Hi and welcome to Part 2 of our blog mini-series on Emotional Intelligence. The rainy season is upon us here in Bangkok, very early this year. The torrential downpours outside make it easier to sit inside and work.
Before I go deeper into the main areas of the EQi 2.0 model, I would like to bring up the topic of mindfulness. Mindfulness is not a new topic nor am I a mindfulness expert. I do my best to intentionally practice mindfulness a few times a week, similar to many people. What I would like to introduce is the idea of mindfulness as a pre-requisite for working on increasing your emotional intelligence. The author, Google engineer and founder of ‘Search Inside Yourself’, Chade-Meng Tan, suggests that in order to become more emotionally self-aware, we need to be able to pay attention. He states, “attention is the basis of all higher cognitive and emotional abilities. Therefore, any curriculum for training emotional intelligence has to begin with attention training.” When you are able to pay attention you can observe yourself and your own thought and behavior processes.
Chade-Meng Tan offers a very simple way to begin to practice mindfulness. First identify an intention with wanting to improve your attention span, for example, stress reduction or perhaps getting along with a specific person. Then sitting in a comfortable position, with your eyes closed, focus on your breath. And keep focusing on your breath. If you get distracted, bring your attention back to your breath, being kind to yourself and reminding yourself of your intention with practicing mindfulness. Try it. 10 minutes a day will feel wonderful.
How has mindfulness helped you? How has mindfulness made you more emotional intelligent? Please share in the comments, we would love to hear from you!
Photo from the book Search Inside Yourself, courtesy of Chade-Meng Tan and Philippe Goldin.