May 11th – Emotional Intelligence

This morning I spied my first Ontario election sign. It was for a Green Party candidate. The provincial campaign is off and running.

As I looked at the sign, I realized that I will not be in Ontario for the election in June. I’ll be in the Yukon. To be honest, I’m not too upset about that as I haven’t a clue who to vote for. Perhaps like many in Ontario, I’m feeling pretty flat about this one. None of the candidates inspire me even a little bit. If I do vote in the advance polls (I will), I fear that for the first time ever in my adult life, voting will seem a chore rather than a privilege.

I wonder sometimes if we aren’t facing a leadership-deficit in our world. I don’t see the great visionaries, motivators, and communicators that we need to move forward with building great communities, countries and global systems. People with a sense of integrity, soaring ideas, and a social conscience seem absent from the highest pinnacles of power, not just in politics, but in business, education, religion, etc.

I have been doing some reading recently on something called Emotional Intelligence (EI). People with high EI’s have exceptional leadership gifts to offer, but are often overlooked in favour of those with high IQ’s (btw, Donald Trump’s IQ is a whopping 150, making him one of the most “intelligent” Presidents in history). As we continue to create ever more complicated and highly-integrated social/political structures, surely the leaders of tomorrow should be those who score high on an EI index.

Here are the five element of emotional intelligence:

  1. Self-awareness. People with high EI know their strengths and weaknesses, and they work on these areas so they can perform better.
  2. Self-regulation. This is the ability to control emotions and impulses. People who self-regulate don’t make impulsive, careless decisions. They think before they act.
  3. Motivation. People with a high EI are willing to defer immediate results for long-term success. They work hard and they love a challenge.
  4. Empathy. This is the ability to identify with and understand the wants, needs, and viewpoints of those around you.
  5. Social skills. People with a high EI help others to develop and shine rather than focus on their own successes. This makes them excellent communicators and motivators.

Based on this list, are you an Emotionally Intelligent person? Think of the groups or organizations you are part of. Do you think the leaders score high on this list?

In my dream-world, EI would be taught to our youngest citizens, in the hopes of raising future leaders who understand themselves and understand others, and lead from a place of integrity, honesty, self-awareness and compassion.

Until then, we have to get through this election. Let me see, who among our Ontario leadership candidates score the highest on an EI scale? Hmmmmm….yeah, maybe I’m glad I’ll be in Dawson City.