Tag Archives: self-awareness

Emotional Intelligence Bootcamp: Self-Awareness

“Debbie, facing the truth about who you are can, at times, be unsettling.”

EI Boot Camp Week 2

Self- awareness is your ability to accurately perceive your own emotions in the moment. As in Debbie’s case, she simply was unaware of how much impact her emotions were having on her, her performance, and how her team responded to her emotionally-charged style.

She was losing her team one person at a time, one emotion at a time. It wasn’t her tactics or strategies, but her emotional swings. She brought little discipline to mastering her moods.

“Debbie, can I be brutally honest with you? Facing the truth about who you are can, at times, be unsettling.”

The only way to genuinely understand your emotions is to spend time thinking through them. Think about where they come from and why do you respond the way you do? Your emotions are the reactions to the world around you and they usually come from somewhere. Situations create strong emotions. Effective leaders with high levels of self-awareness are remarkably clear about what motivates them, what satisfies them, and which situations and people push their buttons.

Week Two EI Bootcamp: Six Success Strategies:

1. This week, watch and observe the ripple effect your emotions have with your team, good, bad, and ugly.
2. Treat your emotional leadership seriously and be aware of the vibe you put off.
3. Feel the link between how you feel physically and how you feel emotionally. (Rest, eat to win, and exercise.)
4. Know what and who pushes your buttons and remember “Calm” is your key word.
5. Feed on a healthy mind diet of audio books and music that creates a positive mood.
6. Watch yourself in the mirror. Ask during every meeting, client exchange, and personal relationship encounter, “What is the message my emotions are sending? And how are these people responding to me?”

“Debbie, one final thing: no one has this mastered. And this is not anger management. It is understanding the critical link between taking your amazing knowledge and skills and leveraging your emotions for the best possible results! Emotional intelligence is leadership intelligence.”

Week Three of Bootcamp: Emotional Self-Management

Emotional Intelligence Boot Camp

“Steve, you have seven weeks to turn Debbie around.”

EI Boot Camp is a little quieter

The grim-faced senior leader at one of Microsoft’s most prestigious organizations had just commissioned me to coach a key member of their team, Debbie (name changed to protect privacy). The Commission: A crash course on Emotional Intelligence.

Debbie had been identified as an emerging leader, a rising star, with exceptional intelligence and a rare ability to present and communicate strategy. Just in her early 30’s, she was on a fast-track to becoming a real player and to providing leadership in the new roll out of business.

Unfortunately, on her way up to greater influence she began to sabotage her success. Her flaw? During times of pressure, she tended to jump to judgment and cast blame. Often, when her opinions were not embraced, her language (especially body language) communicated a lack of respect with almost a sulky attitude at times. It was impeding her true influence as a promising leader.
So here I was in a conference room with Debbie and seven weeks to turn it around.

What follows is an outline of Emotional Intelligence Boot Camp:
This is a turnaround story

#1: Emotions Drive our Behavior
They also determine performance levels and our leadership scope of influence.
The tip of the iceberg represents out behavior, performance, and leadership. A full 80% is under the surface. That submerged portion is our emotions.

Tip of the Iceberg --- Image by © Ralph A. Clevenger/CORBIS

What I shared with Debbie in week one was: Emotions can help you and they can hurt you, but you have no say in the matter until you understand them. Their influence can impact you and those you attempt to lead.Your IQ, your intelligence, and your technical skills got you in the game and hired at a world-class company. However, it will be your Emotional Intelligence skills, things like Self-awareness, verbal and non-verbal communication, collaborations, and empathy that will determine your success!

This week:
• Start observing your own emotions, your moods, and your attitudes. Observe how they influence you and those around you. Really study yourself.

• Each day rate your emotional wholeness (0-10) and watch how that links to that day’s performance and personal leadership.

• Start respecting your emotions and understand the impact they have on you and those you hope to influence.

Emotional Intelligence Trait of the Week: Self-Awareness
For 12 Self-Awareness Tips, visit the “Resource Tab” for a FREE download!  

Next Week: The Power of Self-Awareness

Wait, That Wasn’t a Love Letter

photo credits: thesertaysphotoz

Remember those days when we used to write each other little love notes and send them to each other or leave them in places around the house where we knew our love would find them? Remember the smile on your face as you wrote them? Remember the smile on your face when you found one?

While I was attending college in Los Angeles finishing up my senior year, my soon-to-be wife, Julie, was in Portland, OR working at a stock brokerage firm. This was before the internet. This was before cell phones. Back in those days, we spoke to each other every Sunday evening.

photo credits telstar

My pockets would jingle with coins as I crammed myself into a little tiny phone booth near my house. We had to limit our conversations to 10 minutes. Oh, those were the days! In addition to our rushed conversations, Julie would write me little love letters every week. Each day I would run out to the mailbox to see if a new card had arrived. It warmed my heart and reminded me that in a few more months we would be married love-birds living together in a two bedroom apartment…

Remember that raw emotion of being in love, feeling in love, falling in love…

Now, fast forward to a couple of weeks ago. I recently received another letter. This one was not a love letter. Instead, it was a critical business letter. It was three pages exactly, single spaced, typed. This letter was full of high-voltage, in your face, no holding back emotion. There’s no need to go into the gory details so let’s just say that there was some truth in the letter but mostly it was over the top.

Bottom line, I read the letter and was immediately emotionally hijacked big time. And I thought to myself “The ­­­—- with Playing Big!” I needed instant gratification, some good old retaliation! I went to grab my cell phone… it was on… this was it… if that’s what he had to say to me, this is what I was going to say to him… let’s get ready to rumble!

Luckily, Julie was around and she grabbed my hand and reminded me “Steve, you’re emotionally high jacked!” I was shaking, sweaty, and even blood was coming out of my eye sockets. I said calmly to my Julie, “let go… I need to call him now!”

She was now pleading with skills of a hostage negotiator. She wanted me to rethink the decisions I was about to make. “Give it some space, Steve! Please don’t ruin a relationship you have worked to build for over ten years.”

I finally relented and let go. I gave her the letter and the cell phone. I waited three days. I needed those three days. Eventually, we invited the letter writer and his wife over for a dinner. We really did. I reached out to him and managed to Play Big. Actually, Julie truly Played Big and pulled me along with her. The result of that dinner was a rescued relationship. We sorted through some misunderstandings. And I am pleased to report that nobody was injured. I didn’t sabotage myself and I didn’t insult him. Our relationship was saved by my disengaging temporarily so that I could re-engage effectively and more powerfully.

photo credits: skinny ships

(You may remember the last post about emotional high jacking. This was a very different type of situation. Instead of being scared for myself and my home, I was furious at an accusation. However, both situations required that I become aware of myself and force myself to act in a way that would be the most beneficial to the long-term outcome.)

A big part of Playing Big and Emotional Intelligence is SELF-AWARENESS and EMOTIONAL SELF-MANAGEMENT. Bottom line: you need to Play Big and stay smart in our relationships

Playing Big Tips when you receive a Non-Love Letter:
Characteristics of Your PLAY BIG SELF

  • Does not jump to judgment
  • Remains calm during challenging times and relationships
  • Pauses to reflect before reacting immediately
  • Doesn’t put self-imposed limits on what is possible
  • Has ability to be present and engaged
  • Understands how emotions affect behavior
  • Can see from another’s frame of reference
  • Can admit when wrong
  • Accepts the small-self in themselves and works to improve

Note: There are some vital relationships your personal and professional life that will require you to Play Big. Stay smart and you’ll succeed in the end!


Steve Gutzler provides business and peak performance coachings, trainings, and key notes focused on Playing Big and building real results in your professional and personal life. He also focuses on “Emotional Intelligence for Extraordinary Leadership,” perfect for sales meetings and team trainings or events. Find out more information at Stevegutzler.com or contact Steve directly.

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