At the most basic level, Emotional Intelligence (EI), is being smart with, and about, feelings.
“This means really getting to know your feelings, intimately, and using your feelings as data to live more mindfully — more consciously and intentionally, more proactively and less reactively,” explains Shannon Short, life coach and certified assessor for the 6 Seconds Emotional Intelligence (SEI).
The 6 Seconds organization says EI is the capacity to blend thinking and feeling to make optimal decisions.
Here is the model of EI in Action, which includes three pursuits:
- Know yourself — Awareness: becoming more aware, tuning into emotional data — noticing what you do (and feel).
- Choose yourself — Management: becoming more intentional, responding consciously — doing what you mean to do (proactively rather than acting/reacting on autopilot).
- Give yourself — Direction: becoming more purposeful — doing things for a reason (acting with purpose, on purpose).
Early in the 1990s, university researchers Peter Salovey and John Mayer originally developed the broad framework that is Emotional Intelligence — a theory that just as people have a wide range of intellectual abilities, they also have a wide range of measurable emotional skills that profoundly affect their thinking and actions.
The researchers stated that EI is the ability to monitor one’s own and others’ feelings and emotions, to discriminate among them and to use this information to guide one’s thinking and actions, says Short.
For Short, exploring EI began nearly thirty years ago, when she was a junior in college.
“It all began for me when I realized that my emotionally driven choices often created the negative, challenging, difficult or frustrating situations and events that occurred in my life, and that, therefore, I might also be ale to pay attention to those choices, become more mindful of them, and prevent some of those events — and the related feelings — in the future,” she shares.
She says she became “highly introspective,” and gave more attention to her thoughts, feelings and actions, and how they were all related.
“As I became more and more aware of my own feelings and the role they played in my life, I also became very aware of how my choices and actions affected others,” Short says.
The work begins with the awareness and then evolves into wisdom and understanding, and then implementing.
Short performs SEI assessments for adults and youth. She is a life coach, with 300 hours of experience coaching and educating clients.
She has spoken of EI at several universities and teaches a high school elective at Vail Mountain School on EI. Short has recently partnered with the Vail Valley Youth Foundation to bring EI to their GirlPowerHer summer camp and after-school enrichment programs for middle school and high school girls in the valley.
EI assessments and coaching will soon be available to members and guests of the Vail Vitality Center.
Mindful Emotion, Expression, Connection
As Short explains, EI helps us to live more mindfully, more intentionally and consciously so that we can actively craft our lives, choose our lives, rather than letting our emotions lead the way.
With stress management, EI can help to provide mechanisms for better coping and resilience during difficult life events.
“I say it helps us take the blinders off so we can see the whole picture of our lives, the whole truth, instead of just what we want to see, so that we can make more informed choices and react or act more appropriately to the events and people in our lives,” Short says.
The three key components of the 6 Seconds EI model — Exercising Optimism, Engaging Intrinsic Motivation and Increasing Empathy, “allow us to live with hope and optimism, and to show empathy, not only toward others but also to ourselves,” she says.
EI Assessment In Action
The SEU (6 Seconds EI) assessment, to assess current EI, includes a one-hour debrief, which then provides a framework for action.
“This model is simple enough to jump in, but sophisticated enough to drive long-term transformation,” Short says.
On-going guidance and support are provided to help implement the life transformations. The recommended amount of coaching is on a weekly basis, with a minimum three-month coaching commitments for optimal practice, growth and change.
“I believe developing a higher level of EI is a real game-changer — if not THE game-changer — for anyone who wants to create a life of balance, health and vitality, physically, mentally and spiritually,” shares Short. “EI doesn’t take all of one’s troubles or challenges away, but it does provide solid strategies, tools and perspectives to help us make healthier, more productive choices — to act consciously, intuitionally and purposefully, rather than react on emotionally driven autopilot — when we find ourselves in a troubled or challenging situation.”
For more information on EI assessment and coaching available at the Vail Vitality Center, visit www.vailvitalitycenter.com, or call 970-476-7960.