Self-perception is one of the five factors of Emotional Intelligence or EI as it is more commonly known. EI is a concept which is being adopted by more and more companies in order to develop their staff, especially those who work in leadership. But what is it and how can it help us? In a nutshell EI is the capacity to be aware of and to control and express one’s emotions to handle interpersonal relationships empathetically. Wow, that’s a mouthful! In laywoman’s terms it is something that is key to our personal and professional success and can be used to meet a particular need. Still a mouthful but not as much. So if you wanted to build resilience in your staff team or yourself, EI can make it happen. You may be a leader who struggles to deal with conflict in a constructive way. EI can help.
I remember one of my first experiences as a line manager being a particularly challenging one. I lost my cool with a staff member, who messed up an important piece of work and spoke to me in a way that I thought was disrespectful. It resulted with me pulled away from him by my line manager. I wanted to knock him out but I didn’t. I did, however, have stern words from my boss. I remember, to this day, how I felt at the time. My face tightened and my fists clenched. The thoughts going through my head were, “Who the hell does this guy think he is? How can he talk to me like that?” The guy, not my boss. She spoke to me in a firm but fair way and needless to say, I learned a ton about myself and leadership after that.
Now with experience and time I would deal with this guy in a very different way. I would first check that he understood what he needed to do and then I would check in with him at different stages of the project and provide any support he needed. EI, leadership training and experience have served me well in how I communicate and connect with my workforce. I am much calmer and less likely to fly off the handle when something goes tits up! Now let’s focus on the Self-Perception factor!
Self-perception is how we see ourselves and has a massive effect on how we are seen by others and how they treat us. It focuses on the inner-self and its three sub-categories (self-regard, self-actualisation and emotional awareness) help us to assess our feelings of inner strength and confidence, pursuit of meaning and understanding our own emotions and how it impacts on our thoughts and actions. I now have three missions for you to try, should you accept them:
Self-regard: This is when we look at ourselves and how we feel. If you want to explore your self-regard have a go!
Self-actualisation: This helps us to assess our willingness to constantly strive for improvement so that we lead enjoyable lives. If you want to look deeper into your own self-actualisation try this one!
Emotional awareness: This focuses on our understanding of our own emotions and the impact they have on the thoughts and actions of ourselves and others. If you want to tap into you emotional awareness give this one a go!
Do this daily for one week:
- Write down what your strongest emotion was
- Note how you felt physically (sweating, clenched fist, churning stomach) and what thoughts you had
- When did you notice you felt these things? During or after?
- What was your body language like at the time (hands on hips, pursed lips, raised voice)?
- If people comment on your appearance pay attention to what they say and remember that they will be able to see what you can’t. Do reflect on what they say and consider how right they may be.
- Note how you feel at these remarks
- What might your behaviour show to others?
- What questions could you ask them?
- If you are brave enough, walk past a mirror and catch a glimpse of your facial expression. Does your expression reflect how you felt at the time?
You can try one or as many of the missions as you wish. I would be very interested to know how each of them worked for you. If you want to know more about Rise and Lead like a Queen please post a reply in the comment section or come along to our networking group on Saturday 23rd January. Booking details are at the top of this page. I would also welcome any feedback and suggestions on future posts.
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