A week ago, I attended an emotional intelligence workshop, thanks to work and a generous board member.
When I first got the email about it and was in my office alone, I probably rolled my eyes at the screen and channeled my best Joe Friday. Emotional Intelligence? Who needs namby-pamby feelings? Feelings are for wimps. Just the facts, ma’am.
I was coming down with the summer crud when I took the self-assessment and dealt with test items like, “I am aware of the feelings of others.” When dosed up on cough syrup, decongestant and ibuprofen, I was rather unaware of much but the massive headache I had from being so stuffed up.
While I was healthy when I actually went to the workshop, I still went in with a giant dose of skepticism in my system.
I was pretty sure my scores would be low when I got my assessment results.
But they were low. Below average low.
I do think that some of the lowness was a result of how I was feeling (oh, the irony) when I took the test. But ick. My scores may have also seemed really low compared to who I was in a room with — lots of extroverted, HR, employee-training people.
According to the test, I’m really bad at perceiving emotions (mine and others) but good at making decisions and pretty good at using emotions to achieve things (self-motivation) and influence others.
We talked in the workshop some about how some personality types are maybe more inclined toward feelings. On the DiSC profile, I’m a high DC, meaning I’m oriented to being fast-paced, direct, questioning and cautious. Feelings, to me, are slow and require acceptance. I don’t have time for that. There are decisions to be made and a world to be conquered.
But the reality is, I need to make time. As the discprofile site notes, “If you want to support a DC, you might help them understand the feelings of others.”
For those of us who are INTJs (ok, I know lots of people say the MBTI is bunk, but whatever, I’m going with it), we’re pretty good at intuiting our own feelings, but are blind to the fact that others have feelings. We just forget. I think we forget we have them too in any kind of specificity, just that they are part of the data we’re processing internally all the time.
A week after the workshop, I’m still rather skeptical of the whole thing. But I am finding that I’m at least trying to pay attention to what I’m feeling and what others might be feeling.