Know Thyself: Building Emotional Self Awareness and Management
In this summer’s hit Pixar movie "Inside Out," 11-year old Riley Anderson’s emotions are the stars of the story. We meet five in particular: Joy, Sadness, Fear, Anger and Disgust. Each, to some extent, controls Riley’s behavior as she deals with the ups and downs of moving away from the only home and friends she has ever known.
Because she’s a kid, Riley is only just beginning to develop an understanding of how her own emotions work. And (spoiler alert!), judging by her decision to steal money and run away from home, she definitely needs to work on managing her emotions rather than letting them run the show.
Riley might have benefited from our next workshop on emotional intelligence (EI), coming up November 3. Ryan Morgan, PsyD, from Integrated Behavioral Health (IBH) is returning to talk about two aspects of EI – self awareness and self management.
We talked to Ryan a bit about EI and why it’s so important to develop these two skills.
EI: A Quick Refresher
What is emotional intelligence?
The ability to be aware of and name one’s own and other people's emotions
The ability to use emotional information to make decisions with regard to thinking and behavior
The four main skills of EI are self awareness, self management, social awareness, and relationship management.
Ryan says since last year’s EI workshop focused on those skills involved in relating to other people, he wanted to return to talk about the skills we all need to build around our own emotions.
Even though this is our third session on Emotional Intelligence, you don’t need to have attended the first two to get something valuable out of our November workshop.
Ryan says it’s absolutely critical to be aware of your emotions in order to ultimately manage your behavior and tendencies. “When something happens, you’re going to react differently than someone else would,” he said. “The question is how accurately do you perceive your own emotions?”
This isn’t as easy as it sounds. “One thing I’ve found is that people have a limited vocabulary for emotions,” he continued. “There are a lot of dimensions to each of the basic categories.” In the upcoming session, Ryan will help you expand your knowledge and vocabulary of emotions.
One of the great benefits of self awareness is understanding what motivates and satisfies us. Ryan says it can help you be more fulfilled in your personal life and perform better at work.
Once you’ve gained self awareness, what do you do with it?
“You need to know how to manage the emotions that you’re now able to identify and name,” Ryan says. Part of this includes dealing with uncertainty and unpleasant emotions.
Back to our Inside Out example: Inside of Riley’s head, Joy tries to always be in control. Joy thinks it’s important to banish Anger, Fear and Sadness in particular.
Ryan says that’s not a realistic approach to managing our emotions. “So many people are trained to avoid discomfort,” he says. “But there are times when you have to sit with your discomfort and go through it. It helps you grow and makes you a stronger person.”
[We won’t tell you how Inside Out ends, but let’s just say Ryan does have a doctorate in Psychology for a reason.]
Skills and Strategies
The workshop will provide tools, exercises and strategies you can start doing immediately to help manage your emotions to your benefit.
Ryan says there are a variety of ways to approach self management. “There are some basics like proper breathing, goal setting and getting proper sleep,” he said. “Some are higher level skills, such as thought-challenging exercises and visualization that take more time and effort to develop.”
Know Thyself: Building Emotional Self Awareness and Management will take place on Tuesday, November 3 from 9:00 to 10:30 a.m.
Register today for this important workshop by going to the HR Workplace Learning Registration Tool.