As I mentioned last month, I am on a year-long journey to improve my emotional intelligence. The first three months, my accountability partner and I are focusing on relationship management, working on a different strategy each month. These strategies come from the book “Emotional Intelligence 2.0,” by Travis Bradberry and Jean Greaves. My first strategy was “Only get mad on purpose.” I found that watching when I get angry, and with whom, my life is easier, and I am less likely to erupt and make situations worse.

This month, my strategy is “Acknowledge the other person’s feelings.” From TalentSmart, “Help validate more people’s feelings by listening intently and acknowledging what you’ve heard, regardless of how you feel.” I do my best to be an active and engaged listener, however, I have found that I will occasionally focus more on the response I have come up with than fully taking in everything the speaker is saying. When I am working with someone, mentoring them, I am more likely to sit and take everything in before I give a response; it is when I am having a more personal, informal conversation that I will interject, or pull away from what is being said.

Having identified this, now that I am not working and am staying home with Little Man, I do not have those more formal conversations anymore. Living with my in-laws, I do know that they do not care for interruptions when they are talking, so I have been working at not interjecting and “guessing” where the conversation is going. This will take some more work on my end, though.

I am looking forward to this month and my progress in my emotional intelligence journey. This week, I have my first cohort meeting. I am not sure what the plan is for the cohorts, so it will be quite a surprise, and a chance for me to work on my strategy for the month.

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