I want to be a blessing to everyone around me by living a life worth imitating.
I strive to display more of what David Brooks named “the eulogy virtues.” He described them as “the ones that are talked about at your funeral — whether you were kind, brave, honest or faithful.” Followers of Jesus might call them “Fruit of the Spirit.” They’re listed in the bible as love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
I am studying emotional intelligence. According to Daniel Goleman who popularized the term, emotionally intelligent people can “recognize their own emotions and those of others, use emotional information to guide thinking and behavior, discern between different feelings and label them appropriately, and adjust emotions to adapt to environments.”
Many contend that EQ is as important as IQ, in terms of business and professional success. I’ve been learning more about emotional intelligence as I develop my coaching skills. This post was inspired by EquipStudios’ lesson on building resilience despite disruption.
Life always changes and it appears that the pace of change is increasing. Developing our emotional intelligence gives us a way to thrive even during adverse circumstances.
People have a bias for stability. We resist change. Disruption is anything that upsets our normal routine. Some of those things are good and we seek them out. They include changes like graduation, marriage, becoming a parent, promotion, or retirement. Other times change is imposed by forces beyond our control.
The Change Model: Four Stages
The change curve model shows a prototypical emotional journey as people process change. This model is based on one of a hundred EQ learning models on the EquipStudios website.
Draw a wide U shape. The U represents the journey through disruption. There are four key spots on the curve. The journey starts at the left plateau, called Easy Street. The path drops down toward Pity City at the bottom of the valley. After crossing the valley floor, you reach Happy Valley. Then, the path turns upward. The destination is atop the next plateau, Pleasantville.
The initial space, Easy Street, is comfortable. People know their roles and expectations. However, life happens; disruption comes and then people must move. Imagine living in a wonderful neighborhood that is destroyed by an earthquake. You can’t stay in Easy Street. You must move.
You move downhill, emotionally, to Pity City. You experience resistance to disruption. Anxiety, complaining, doubt, and fear are common thoughts and feelings. At Pity City, folks are uncomfortable, unhappy, possibly scared, or feeling helpless. People with low EQ could be gloomy, discouraged, doubtful, and lack hope or a vision for better options. They might fear that they’re doomed. Becoming stuck in Pity City and making it home would be a terrible option.
Most people keep moving, maybe because of higher EQ, or maybe because they witness others crossing the valley floor. At each junction, EQ notices thoughts and feelings, examines patterns, and then chooses the best path. Most successful people are eager for a better future, and begin moving up, emotionally and physically. The inviting stop, Happy Valley, is a place of exploration. Happy Valley people often imagine a better future.
Step out of the change model briefly. San Diegans who bike know about hills. Going down is fast and fun. The uphill portion builds strength. Smart cyclists peddle downhill, building momentum for the climb.
Back at Happy Valley people have left most of their despair behind. They realize that Easy Street wasn’t sustainable, and they develop visions of the future. Hope is returning. The end is in sight. EQ reminds each learner to notice their thoughts and feelings and try to harness, and re-direct that mental and emotional energy to get them to an even better place.
The destination is Pleasantville, the plateau across from Easy Street. Common thoughts include rejoicing at the new home and deciding to find the benefits of the change. Frequent feelings include accomplishment, contentment, eagerness, energy, rejoicing, the anticipation of flourishing … living happily ever after.
Spoiler alert, Pleasant Valley might become Easy Street later, because another disruption may come.
You can help yourself and those you influence.
You can develop your EQ. As a person of influence, i.e., because you’re a leader, you can use your emotional intelligence skills to influence the lives of others.
Who do you want to become in your future? Disruptions are inevitable. How can we increasingly help people around us to flourish more in the future?
Your feedback is always a gift. How might the change model or emotional intelligence help you and those you influence?
Terry Moore, CCIM, is the author of Building Legacy Wealth: How to Build Wealth and Live a Life Worth Imitating. Read his “Welcome to My Blog.”
Click here and find out how Terry and his team can help you make the most important financial decision of your next decade.