Join Britt Andreatta for an in-depth discussion in this video Achieving your goals, part of Leading with Emotional Intelligence.
Do you strive to be excellent in all that you do? Can you set and achieve goals? And do you take the initiative to find solutions? These are important hallmarks of people who are emotionally intelligent and are part of managing yourself. Let's look at three foundational skills. First is your achievement drive. This is the ability to set and achieve goals, persist through challenges, and strive to be excellent. Most of us know how to set goals. The challenge can be in achieving them. I highly recommend using the smart goal technique, where each goal has the following five qualities.
It's specific, meaning that you get clear about the details of who, what, where, and how. It's measurable, meaning that there's a clear way to see progress. It's action-oriented, meaning that you have the ability to do something as opposed to it being in someone else's hands. It's realistic, meaning that it can be accomplished with the time and resources available. And finally it's timely. Meaning that it has a clearly stated deadline, possibly with smaller milestones leading up to that deadline. Some people also find it helpful to break the larger goal into smaller steps, applying the smart technique to each one.
Your persistence through challenges, is largely a function of how you manage your motivation and efforts; how you get through, when things get hard. You want to have drive but, it has to be sustainable. Too much drive can have you burning yourself out, or mowing over others in the process, and too little drive, and you won't get things done. And then there's striving to be excellent. This is different from perfectionism, which comes from a fear of not being good enough. Excellence is about the push for either meeting an established standard, or setting a new standard. I'm all for excellence in striving, it just needs to come from a healthy place and not from triggers or fears.
Next is your initiative which is the ability and willingness to identify problems, create solutions, and act on opportunities. Initiative is that part of ourselves that, when faced with a road block, can step back, analyze the situation and problem solve. It's also that part that can propose new ideas and take risks by going in a new direction. Innovation is your ability to be creative and think outside the box. It's about taking ideas or products that work well and taking them to the next level to stay on the front edge of what's possible.
Research has shown that in order to bring out our qualities of creativity and innovation, we must play. Seriously, play unlocks all kinds of interesting things in our brains and behavior. If you want to learn more, check out the work by Dr Stuart Brown and his book Play: How it Shapes the Brain, Opens the Imagination, and Invigorates the Soul. Finally there's learning orientation which is your commitment to continual improvement. Learning doesn't just happen in school. It occurs through our lifetime in a variety of ways. You're learning right now by watching this course, and you'll engage in experiential learning when you implement some of the strategies we're discussing.
You may learn from attending workshops, reading books, or talking with others. The key to this aspect of emotional intelligence is that you embrace the notion that you're a lifelong learner. That learning never stops and can happen in all kinds of ways. It also means that you get intentional about your learning. Every year, you should have a professional development plan that outlines new learning you want to engage in. It should also identify how, where, and when you'll do that learning. Ideally, your plan should tie to your performance review and be something that you and your supervisor discuss throughout the year.
I also recommend that you have a personal development plan. This would be your goals for what and how you want to learn and improve in your personal life. For example, you may want to learn photography or become a better parent. The options are endless. If you use these strategies together, you'll be well on your way to maximizing your potential in all areas of your life.
Learn what emotional intelligence is and how it factors in at work and discover concrete techniques for raising your own emotional quotient (EQ). This includes perceiving yourself accurately, exercising emotional self-control, practicing resilience, and developing empathy. Then turn those lessons around to build your awareness of others and learn to inspire helpful communication and manage conflict.
Lynda.com is a PMI Registered Education Provider. This course qualifies for professional development units (PDUs). To view the activity and PDU details for this course, click here.
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- What is emotional intelligence?
- Cultivating emotional intelligence
- Exercising emotional self-control
- Working with your triggers
- Getting to know others
- Maximizing team performance
- Building influence