Developing EQ is like learning any new skill or growing an unused muscle, it’s going to be uncomfortable, unfamiliar, awkward, for a while.
Learning to dive recently, I was informed by the PADI manual that I was becoming something new, a scuba diver, something I hadn’t been before. I loved their explicit declaration of it. Kind of like…it’s going to be hard before it gets easier, but it will be worth it.
At some point in the leadership journey, most leaders realise they need help refining their ‘people skills’, but many are reluctant, or bury themselves in denial. Fair enough too, after investing several decades becoming an expert, asking for help now can feel like the epitome of vulnerability.
But courage, openness, a learning mindset and the willingness to be ‘not so hot at it’ for a while, are the essential characteristics of building the skills of self-awareness, mindfulness and EQ.
Diving at 2 mtrs in chlorine I was an alien attempting survival on another planet. At 14 mtrs in salt I was kicking up sand in my buddy’s face in my attempts at neutral buoyancy. But with each attempt I was becoming something new, opening to a whole new world of wonder.
Developing EQ is about progress, it requires practice, but embraced as a process, a whole new world of wonder is opened.