The Ripple Effect Model
Dr. Goleman and Dr. Boyatzis define an emotional intelligent person as someone who “demonstrates the competencies that constitute self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, and social skills at appropriate times and ways in sufficient frequency to be effective in the situation.”
These are the basic skills of emotionally intelligent people. In reality, though, the characteristics of those who are smart about emotions are more complex; and the consequences of understanding, respecting, and leveraging emotions are more intricate than the ones previously mentioned.
Emotional Intelligence is not just a set of skills; it is a unique way of seeing the world.
Developing the EI competencies of self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, and relationship management doesn’t just mean sensing inner signals, managing internal states, being positive in different circumstances and practicing empathy towards others. That’s what it means to develop Emotional Intelligence on a first, graspable level.
The real impact developing Emotional Intelligence has stems from a combination of trained behaviors that feed into each other.
Emotionally intelligent people are attentive towards what they and others are feeling and thinking at all times, as well as the consequences that thoughts and feelings might have at any given moment. Developing attentional focus allows them to be present in their experience and rapidly bring their attention back when it wanders off. They train themselves in placing their focus wherever they wish, whenever they wish to do so, because they know that their reality and experience is shaped by what they choose to focus on. At the same time, they know that, during triggering moments, the brain can only focus on threats, and they therefore avoid making decisions until they can be calm and level-headed again.
Attentional focus can be acquired through any practice that exercises the ability to consciously redirect attention, mindfulness meditation being the most known, efficient, and scientifically-proven one.
Emotionally intelligent people understand that there is very little that they have control over in their lives; they are aware that controlling emotions or thoughts is not really possible without conscious effort. They know that they only have direct influence over how they react to their emotions and thoughts. What’s more, they always take responsibility for what they can control in the present moment, that is, their chosen actions and behaviors, and, ultimately, their own happiness; and no one is responsible for their own happiness but them.
Having deep emotional self-awareness means holding oneself accountable for what one can control.
Emotionally intelligent people listen to, value, respect, and use their emotions in order to better understand themselves. Their emotions guide them towards realizing what they love doing in life and what they’d rather not experience again, as well as understanding and accepting themselves just the way they are; they are aware of their strengths, while acknowledging the space they have for improvement. This degree of self-knowledge, combined with their holding themselves accountable for what they can control, means that they also take responsibility for what they can improve. This is why they are comfortable in their own skin, can laugh at themselves, and have better chances of reaching their goals and fulfilling their dreams.
Having deep emotional self-awareness translates into having self-knowledge, and a strong awareness of one’s self-worth and capabilities (self-confidence).
High levels of emotional self-awareness and attentional focus translate into better chances of realizing one is feeling uncomfortable emotions when triggered by someone else’s actions. This ultimately means that emotionally intelligent people have increased chances of responding efficiently to these disruptive emotions when they are experiencing them. At the same time, as they respect and value all emotions, they see disruptive feelings as opportunities to better understand themselves and grow; and as they hold themselves accountable for what they can control, they build strategies aimed not only at responding more efficiently to disruptive emotions, but at feeling less triggered by someone’s actions the next time this occurs.
Exercising self-awareness, accountability, and attentional focus translates into having and exercising self-control.
When experiencing setbacks or challenging situations, emotionally intelligent people only focus on what they have influence over – that is, how they react to these experiences – and choose to exercise self-control and positive outlook (because they know that, no matter how difficult the situation may be, there is always a positive aspect they can focus on). Combined with high levels of self-confidence, this conscious choice enables emotionally intelligent people to appreciate new experiences and ultimately feel comfortable with change and adversity.
Self-confidence, self-control, and positive outlook are therefore crucial for developing adaptability and, ultimately, resilience.
Listening to, respecting, and accepting their own emotions, makes emotionally intelligent people able to listen, respect, and validate the emotions of others. Emotional self-awareness, combined with attentional focus, translates into their ability to put themselves in others’ shoes, as well as to read subtle cues and understand relationship dynamics in group settings.
Deep emotional self-awareness, combined with attentional focus, is therefore the cornerstone for being aware of others’ feelings, needs, motivational drivers, and concerns (social awareness).
Being self-confident means having more self-compassion, and consequently being able to extend empathy to others. People who are “smart about their emotions” have no problem accepting, respecting, and valuing others: they are aware that others have strengths and areas of improvement of their own, and do not try to change what they know is outside their control. They appreciate human interconnectedness, and are therefore committed to helping others achieve their goals, supporting their personal growth, and inspiring people to do the same.
Self-confidence translates into taking an active interest in others’ feelings and perspectives at any given moment (empathic concern), and a willingness to mentor or coach others whenever the need arises.
Empathic concern is the cornerstone of building a long-lasting, trusting connection with others; and this ability to connect is the only path towards working effectively in teams, teaching, coaching and mentoring others, inspiring them, and, overall, having healthy relationships. Emotionally intelligent people know that the relationships they have with others is a reflection of the relationship they have with themselves. They also know that having healthy relationships means that they can receive candid feedback, which, when combined with self-control, adaptability, and a positive outlook, is a gateway to increasing emotional self-awareness and self-knowledge; and this, in turn, improves their ability to connect with others and build healthy relationships.
Self-confidence, therefore, translates into building healthy relationships; and healthy relationships, contribute to increasing self-confidence.
Last but not least, in times of conflict, instead of blaming others for “making them feel” a certain way, emotionally intelligent people pay attention to their body signals, and use them to make decisions and solve problems, as well as to bring awareness to unconscious patterns. They analyze their past without judgement, in order to understand where these patterns are coming from; they take responsibility for what they feel, while building strategies to manage their emotions instead of letting their emotions take over. Emotionally intelligent people know that it is so much easier to change themselves than to change everyone else around them.
Self-confidence, combined with social awareness and attentional focus, leads to an increased ability to manage conflict.
By contrast, a few characteristics of people who haven’t developed their Emotional Intelligence skillset, would be:
- not recognizing emotions as important;
- not being aware of their own or others’ emotions;
- letting their emotions take control of their actions and thoughts;
- being uncomfortable in their own skin, and letting their insecurities and self-limiting beliefs dictate their actions and behavior;
- being unable to efficiently inspire, communicate, and work with others;
- being unable to adapt to new circumstances and environments;
- complaining about things that they cannot control or influence;
- not taking responsibility for their actions or emotions;
- being unable to gain perspective and lacking a sense of humor.
Here at the Ripple Effect, as you can see, we believe that emotionally intelligent people are always mindful, self-confident, resilient, socially aware, and can consequently build healthy relationships.
In this sense, Emotional Intelligence is not just understanding emotions; it is a new way of interacting with life. It does not just mean acquiring a skillset, but changing one’s identity as well.
The behaviors mentioned above form The Ripple Effect Model, which is rooted in and inspired by the framework designed by Daniel Goleman and Richard Boyatzis, while offering a more holistic examination of what having Emotional Intelligence means in practice.
By developing our Emotional Intelligence, we can generate the most efficient, sustainable, and positive ripple effect for ourselves and others, our communities and future generations.
And this is what we want to help you achieve.
As coaches specialized in Emotional Intelligence, we are qualified to help you:
- Develop your emotional self-awareness; we will help you recognize what you are thinking and feeling at all times, and therefore, ultimately gain the ability to choose how you respond to situations.
- Develop self-management skills; we will help you decrease your stress levels during challenging times, and manage your emotions so that you are not dominated by them.
At the same time, we will guide you through digging deeper towards achieving sustainable change. You will have the opportunity to:
- Identify your blind spots within The Ripple Effect Model, and develop each and every one of the Emotional Intelligence behaviors.
- Help develop the Emotional Intelligence of your students and/or children.
More information here.
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