To create the Leaders of tomorrow we must look to the teenagers of today and invest on their emotional intelligence.
I recently read an article by Marc Brackett and Diana Divecha in the Harvard Business Review and their findings where quite impressive. They concentrate mostly on the youth of the United States but my opinion is that their conclusions can be incorporated on young people worldwide.
“If the U.S. is going to remain competitive in an increasingly global business environment, we need a future workforce that’s prepared. But the reality is that the youth who will be tomorrow’s innovators, educators, politicians, and business professionals aren’t ready to meet such competitive expectations — not so much because they’re untrained, but because they’re unequipped emotionally. To be competitive in the future, business leaders need to do something about this today.”
Based on the American Psychological Association the rate of psychopathology in teenagers is 5 times that of 75 years ago. Many teenagers experience anxiety attacks, intense depression, obesity, binge drinking and unhappiness. These are the kids who will be asked to enter the work force and occupy strategic positions in the world economy, they will lead us into the 21st century.
How people manage their emotional skills matters in the world of economy. Nobel Laureate James Heckman writes:
“Investment in the education of children’s “non-cognitive” skills — like motivation, perseverance, and self-control — is a cost-effective approach to increasing the quality and productivity of the workforce.”
The Yale Centre for Emotional Intelligence published an article recently about how organisations and large companies now prefer those candidates with an MFA rather than an MBA. PepsiCo offered workshosp to their managers to improve their Emotional Intelligence and saw their revenue increase by 40 %. Stanford Graduate School of Business offers courses like “The Art of Self Coaching” which draws on from the latest emotion science, positive psychology and mindfulness training.
Emotions matter. Emotions are the fuel we use to achieve our goals. If they are blocked, they become toxic and start “eating you inside out”. All emotions come from the same place, which means that if you have numbed pain for some reason, you most likely have numbed joy too. All emotions are useful; both the positive ones like love, joy, excitement and the negative ones like fear, anger, sadness. If you are in a dark alley and two strange men approach you, you need to experience fear. Fear will send adrenaline and blood all over your body so you can either fight or flee. In other words fear will help you survive. If on the other hand you are about to give a presentation, enter a meeting or go to a job interview and you allow fear to take over- that will not service your goal. It will paralyse you.
In The Los Angeles Method Workshops we explain that there are five emotions in which you need to be very good at and be able to manage them, instead of them managing you. These five emotions are
Using Acting Exercises you are able to identify them, perceive them, understand them and manage them so they can service the goals you set for yourself.
If you wish to work on your Emotional Intelligence find activities that will help you tap in your emotions and understand the connection between them and your behaviour such as acting workshops, singing lessons, painting, dancing, coaching.
Once you work on your Emotional Intelligence you will be able to manage stress and stay cool. You will gain the ability to be assertive and express difficult emotions when necessary, you will be able to stay proactive instead of reactive, you will be able to bounce back from adversity.
“I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”
— Michael Jordan
Most of all you will be able to express intimate emotions in close, personal relationships and create bonds that last for a lifetime.