The Orlando shootings took place the day before I was scheduled to begin facilitating a five-day workshop on emotional intelligence. While we were sharing our reactions and our grief that Sunday, a colleague asked me, “Do you need to be with your folk?” While I appreciated her concern, my immediate response was, “No, thanks, this is where I need to be. Doing this work.” She nodded.
Not having heard me say that, a participant independently said the same thing I had midway through the week. Something like: This is why this work is so important.
And it is so important. To be able to identify and manage our emotions; to express ourselves clearly while agreeing or disagreeing and in a spirit of empathy and love; to listen intently and really hear what others are sharing. Emotional intelligence, like servant-leadership, can be developed and enhanced in an intentional way. It helps us genuinely to get along better.
It is disarming.
President, The Gabriel Center for Servant-Leadership