.
These tell you a lot about yourself, but they may also leave you scratching your head too. “Great, I know I’m an INTJ, now what do I DO with that information?” Sometimes the categories seem too broad and vague, other times you might wonder how to incorporate this information into your day-to-day interactions and how to use it to make you more successful.
Here at Wright, we’ve developed a system called the C.A.R.E profile. This system helps pinpoint the four components of emotional intelligence: areas of comfort for each personality type, as well as the areas for growth. Each person fits into these four components of emotional intelligence and these C.A.R.E. traits tell us a lot about who we are, and how we interact. No one fits 100% into just one C.A.R.E. profile type, however. Many of us straddle two or three types.
As we work to get more in touch with our feelings, it helps to know which profile type we fit into. The C.A.R.E. profile is broken down into four components of emotional intelligence.
Concerned about feelings, is flexible, risk-avoidant, people-oriented and cooperative.
Risk-avoidant, uses time precisely, works well with facts and figures. Accurate, detail-oriented and thorough.
May appear cool and distant. Precise about time. Takes interpersonal risks. Likes to tell others what to do. Competitive, has self-control and is task oriented.
Verbal and fast-acting. Shows feelings and concerns. Extroverted, higher-risk oriented. Persuasive, optimistic, competitive and people-oriented.
As you can see, many of us cross into several of these four components of emotional intelligence. It is hard, if not impossible to distill multifaceted personalities into only one C.A.R.E. type. Still, the majority of people tend to fall more heavily into one or two areas.
The good news is, even if your personality is dominated by one area, you can learn to branch out and engage all sides of your personality. Analyzers can learn how to up-regulate their emotional state and become more energized and cooperative. Energizers can down-regulate their extroverted side, focus and engage their analytic brain.
Understanding the difference between the four components of emotional intelligence helps us to be more aware and interactive with others. It also helps us understand and identify our feelings.
For example, some personality types have a difficult time staying focused when they feel hurt or angry. Other personality types are hesitant and shy, which reads to those around us as distant or standoffish.
As you become aware of the strengths and growth areas in your personality type, use this awareness to experience fuller, more vibrant engagement and interactions. Identify areas where you can push out of your comfort zone and build on your personality strengths. How can you boost your emotional intelligence skills?
Understanding your type within the four components of emotional intelligence will help you gain greater knowledge about the way you express emotion. It helps you increase your emotional intelligence skills and seek activities and roles to allow your personality type to really excel. It may also help you identify potential emotional roadblocks and areas where you should be working out and flexing those emotional muscles more often.
There are no bad feelings, emotions OR personality types. Our emotions drive us. They help shape our personalities. Our fears, our desires, our pet peeves and levels of excitement all play into our security and the way we express ourselves to others.
We’ve all seen Spock on Star Trek, right? Spock was a Vulcan and had no emotions, only logic. Unfortunately for Mr. Spock, this would be a nearly impossible state for anyone to exist in. Even the most logical, analytic person is still driven by emotions. Our emotions tell us what to eat, what to wear, and how to make choices.
Many of us might feel uncomfortable with our feelings, but we certainly weren’t born that way. We are born emotional and expressive. When a baby needs attention, what does he or she do? Babies cry! Babies get frustrated and yell. When a baby is amused, they laugh…and they don’t hold back. They don’t tamp down their emotions. It is said that, “Babies have emotions, but adults have moods,” yet our emotions are the most precious gift and powerful tool in our creation.
Many of us learn to “fake our way through” and avoid feeling. Yes, we might get in a “mood” but we attempt to shake it off and suppress it. We attempt to please others and be amicable. We avoid expressions where others say, “you’re too emotional” or “you’re too sensitive.”
But where do these feelings go? Feelings, it turns out, don’t go away. They still exist inside us even if we don’t let them out. They still affect us. They make us anxious, depressed, sad or frustrated if we don’t express them. Our feelings will even make us sick.
Let your emotions out! Label what you’re feeling and express it. Learn to say, “I’m feeling FEAR!” or “I’m feeling JOY!” It sounds strange, but the very act of identifying and labeling our emotions helps us discover and uncover what we are feeling. It takes away the mystery and apprehension. It helps us begin communicating with emotional intelligence.
If you’re worried about feeling angry, are afraid to let yourself feel really sad, or if you feel silly expressing joy, you’re suppressing your emotional state. Instead, get it out there! This is particularly challenging for Analyzers and Regulators who might want to control interactions and remove the emotion from situations (like Mr. Spock).
Those of us with higher social/emotional intelligence skills—those who embrace emotions—are more likely to be successful, get promotions, earn more money and be leaders in the workplace. Why? Because companies know a higher EQ means more enthusiasm, more competition, more engagement.
Our emotions are our hidden superpowers. They allow us to live life more fully, more vibrantly and more authentically. They allow us to let go of our pretense and worries about what others will think of us.
Today, I want you to go out and express an emotion you normally wouldn’t. This means if you’re feeling annoyed, I want you to say, “I’m really frustrated about this.” If you’re feeling joyful and a song comes on the radio, crank it up and do a little dance. If you watch a sad commercial, let the tears flow.
Let go of the fear of, “What will people think of me?” or “I don’t want to be embarrassed,” and allow yourself to really, fully engage and feel. Try it on for size and see where it takes you.
For more about identifying your personality type and engaging your emotional intelligence skills, please visit The Wright Foundation. Take our C.A.R.E. profile quiz here to see which personality type(s) you fit into. Remember, our personalities and emotions are at the core of our humanity. Embrace your emotions to live life to the fullest!
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The Wright Foundation for the Realization of Human Potential is a leadership institute located in Chicago, Illinois. Wright Foundation performative learning programs are integrated into the curriculum at Wright Graduate University.