When you think of someone who is an incredible leader, what words come to mind? Whether it’s inspirational, motivating, charismatic or something in between --- it’s usually describing someone's emotional intelligence (EQ), rather than their intellectual ability (IQ).
Emotional intelligence is defined as an individual’s ability to identify, evaluate, control, and express emotions. So why is it so important to learn how to develop emotional intelligence to have great relationships and be a great leader? Keep reading.
People with high EQ usually make great leaders and team players because of their ability to communicate, collaborate, and connect with the people around them.
Over the past 20 years there has been a lot of research on the benefits of EQ and how we lead our lives. Here are the 3 main categories:
1. Incredible leadership
Going back to the opening question, it’s obvious that most of us already identify EQ qualities as important aspects of outstanding leaders. The workplace is becoming more and more about how people can work together, and EI skills are necessary for successful collaboration, especially now, when our communication skills are incredibly important.
2. Excellent performance
Emotional intelligence is widely recognized as a valuable skill that helps improve communication, management, problem-solving, and relationships within the workplace. It is also associated with conflict resolution. listening, reflecting and responding to constructive criticism -- all crucial skills for high performance in the workplace. a skill that researchers believe can be improved with training and practice.
A large study done at University of California Riverside found that the factors that affect our own happiness include things like gratitude, positive social relationships, optimism, and a meaningful life. Interestingly, it didn’t show any related to IQ alone.
We are all experiencing daily challenges but one thing that is guaranteed to make you feel better is sitting outside!
Studies show that our bodies respond positively to being outside. Sitting in the fresh air — even just for a moment between Zoom calls — can reduce blood pressure, relieve stress and strengthen your immune system.
One study found that even the view of nature through a window can lower stress and increase job satisfaction.
So with Earth Day coming up tomorrow, how can you step into leadership on a global scale by taking a few small steps to thank Mother Nature for supporting you during this time?
Plant based meals: since we are all home and likely cooking more than usual - now is a great time to try out those plant based food recipes. Committing to one plant based dinner a week can help contain production of greenhouse gases that impact climate change. It can also help lessen the demand for precious environmental resources such as land, water, and energy.
As cities have shut down around the world, the world has seen coyotes on the streets of San Francisco, peacocks dancing in Mumbai, wild boar roaming in Barcelona, a resurgence of bees and rare wildflowers in the UK, other animals reclaiming human spaces and a report that suggests that within 30 years much of the ocean could be restored to full health.
This gives hope that with the right management, nature and wildlife can rebound within a generation. Every little bit helps.
Reading over Streaming
Reading is good for the mind, the soul and it turns out, the planet. When we are reading, we are not streaming, an activity which is carbon-intensive. You can download an e-book or dust off an old book you have lying around the house (I am so guilty of buying books and then not finishing them!). I am currently reading Untamed by Glennon Doyle and highly recommend it.
Learn how you can take more action in your local community and be a part of a global conversation by joining the livestream celebration of Earth Day’s 50th anniversary as it goes digital for the first time ever.
This is a cause that is very dear to my heart since I am completely obsessed with nature and understand it’s vast benefits on our body, mind and soul. I was supposed to attend Al Gore’s Climate Reality Training but it was cancelled due to COVID-19 but I know there is still action to be taken.
Thanks for listening!
Raise your hand if you’ve ever asked for help when faced with experiences that are challenging, frightening, or overwhelming.
Now raise your hand if you’ve ever felt shy or embarrassed in doing so.
I think most of us can connect to the above statement. Whether it’s asking for help at work from a colleague or friends, help with the kids, or a hand when you’re sick and just can’t power through—asking for help is HARD. Maybe you don’t want to look needy, or weak, or lose a sense of control. Whatever the reason is, asking for help just doesn’t come naturally to most of us.
But the truth is, reaching out for help is incredibly important. It gives you an opportunity to connect with community, to learn, and to finally move forward, rather than staying “stuck”. It is a sign of strength, not weakness. And the good news is, as humans we are altruistic by nature, meaning we want to help others - so asking is not a burden it is a gift.
So if you’re feeling overwhelmed, scared, or disconnected, especially right now—remember there is power in community. You don’t have to do this alone. Reach out to a friend, a loved one, or seek out a coach or therapist and give yourself permission to lean on others.
In the spirit of asking for help, I need yours! I’m working on an exciting offering that will be launching shortly and your feedback is incredibly important to me! Please take 2 minutes to fill out this quick survey, I am forever grateful!
As I have been sheltering in place for the past few weeks, I’ve made a concerted effort to keep some semblance of a normal routine.
Routines make us more efficient, give us a sense of structure and instill good habits. This helps with feelings of anxiety and overwhelm and can change this time from being one of hardship and challenge to being one of fullness and productivity.
My routine normally consists of movement, mindfulness, nature, growth and connection.
Although how I commit to my routine has changed, what I do for my routine hasn’t.
Here are some helpful resources I have been using that have helped me stay committed to practices and rituals that increase mental wellness. Hope you find them helpful too!
I have been loving and am so grateful to all the amazing instructors who have been providing free workouts for us all during this time.
- For HIIT - I have been working out with @pumpfitnessmtl and @jonchaimberg
- For yoga - I have been able to access one of my favorite instructor (who currently lives in Australia) @duncanyoga as well as doing @modoyogala classes.
-For pilates - I have been using Melissa Wood Health for quick and easy workouts - I love the minimal use of equipment and the focus on creating long lean lines.
- Deepak Chopra and Oprah are hosting a free 21 day meditation challenge specifically aimed at meditating during difficult times. Fun fact: this is what got me into meditation several years ago!
-Yale is offering their Science of Wellbeing Course for free.
- My friend Amy, who is a wellness chef is hosting live cooking classes on IG. She hosts dress up themed cooking parties - what an amazing time to brush up on your cooking skills and have some fun while doing it.
- I’ve been listening to the podcast: How’s work by Esther Perel which is all about our relationships at work.
- Book I’ve been reading: Untamed by Glennon Doyle
- Zoom dance parties: OMG if you do one thing from this list - do this. Ryan Heffington, an La based choreographer is hosting daily hour long dance classes on IG Live. They aren’t complicated (think a simple grapevine or a twerk) but they are so incredible uplifting and FUN. Upwards of 6000 people are joining in daily - make sure to tune in on your own and with a group of friends!
- Knix Wear has partnered with the Robert Kerr Foundation to help support the need for PPE in Toronto homeless shelters, drop-in centres and agencies. Learn more here.
- With all the time we’re spending at home, there’s no better time to adopt a pet. Check out your local animal adoption shelters in your area. I’ve heard great things about this one in LA.
Hope these resources help!
Samara Zelniker is a yogi, wine drinker, pet lover and travel junkie.