SUSAN SPEARS: Strengthen Your Leadership with the Platinum Rule | News from local businesses

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Perceiving and understanding emotions is an important first step. I distinctly remember when I figured it out. I was in seventh grade. I used to wait for my dad to come home from work and knock on the door with everything on my mind. One day I realized it wasn’t great to catch him the second he walked through the door. He had worked all day and had a lot on his mind. He was tired, probably hungry, and probably also working that night.

It often didn’t go well for me when I harassed my dad in this way. I had hurt feelings on several occasions and I was often angry with him. Then I understood. If I let my dad come home and have some quiet time and eat his dinner, then he’ll be relaxed and ready to talk to me about anything. My father was supportive, available and willing to talk to me, but he was human and needed his space first. This awareness was one of my first steps in understanding others. I have become better in all facets of my life because I learned to read others before diving into what I had in mind.

Another important component of emotional intelligence is the management of emotions. Recognize what triggers positive and negative emotions in you and learn to control them. Pay close attention to your interactions with others. Think first before reacting and spend more time investigating. Before too long, this change in behavior will strengthen your leadership. Others will feel listened to and respected. You will feel more positive energy directed towards your path.


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