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EQ is the New IQ, Only Better

By Joe Burton

1 minute read

Every leader, organization, and family works in a constant state of change. When it comes to helping individuals and company culture, mindfulness and emotional intelligence training help create a tectonic shift in the norms of how you do business.

Emotional intelligence skills can be trained. According to Dan Goleman's famous research, there are five key elements of emotional intelligence:

  1. Self-awareness
  2. Self-regulation
  3. Motivation
  4. Empathy
  5. Social Skills

At Whil, we talk about this shift to being more emotionally intelligent as moving from the ordinary to the extraordinary. The ordinary is the state of affairs that most individuals live in and that most companies tolerate. It’s the negativity, gossip, politics, and lack of clarity and trust that drags leaders, teams, and company cultures down.

The Ordinary is: stressed, anxious, angry, disconnected, overwhelmed, reactive, sleepless and tired, distracted and (increasingly) injured.

Extraordinary is what we all want more of. It’s experiencing purpose, passion and connection on a more regular basis.

The Extraordinary is: calm, focused, and kind collaborative and creative empowered
proactive, rested and energized situationally aware and (increasingly) safe.

The following table can help you determine what percentage of your time is spent in each set of behaviors. Attention and awareness training helps you to be more present. Once you’re focused and aware, you can’t help but shoot for being extraordinary.

According to the leaders in our Creating Mindful Leaders Workshops, their ordinary includes: drama, untrusting, concealing, overwhelmed, about right/wrong ego driven political, taking credit indecisive rationalizing/justifying, controlling, blame, unclear goals, us versus them, defensive, gossip, risk averse, avoiding conflict, disconnected, scarcity, disengaged speculation, loose language, meeting driven, feeling threatened, too serious, polarizing coasting stressed out, negative/sarcastic, impulsive, and frustrated from, tolerating the ordinary,

Those same leaders aspire to the extraordinary: compassionate, transparent, simple/authentic, direct, empathetic, gracious, sincere, collaborative, decisive, present, humble but kick-ass, proud, honest focused, growing/learning, best in class, committed, 100% accountable data-driven curious, revealing, wildly fun (and funny), vulnerable/courageous, driven, opportunistic, encouraging, hungry, healthy, diverse, and mindful.

We all slip into the ordinary several times a day. Mindfulness improves the ability to know when you’ve slipped (when you’re distracted) and it gives you an anchor to come back to a point of focus to lead with specific intentions and values.

It’s not easy to be a teammate or leader these days, and even harder to be extraordinary. But making it a lifelong pursuit, a lifestyle, changes the way you think about yourself, your employees, and your mission.


Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash


Posted by Joe Burton- 13 July, 2018

Joe is an entrepreneur in the digital wellness space, former president of Headspace, and spent fifteen years as a global COO in public companies. He's an alumnus of Harvard Business School and a regular contributor to Forbes, Business Insider and The Huffington Post. He's worked in over 50 countries and travels the world speaking on topics including disruption, culture, resiliency and mindfulness.