Emotional Intelligence is Deliberately Choosing

Sue Hurst

In the New Testament, James gives instructions to weave genuine faith in and around a practical life of integrity. It's is about deliberately choosing our behavior and actions. 

One morning as I was standing at my kitchen sink, I looked out the window and could see a golden light pouring out from the middle of an ornamental shrub way across the backyard near the fence. Since I knew we hadn’t recently installed any spotlights, I went out to investigate.

In the photo above, you can see the golden light was from the leaf on the left. What’s so amazing is the leaf on the left is actually is the same color as the one on the right. Yup, that’s correct…they were both a dull brown. The golden light was produced when rays of sunlight pooled on the leaf creating a beacon that drew me out of the house and across the yard to stand amazed—not by the leaf but by the light that transformed it.

Okay, so what could all this talk about brown leaves have to do with social and emotional intelligence? Well, I’m getting there…

During my certification process with the Institute for Social and Emotional Intelligence, I had a blinding ‘aha’ moment when I realized the 26 competencies or behavioral skills being measured on the assessment were familiar. I knew this person. These qualities described the attributes of my savior, Jesus. As I name a few see if you agree with me: self-awareness, intentionality, empathy, service orientation, integrity, communication, building bonds, mentoring others, innovation and creativity. Does that sound like the Jesus you know?

These competencies are from the 4-quadrant model of the Institute for Social and Emotional Intelligence. These qualities or characteristics are based on behaviors. If you’ve read the New Testament book of James, you’ll see how his instructions to weave genuine faith in and around a practical life of integrity are about deliberately choosing our behavior and actions. This is foundational to increasing His Presence in our life, in growing the behaviors that let Him shine through us.

This year there are several emotional intelligence skills I’m choosing to strengthen. I want to increase the likelihood and frequency of being a brown leaf who reflects and pours forth a golden light. Even as I’ve been writing, Micah Tyler’s song “Different” has been playing on my radio. So appropriate.

Maybe now is the time you’re choosing to be different. Maybe you’ve decided to be deliberately present this year. If you’re interested in setting up a session in which to talk about individual or team strategy, contact me. It’s free and I’d love to listen to your plans and goals.

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