It's not all about how smart you are!

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This week, I want to introduce you to the four main components of emotional intelligence. This is a topic that's been coming up so much in my coaching and speaking work, so I wanted to share the nuts and bolts with you.

I'm guessing you might have heard of emotional intelligence before, but I deeply believe it's the throughline that ties together all of the attributes that make lawyers really successful and happy. 

1. Self-awareness: this is all about emotional self-awareness (knowing what you are feeling and why).

2. Self-management: this includes emotional balance, adaptability, achievement orientation, and positive outlook.  

3. Social awareness: this includes empathy and organizational awareness.

4. Relationship management: this includes influencing others, coaching and mentoring, conflict management, teamwork, and being an inspiring leader.

One of the reasons that emotional intelligence is so critical is that it affects so many dimensions of our well-being. If we can't name our emotions, regulate our emotions, practice empathy and social awareness, and inspire others to do the same, it's hard to experience well-being emotionally, socially, or occupationally. 

And for lawyers especially, we have "lawyer brains" (as researched by Dr. Larry Richards). "Lawyer brains" mean that we have ways of thinking that differ in statistically significant ways from the average person: we are more skeptical (not optimistic); we are more autonomous (not always great on teams); we aren't as resilient (not adaptable); and, we aren't as sociable. See how we need to develop our emotional intelligence? When we can do that, we can have greater:

  • Greater effectiveness
  • Better problem-solving skills
  • Improved teamwork
  • Increased emotional health
  • Improved physical health
  • Effective communication
  • Better mentoring and feedback
  • Improved leadership skills
  • More positive culture
  • Reduced attrition
  • And much more!

So while your "smarts" are critical to being able to do the substantive part of your work, your emotional intelligence skills will help really thrive in the legal profession - and the legal profession desperately needs more emotionally intelligent lawyers and legal professionals. You can be one of them!

Want to watch a couple of videos about EQ?

Check out this video to learn why emotional intelligence is such a super power: Emotional Intelligence Superpowers

Here's another one: "6 Steps to Improve Your Emotional Intelligence"