We’ve all heard about emotional intelligence and the significant role it plays in effective leadership and followership but emotional competency is the grist of the matter because that’s where you live and how you become who you are and there is no disguising it, you’ve either got it, or you don’t. The real question is whether you can recognize it for the important role it already plays in your life. If life is a tender box, emotional competency is what brings it under control and provides the lens for viewing not just one thing, but everything.
Daniel Goleman writes about why “people with good conflict management skills are so successful in their lives and careers…” and this is so encouraging to realize that by bringing people into resolution, you can enjoy great success; the truest definition of a “win-win”.
And what is emotional competency? Goleman says the prerequisites are “self-awareness, self-confidence, self-control, and empathy.” With these as foundational strengths what more could be required? Practice, practice, practice!
So many books, so many tapes, so many authors, giving wonderful advice, inspiration, direction, and success stories, but it all comes down to what you are able to do with yourself … how aware you are and how what you are controls you … or not. It’s that “or not” that is so key … to be able to truly facilitate resolving conflicts, it’s all about the “or not” … not being controlled but being able to listen and hear what is being said. That is truly an art and a gift and a very real kindness.
There were so many wonderful thoughts expressed in this chapter on Conflict Management, Tubbs inserts facts and suggestions with equal grace, such as “Without conflict, attitudes, behavior, and relationships will always stay the same, regardless of whether they are fair.” [Tubbs, p. 325]
And one great line that summed up so much, was in a section about “verbal judo” which is “to learn how to take a verbal beating from another person with class and finesse.” This is built all around the ability to use “active listening” – not just hearing … but actually hearing! I think of the many times I have been impatiently waiting for the speaker to stop so i could jump in and share my story or my turn of events. How much greater my satisfaction would have been if i could have listened more and talked less.
And what’s on the other side of this verbal judo, this self-discipline and self-awareness? In my opinion, a really great view of everything.
As adults, we have learned not only by what we have been taught but also by what we have experienced. This video introduces a series created in Australia (http://www.kidsmatter.edu.au/) that shares their foundational belief in helping children mature emotionally.
This program has accelerated the growth and advancement of students and was striking in its relevance to our study. What a great step to begin with enabling and empowering children with these all-important tools for their maturation process.
This video is just one in a series and puts the students into the frame along with what they are learning.
- Goleman, D. Working with Emotional Intelligence. New York: Bantam Books, 1998.
- Kids Matter. Australian Primary Schools Mental Health Initiative, Feb 26, 2015. Retrieved Nov 7, 2016, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pWZeR1bB038.
- Tubbs, S.L. A Systems Approach to Small Group Interaction. McGraw-Hill. New York City. 2012.