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Eq #45. Steps for Growth > Emotional Intelligence Exercise 45

Emotional Intelligence Exercise 45

  1. Seek Comment— My favorite steps are to ask people who think highly of me for feedback. Then, I make it a point to ask those people who I think have a low opinion of me. (That's a tough one, and I still struggle through it, but I have discovered some very important information from these people.) Who/what can you ask/do to gain comments?

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  2. Reflect— For years, my favorite way to reflect has been by keeping a journal. I find that the act of hashing out on paper my deepest concerns and thoughts is invaluable. I also like to walk in the woods with my dog. What methods of reflection do you find valuable? Whatever the method, I suggest you do it daily.

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  3. Study Past Lessons— Making mistakes is part of living. I'm not advocating perfection. However, when we keep making the same mistakes as a leader, we need some method of learning from these past mistakes. I keep a log of lessons learned in my journal. Then, especially before a task or assignment where I anticipate difficulty, I review my journal to find the wisdom I need to get through. What can you do to learn from your past mistakes?

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  4. Picture Yourself and Laugh— It's important to take ourselves seriously as a leader, but I also find great benefit in finding the humor in who I am as a leader. My favorite technique is to picture my absurd actions in the form of cartoon characters. I cut these characters out and hang them in a visible location as a reminder to lighten up. How can you find ways to look at your humorous side as a leader?

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  5. Give Yourself Permission to Grow— When you think for yourself, you sometimes upset the norms of the past and the people who have set them. Being a leader is about confronting those norms, accepting those that make sense, then permitting yourself to create new norms that are right for you. Are you holding on to things that you need to release? Do you need to create new ideas or ways that are distinctively yours? Give yourself permission to do just that.

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Adapted from In Search of Honor: Lessons From Workers on How to Build Trust, by Adele B. Lynn (Belle Vernon, Pa.: BajonHouse, 1998).


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