How Emotional Intelligence Impacts My Personal and Professional Relationships

Jenna Kutcher 

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November 23, 2020


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We’ve all heard of an IQ test — the evaluation of our intelligence quotient. But what about EQ? What can we learn from an evaluation of our emotional intelligence? Well, let me tell you first hand, we can learn a lot. My whole team recently started working with the incredible Tieko Nejon, an expert in the emotional intelligence space. She’s actually a friend of the show, and maybe you’ve tuned into her first episode all the way back in September 2019.

In that conversation, Tieko led us through a discussion of emotions versus feelings, and what it means to be emotionally intelligent. I always wanted to learn more from her, and truly understand myself and my strengths and struggles in a new way, so I hired to go in-depth with myself and my team.

The eye-opening details of the different subsets of emotional intelligence and how they all work together in relationships, both personal and professional… It’s all way too good to keep to myself. I want to share with you what our team is working on and what we’re learning from Tieko’s training sessions.

Part of her work with our team was administering an Emotional Intelligence assessment with a series of questions that return a score, or EQ. The full report is a bulky document with a breakdown of all the different ways to understand your own personal emotional intelligence, and ways to strengthen those skills. In this episode with Tieko, she’s actually going to dig into MY EQ report and really put me in a vulnerable place.

You’ll hear my Emotional Intelligence challenges, where I can strengthen the muscles that need work, and where I’m strong. My goal for you is to hear how to analyze your own emotional intelligence, through putting myself in the scary spotlight.

What is Emotional Intelligence?

“It’s being able to tap in, in real time, to what we’re experiencing and how those experiences are shaping our feelings and our emotions,” Tieko explained. “It also includes social intelligence, so our interpersonal relationships with other people.”

So the first component to note is being able to identify our own emotions in real time. The second part is identifying the emotions others are experiencing in real time. And it’s not just about interacting with those close to you, it’s anyone you’re having an interaction or exchange with in real life.

The third component of emotional intelligence is being able to choose a behavior that best suits the situation or the experience.

Emotional intelligence, put simply, is being on your toes and analyzing how you feel, how you think the other person feels, and deciding that you want to happen in that scenario.

The point Tieko really wants to drive home is that, “Emotions aren’t actions. Emotions are signals telling us that we need to choose an action.”

Happy Can’t Be the Status Quo

We so often hear advice to choose happiness or seek happiness as the goal, but what that fails to do is honor the importance of identifying and experiencing the other emotions. Tieko encourages us to use “peace of mind” in place of “happy”, because happy is a mood and emotion. And no emotion is constant.

To double down on this, consider what you ask of other people as it relates to your emotions. If you’re asking other people to keep you happy or not to upset your happiness, then you’re also asking them not to experience their emotions or share their emotions with you unless they are happy.

Emotions are a human experience and when we start denying ourselves the human experience of feeling anger, sadness, anxiousness, or another non-happy emotion, we’re likely to deny others their own experience of these emotions.

How We’re Working with Tieko

I’ve been connected with Tieko for over a year and 2020 finally presented the right time for us to work together on emotional intelligence training for my entire team. Team JK grew from two people to ten people in just two years, and although we work remotely, we work very closely together.

For so long I thought I could remove emotions from work, but I now realize (thanks to Tieko) that’s just not the case. So my team is in the midst of six months of emotional intelligence training with Tieko and it has been so incredible to learn this information together.

In addition to the emotional intelligence discussions, Tieko opens up dialog within our team in a space of mutual respect to talk about biases, deep set views, how our emotions and expression of emotion comes from our different backgrounds, and more. “I don’t want people to think this is easy work,” Tieko stated.

Nope, not easy. But important. And we’re committed to it.

The EQ Assessment

EQ stands for emotional quotient and it’s a measure of emotional intelligence. The EQ assessment consists of five major competencies and under each one is three subcategories. In other words, there are 15 small parts that make up the larger model of emotional intelligence and rank your emotional well-being, and it’s a cyclical model. Take a peek at the diagram below.

Need some clarification on what these competencies mean? Press play on this episode and follow along as Tieko walks through my EQ assessment and how I scored on the different components.

What I Learned

As promised, Tieko used my EQ report as an example to explain what you can learn from this type of assessment. This truly felt like standing naked on a stage, but I hope it demonstrates how powerful this can be for gaining a deeper understanding of who you are and how you interact with others.

My score was a 114, which falls within the average range. But this score doesn’t mean I have nothing to work on. The way the EQ scores takes into account both my strengths and weaknesses, and then directs me to areas where I can devote time and learning to grow in the areas that need more development.

As for my highest score, I ranked highest in self-perception which translates to self-confidence. However, within that component, I scored lower on emotional self-awareness. This means that to improve my overall emotional well-being, I’d benefit from working on my own awareness of my emotions. That lower subcategory score could be indicative of my past practice of compartmentalizing and minimizing my emotions at work.

My lowest score was the interpersonal composite. Within that, the subcategory of interpersonal relationships was my lowest score, by far, meaning I have work to do building mutually satisfying interpersonal relationships. I was super challenged by this and Tieko and I dug deep into what it meant.

It turns out that I rely on my relationships that have history — my oldest friends are my closest friends. I have guards up with new people. I worry about people’s experience with me and it’s often at the expense of my own energy… There was so much more that Tieko helped me unpack to understand why I scored low in this area. Press play to hear how I’ve processed this, and the other things I’ve learned, through the EQ assessment report.

More from Tieko Nejon

Want to take an Emotional Intelligence assessment and understand your EQ? You can do that with Tieko. She is teaching a live class that includes an EQ assessment. Connect with Tieko Nejon online and on Instagram @tiekonejon.

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Before you get any further... Hi! I'm Jenna Kutcher!

A small town Minnesota photographer, podcaster, educator and puppy rescuer, my happiest days are spent behind my computer screen sharing my secrets with the world. I'm glad you're here.

I’m an expert at online marketing, a nerd when it comes to the numbers, and my obsession is teaching others how to make a living doing what they love (without it taking over their life). 

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