Empathy: Emotional Intelligence


According to Gallup, 70% of human behavior is based on emotion and not reason.  I have read that up to 95% of retail purchases are based on emotion and that each one of us has over 400 emotional "experiences" every day.  Given the value of knowing the emotional intelligence of ourselves and others, wouldn't it be great to invent some sort of monitoring system to instantly detect feelings, emotions and moods?

I'm pretty sure that when the "Mood Ring" was introduced in 1975, it's makers were not seeking the higher purpose of improved global empathy.  They wanted to make a buck with their "biofeedback aids".  Mood Rings were a fad from my childhood, joined by "Pet Rocks", polyurethane skateboard wheels and "Pong".  The liquid crystal "stone" would measure body temperature and designate a color for everything from anxiety to joy.  In the first 3 months of production, mood rings enjoyed over one-million dollars in sales.

The accuracy of Mood Rings is likened to that of your daily horoscope - fun to believe in even if it's inaccurate.  There is a StrengthsFinder Talent Theme that can detect the mood of others with significantly greater accuracy than Mood Rings - the Talent Theme of Empathy.      

People with Empathy talents can sense the feelings and emotions of those around them.  They can walk into a room and immediately detect the "vibe".  They intuitively see the world through the eyes of others and perceive their pain or joy.  They help people express their emotional feelings and can form professional relationships that have great emotional depth.  People with strong Empathy talents can hear the unvoiced questions and needs of others and offer stability and comfort within any team.  

My deep-dive on Empathy led me to re-discover the concept of Emotional Intelligence, which is defined as your ability to understand emotions and to use this awareness to manage yourself and your relationships with others.  Research has proven that our EQ (emotional quotient) is more of a predictor of professional success than IQ (intelligence quotient).  Emotional Intelligence drives 60% of our daily work performance, and 90% of all high performing professionals share a high "EQ" score in areas such as self-awareness, self-management, social awareness and relationship management.  

I took the Emotional Intelligence assessment (Emotional Intelligence 2.0 by Bradberry & Greaves) and received a resulting score of 84% which is considered "a strength to build on".  Sounds familiar. 

StrengthsFinder aids with the Personal Competency side of the Emotional Intelligence equation (self-awareness and self management) as your Signature Talent Themes provide you a deep understanding of how you naturally think, behave and feel.  People with the power of Empathy have an advantage on the Social Competency side of the Emotional Intelligence equation (social awareness and relationship management) due to their innate ability to read and respond to the emotions of others.    

When coaching someone with high Empathy talents, help them aim their gift of understanding the thoughts and feelings of others as follows;  

* Test this person's ability to make decisions instinctively versus logically.  Frequently ask them "what is your gut feeling about how to approach this situation?".  

* People with Empathy easily detect the feelings and emotions of others.  Have them identify and find ways to work with positive and optimistic people.  They will pick up on these feelings and will be motivated and energized by them.  

* They can easily detect discomfort, confusion or frustration in any group of people. Have them practice refining words to use to name the feelings they experience and which they observe in others so they can give a voice to these emotions.  



I am currently serving 20 years to life as the Sr. Director of Destination Experiences at Universal Orlando Resort.  I'm a fun-loving pace-setter fascinated by tomorrow.  In any situation, you can count on me to think outside the box and find the best way forward.  I prefer white-water rapids over data lakes and include Ideation, Futuristic and Positivity amongst my signature talents.    Find me on Twitter @dpddonovan and Instagram @strengthszone  




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