Tuesday, November 5, 2019

It Is About You

tents in a mountain meadow
(Photo: Kyle Miller/Wyoming IHC)
I recently took an emotional intelligence in the workplace course. My intent of attending the course was to ensure I was passing along the most current information to our followers. Many times these course are less than stellar. Even though I failed at the registration process, the course coordinator allowed me to attend. Little did I know, the course was more about me in the workplace than others in the workplace. This course turned out to be one of the best leadership courses I have attended (and it came with a personal counseling session with the instructor).

Google defines emotional intelligence as "the capacity to be aware of, control, and express one's emotions, and to handle interpersonal relationships judiciously and empathetically." I personally call it "situation awareness for the soul."

I have taken a lot of emotional intelligence profiles, but this one really had an impact. The results were predictable, but what I gained from the face-to-face course with my peers and the one-on-one counseling with the instructor was profound. I had gone intending to help you, but I came out helping ME.

Well, wake up Rip van Winkle leaders of the world. It is about YOU! If you don't know who you are and what emotions have an effect upon you, how can you lead others?

I realize the introspective aspect of leadership is hard stuff. Many people avoid the hard look at self and are more comfortable analyzing others, in either positively or negatively. But doing the hard work pays off for you and for those in your sphere of influence.

Do you have what it takes to be a leader—a leader of self and a leader of others?

Wildland Fire Leadership - Digging a Little Deeper

  • Read books about emotional intelligency by Daniel Goleman.
    • Emotional Intelligence
    • Emotional Intelligence 2.0
  • If you don't like to read, check out Goleman on YouTube or other platforms. 
  • Work your way through the Wildland Fire Leadership Development Program curriculum, especially L-480.
  • Do the hard work. Get to know you and how you react. Embrace the concept of emotional intelligence and get "smart" about you!

Pam McDonald is a writer/editor for BLM Wildland Fire Training and Workforce Development and member of the NWCG Leadership Subcommittee. The expressions are those of the author.

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