They Are All Connected

They Are All Connected

Recently, I asked my husband Ethan for his thoughts on self-awareness and the blogs I had been writing.  A long silence followed and then he confessed that he hadn’t been reading them because the topic was difficult and more than a little confronting for him.

“Really?”, I thought. “How surprising!” From my perspective, he’s so good at self-management. I had assumed it was because he was extremely self-aware.  But after a little digging, I was reminded of the saying that starts with  “Don’t assume- It makes an..” and it was right once again. 

As we shift from self-awareness to self-management this month, I don’t want anyone to give up. Emotional Intelligence depends on four things- two fundamental skills (awareness and management) aimed at two centers of focus (yourself and relationships with others).  

Within self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, and social management, some will feel more natural while others may be harder for you to confront.

So to all of the supportive, helpful, obliging, servant- leaders out there, like my husband- you rock!  I am talking to you, peacemakers.  I see you! That’s right- your focus on relationships and steadying presence are so important. Frequently you are the glue that keeps teams together. The rest of us messy troublemakers rely on your talents when our inspiration, ambitions, or a trip down a rabbit hole has absorbed our attention and the health & function of the team has fallen by the wayside.  We need you… all of you.  So let’s keep you healthy and growing.  Self-awareness can be positive. Don’t get discouraged. You can handle some growing pains, I promise. 

If this is you, your EQ superpower is relationship management, which will only get better if you develop the other areas too. It can be easier to tackle a difficult area if you leverage a strength. In this case, lean on your skill in management and aim it at yourself instead of your relationships. Self-management  will develop your self-awareness by avoiding a few pitfalls.

  • Confusion- Self-awareness is not the same as your arch-enemies, the evil twins Self-Absorbed & Selfish. It is worth the effort to know your preferences and where you stand. The relationship is better when you show up fully.
  • Risk of Conflict– You are probably thinking that it’s hard enough to get everyone to agree. You may also question why you would make it harder for yourself by bringing in another opinion even if it is your own. Instead, be prepared to share when asked, for the sake of the team, and especially if your core values would be violated by going along with the group.
  • Tunnel Vision– Don’t stop others from knowing and supporting you, just because you want to take care of them. They are not mutually exclusive. Relationships with give & take are stronger and more resilient.

The goal we are all chasing is to be better, in our home lives and in our work lives. It’s usually difficult to change the bigger items without first making sure the small ones are in line. A team can’t be fixed if the star player isn’t on board. Before we shed light on relationship management and our social environment, we need to take the steps to fine tune what is going on on the inside. We will be better in the long run.