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February 27, 2012

Follow–up on Emotional Inteligence

Follow-up to Follow–up on Emotional Inteligence from Natalia's blog

Dear Samantha

Thank you for your comment on my last follow-up.

Your question about how running (or exercising in general) affects/helps the emotional intelligence made me think a lot. In overall, there is not such tangible influence on the EI. However, I do think that running helps me to calm down, relax and provides me with the time for clearing my head and organize my thoughts and ideas. After the run, I feel better, literally charged with positive energy which also helps me to, let’s say, see problems and challenges from the brighter sight. I am not saying that mindfulness and meditation don’t work. This term, I had a chance to attend the mindfulness workshop. Interestingly, after 2 hours of meditation, I felt tired, unable to think clearly and went straight to bed. I felt even more stressed out than I was before and I can’t explain why. What I think – or observed on myself – is that not everyone can find the benefit that comes with meditation. In my case, it makes me feel a bit uncomfortable.

When I was searching the Internet for some more information on EI, I came across on 7 habits of highly effective people. One of the habits – habit 5 says: Seek first to understand, then to be understood.

Because we so often listen autobiographically, we tend to respond in one of four ways:

Evaluating: we judge and then either agree or disagree.

Probing: we ask questions from your own frame of reference.

Advising: we give counsel, advice, and solutions to problems.

Interpreting: we analyse others' motives and behaviours based on your own experiences.

(Adopted from:

After reading this, it reminds me of an experience from coaching training I attended in last December – especially the feeling of being listened without being given any advice or solution. Questions that coaches usually ask are aimed to let you think, direct you towards your own solution and provide you with the feeling that the person on the other side has a genuine interest in you and your problems. A right question, which helps you to move towards the solution, can be asked only if the person listens to you without referring to their experience, opinions or suggestions. Moreover, I also remembered how you always highlighted the importance of not being judgemental.

Adopting such approach might help me to improve one of the interpersonal skills - Emotional Coaching. According to the Boston EI Questionnaire, which we have done on the workshop, my scope is 13 – definitely a room for improvement. In next 2 weeks, in one module, we will be given a chance to have a personal coach. As for my new action point, I will try to observe and learn some of the techniques that can be implemented for improving my active listening.

As far as the workshop on time-management is concerned, I have found out that I won’t be able to attend it this term. However, I have decided to put some time-management tools into my lifestyle. I don’t know if you are familiar with GTD (Getting Things Done Model) created by David Allen. I have read the book and changed some of my habits: I started to use To-Do Lists and replaced paper calendar with e-calendar, every day. I also found useful so called “eat the frog” and 2-minute rule. I have to admit that those little things somehow contributed to reducing every-day stress and I feel I have better control over the day.

I hope I covered all the things I want. Thank you for reading and I look forward to your reply.

Have a nice day,


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