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Seven Ways to Grow Your Emotional Intelligence

In requesting this article you have indicated your desire to become more effective in all of your relationships by growing your emotional intelligence. The good news is that unlike I.Q … E. Q. (Emotional Quotient) can be grown. The intent of this paper is to give you a course of action that can increase your E.I. By no means is this intended to be a complete review of how to grow E. I., but rather a beginning guide that can lead the busy doctor or dental team member and leader to increased emotional intelligence.

I have suggested seven ways drawn from some of the best literature on the subject and my own first-hand experience. Before we begin a review of the definition of emotional intelligence, the four domains and the eighteen sub-competencies proposed by Daniel Goleman are in order.

Emotional intelligence has been defined as … “Our capacity for recognizing our own feelings and those of others, for motivating ourselves, for managing emotions well in ourselves and our relationships.” [1] As you review this definition in light of your desire to grow your E.Q., here are five broad questions for you to answer:

What is my capacity for recognizing my feelings? … I.e., In the heat of the moment, am I aware of what I’m feeling and can I label those feelings?

What is my capacity for recognizing the feelings of others? … Again, in the heat of an event, do I recognize the other’s feelings, and can I both label and understand them?

Do I use emotions to motivate myself … or do emotions tend to de-motivate or arrest my progress?

Do I manage emotions well in myself … when I experience an emotion, do I channel it in a positive way?

Do I manage emotions well in my relationships … or do emotions actually derail or interfere in many of my relationships?

It will be useful to review these questions perhaps rating yourself on a 1 (lowest) to 5 (highest) to get a better sense of your current E.Q. Although, your rating is highly subjective, it gives you a beginning point in your journey toward elevating your E.Q. If you have a close friend or co-worker who would give you an honest opinion, you might ask them to do the same rating and compare your scores to theirs. Some have asked: Does the order of these questions matter? The answer is a definite Yes! One cannot usefully recognize the emotions of another while not recognizing his/her own emotions, or while ignoring or denying one’s own emotions.

That is not to say that we must always tell the other how we are feeling. There are times especially in the doctor–patient interaction that such a disclosure could have a negative affect. But, I believe there are many more times even in this relationship that such disclosure can have a very positive affect. Dependent on when you receive this paper, I will or perhaps have already discussed these instances in my articles or during the presentation you attended.

As you proceed into growing your E.Q., note the following important breakdown of the four domains under two divisions: Personal Competence and Social Competence …


Personal Competence
These competencies determine how we manage ourselves (Self-Awareness)
Knowing one's internal states, preferences, resources, and intuitions
Ø Emotional awareness: Reading one's own emotions and recognizing their impact; using "gut sense" to guide decisions
Ø Accurate self-assessment: Knowing one's strengths and limits
Ø Self-confidence: A strong sense of one's self-worth and capabilities

Self-Management Managing one's internal states, impulses, and resources
Ø Emotional Self-Control: Keeping disruptive emotions and impulses in check
Ø Transparency: Displaying honesty and integrity—trustworthiness
Ø Adaptability: Flexibility in adapting to changing situations or overcoming obstacles
Ø Achievement: The drive to improve performance to meet inner standards of excellence
Ø Initiative: Readiness to act and seize opportunities
Ø Optimism: Seeing the upside in events

Social Competence
These competencies determine how we manage relationships
Social Awareness
Ø Empathy: Sensing others' emotions, understanding their perspective,
   and taking active interest in their concerns
Ø Organizational awareness: Reading the currents, decision networks,
   and politics at the organizational level
Ø Service: Recognizing and meeting follower, client, or customer needs (Relationship Management)
Ø Inspirational leadership: Guiding and motivating with a compelling vision                                                                                                                                                                            Ø  Influence: Wielding a range of tactics for persuasion
Ø Developing others: Bolstering others' abilities through feedback and guidance
Ø Change catalyst: Initiating, managing, and leading in a new direction
Ø Conflict management: Resolving disagreements
Ø Building bonds: Cultivating and maintaining a web of relationships
Ø Teamwork and collaboration: Cooperation and team building

So what then are the ways to grow E.Q.?

1. Self Directed Learning … Goleman’s third book, Primal Leadership discusses this beautifully as “Boyatzis” Theory of Self-Directed Learning” beginning on p. 109. In a nutshell, Boyatzis proposes      that you begin by defining your ideal self. By that he means who do you want to be? What is your vision for your future, if it were the best it could be?

 I often ask my Performance Coaching clients the following question when they are facing a leadership challenge … “How would the leader you wish to be respond to this?” That implies they must decide who they wish to be.

Once you know who you wish to be, you must determine your real self. Including your strengths (and I would add weaknesses) and the gap between those and your ideal self. Then create your Learning Agenda building on your strengths. Finally, seek out and develop trusting relationships that help and support your process.

2. Read books and articles on Emotional Intelligence. The four best books that I can recommend are Goleman’s three books: Emotional Intelligence, Working With Emotional Intelligence, and Primal Leadership. I found the first book to be groundbreaking, but if I were to begin my studies today, I would begin with Working With …. If you choose to read only one Goleman book, let it be his latest book co-authored with Richard Boyatizis and Anne McKee … Primal Leadership. The fourth book is Executive E.Q. by Robert K. Cooper and Ayman Sawaf, Berkley Publishing, 1997. What I like about this book is its story format and broader life focus.

3. Invest in our acclaimed audio series: “Dentists & Teams That Get Results … Building Emotional Intelligence – 6 CDs – This recorded live audio workshop & printed learning supplements will help you … raise your effectiveness as a leader, fully connect with people, achieve breakthroughs and gains in you and your team’s performance. Understand and extinguish recurring team problems & increase case acceptance. Contact our office or visit our website, www.frazeronline.com, then double click STORE – then AUDIO CDs … Remember that all of our products come with a 100% money back guarantee!

4. Attend a hands-on workshop in Building Emotional Intelligence … like those offered in our highly acclaimed “EI X4 – Inspiration, Empowerment, Wisdom & Community … Applied Emotional Intelligence Workshop” Thursday through Saturday, November 7 - 9. Please contact our office at (512) 346-0455 or learn more on the web at www.frazeronline.com (three advanced hands-on E.I. training.) EI Workshops occur each November and when scheduled by Study Clubs. Let us know if you’d like early notification.

This workshop co-presented with counselor/therapist Bill Woodburn, will be heavily experiential in order for you to begin to establish new neural pathways for E.I. You will leave this workshop with elevated E.I. and an action plan for further E.I. growth. Past participants echo the comments of Dr. Don Kleier of Denver … “In nearly thirty years of C.E., this was the best non-technical course I’ve ever attended. I was able to immediately apply what I learned with positive results.”

Also, the workshops of best selling author John Bradshaw are great resources. John focuses on the evolution of our emotional intelligence from a family of origin point of view. Bradshaw also has many books and tapes visit www.creativegrowth.com.

5. Experiment with New Behavior in order to build new Neural Pathways. This is referred to as “Learning By Doing.” This works best after a hands-on workshop in which you learn new ways of both recognizing and responding to emotions. The approach is best supported in a group of two or more people who have agreed to be each other’s support and “consultants.” So, if you do attend a training session, we strongly encourage you to bring a friend, spouse, or co-worker.

6. Hire a Counseling Psychologist to work with you and your team to help you grow your communication skills and relationship effectiveness. I make this recommendation from first-hand experience having worked with such people in our practice on a semi-annual to quarterly basis for more than 25 years. Bill Woodburn, MEd., LPC, Senior Associate, is available for interested offices or groups.

7. Enter a Personal Performance Coaching Relationship … Virtually every authority on E. I. including Daniel Goleman has stated that one of the surefire ways to grow E.I. is in a one-on-one coaching relationship. Almost every CEO in America has a coach. Someone who has walked the path they are on … in whom they can rely for guidance and counsel. Client–Coach interaction ranges from one to three times per month and is generally for a year or more. Our Coaching Continuum has helped our clients achieve three goals … First, to Remove Barriers to our clients reaching their highest potential. Second, to teach Self-correction. Third, to teach Self- Generativity (the ability to generate your own solutions and possibilities toward personal fulfillment). Each of these builds emotional intelligence. You can learn more about Performance Coaching on our website, www.frazeronline.com. Once there, double click “Success Strategies for Dentists and Teams,” and then Performance Coaching. We would be happy to explore further without fee or obligation whether a coaching relationship would benefit you at this time. (For maximum focus and attention, I limit myself to no more than 12 active coaching clients at any one time.)

As I stated at the beginning of this paper, the above is not meant to be a complete guide to growing your E.Q., but it should provide you with a solid beginning. The research is conclusive … each one of us who wishes to become someone at the forefront of our profession must have the necessary technical competencies for without them we cannot perform the work with excellence.

However, this technical competency only accounts for 25% of our success. It is emotional Intelligence that accounts for 75% of our success. In the area of case acceptance alone, we regularly see clients' acceptance increases of 200 to 400% for complete dentistry!

Are you ready to enhance all of your relationships and grow your personal power and influence through elevated E.I.? We have helped hundreds of others do just that and would welcome the opportunity to help you as well. Simply give us a call or drop us an email and we’ll gladly discuss the possibilities.

Thank you again for your interest in our work. Good luck in your journey toward excellence and the elevated E.Q. that accelerates that journey!