Pyramid of Emotional Intelligence

I really like this Pyramid of Emotional Intelligence (EI). 


It starts at the bottom with your own personal self-awareness–knowing who you are, including your beliefs, values, priorities, needs, and dreams, and being able to express this. 


Next level is your personal self-control–being able to manage your feelings, control your actions, and cope with challenges and adversity. 


Moving to the social level is then social awareness–having a consciousness and respect of others, their feelings, thoughts, motivations, needs, desires, and rights.


Finally, at the top is relationship management–the ability to actively listen and empathize, assert and influence, be patience and unconditionally accept differences, develop trust, give and take, collaborate, and manage conflict.


Most people work on developing these areas of the EI their whole life, and it is definitely a pyramid worthy of the climb. 😉


(Credit Graphic: Andy Blumenthal)

OFNR Communications Model

This is a useful 4-part communications process (developed by Dr. Marshall Rosenberg):


1. Observations:  Tell the other person the behavior you observe from them that is making you uncomfortable. 

When I Observe…


2. Feelings:  Explain how the person’s behavior makes you feel (happy, sad, angry, annoyed, excited, worried, scared, hurt, embarrassed, confused)

I feel…


3. Needs: Describe what you need from the other person (physiological, safety, social, esteem, self-actualization)

Because I need…


4. Requests: Ask them specifically what you’d like them to do.

Would you be willing to… 

It’s a way to make your feelings and needs known and ask nicely what you’d like from others. 


This provides a mechanism to give feedback and work with other people without being confrontational, threatening, dictatorial, or nasty. 


When I see you reading my blog, I feel happy, because I need to try to be a good person and good influence in this world. Would you be willing to share my blog with others? 😉


(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal and Colleague from Work)

You Ended Up In Hell City

So a friend told me something funny.


It was about being given what appears to be a wonderful opportunity, but in reality it’s not all roses. 


In short, it went something like this:

There was an exciting competition and a prize at the end. 
Everyone prepared and worked hard to win it. 
But when the competition was over, what was the prize?
The 2nd place was two weeks in Philadelphia. 
The 1st place was one week in Philadelphia. 


I had to think about that for a second, but that is really pretty funny and true. 


No not about Philadelphia, but about life–that what we often mistakenly want so badly and strive for with all our energies, and then only to find out that it really wasn’t as good or amazing for us and our families as we imagined. 


Yes, very often you set your sights on certain goals to win the competition, but then you find out that the BIG prize (“first place”) is really not something to get excited about, because it’s in Philadelphia!  😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

What Makes Happy

So the same things don’t seem to drive happiness for everyone. 


Some like big jobs and lots of power. 


Others are happier with more work-life balance. 


Some like to pursue lots of degrees and certifications.


Others like to learn on their own and through life experience. 


Some like to travel the world.


Others like a day in nature or at the museum. 


Some like big families and lots of people around them. 


Others like smaller families, close friends, intimacy, or even being more on their own. 


Some like lots of money. 


Other are happy with having what they need.


Some like to be tremendous athletes. 


Other like to just stay fit or maybe are more comfy as “couch potatoes.”


Some like to be very religious and follow all the laws.


Others prefer mindfulness, a sense of spirituality and being a “good person.”  


Some like lots of activities and to always do different things. 


Others are more comfortable with routine and incremental change. 


We all have basic needs, but we also have different values, priorities and comfort zones. 


Happiness isn’t a yes or no answer, but what makes us feel on track and doing good. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

The Beating Of Life’s Drums

So this was some awesome drumming at the Renaissance Festival today.


The beating of the drums was powerful and in a sense mesmerizing. 


It moved the people to sway, to dance, and to feel the power of the moment. 


In life, as they say, we all sort of move to a different beat–our own beat!


Recently, I had the experience to meet someone who was a truly wonderful person, but who came from a very different geographical, religious, and cultural background. 


There just seemed to be so many misunderstandings as a result, and it wasn’t because anyone was being hurtful or a bad person. 


Rather, we were dealing with good people, who just had very different expectations of each other and of life. 


The beat was there–like a heartbeat, but the beat wasn’t in sync, so in the end, everyone decided it best to go their own way in blessing, and find the life that would met their needs and where the beat was going to be in tune for them. 


In a sense, while we are all the same, yet we are all subtly different whether by nature and/or nurture, we come to situations and to each other with different viewpoints, distinct needs, as well as specific ways to satisfy them and grow us. 


Good and bad is beyond the point.  


Two hearts beat as one and that is a miracle when it happens. 


At other times, two hearts beat each other in their differences and maybe in exasperation and finally in sorrow.


The beats are strong and we search for the beats that uplift us, mesh with us, and make us better when we’re together. 😉


(Source Video: Andy Blumenthal)

People Needing People

Hug

My wife always tells me she needs a lot of personal space–she likes time and focus to do “her thing.”

No one nagging, yapping, coming around, asking for things…just some quiet time for herself.

I can appreciate that–we all need time to think, be creative, take care of personal things, and pursue our own interests.

At the same time, people need other people.

When we are done doing our things, we need human interaction, attention, conversation, sharing, touch.

I saw a few things this week that really brought this home:

1) The Netflix show “Orange Is The New Black” about a young woman put in jail and how she handles all the challenges of being incarcerated with literally a cast of characters. But in one scene in particular, she is thrown in the SHU (Solitary Housing Unit) and within about a day, she is hearing voices and talking to someone that isn’t there. Alone, she crawls up into a ball–like a baby–craving someone to come, anyone.

2) Visiting the nursing home today, I saw many old people screaming for help. It is a really nice nursing home as far as they go, and the people apparently weren’t screaming because of mistreatment, but rather for attention–a human being to be there interacting with them. Interestingly, even when the old people are sitting together, they are still yelling in a sort of helpless anguish being alone, only calming down when a family, friend, or caretaker comes over to them, touches their hand or hugs them, asks about their wellbeing, and shows genuine human caring. Yes, they have real physical needs they call out for help for too, but I think even many of those calls for help–too many and too often to all be for actual needs–are just for someone to come around and pay them attention and be there with them.

3) I remember years ago, seeing some parents put their child to sleep at night. But the child wanted their parent to sit with them and comfort them while they drifted off to sleep. But this parent strictly followed the Dr. Spock guidance that you just let them cry it out, and boy did this little girl cry and cry and cry. I said to my wife, this is not the right way–it can’t be. And I myself always fought that the children should be held and comforted when they cried, not forced at such a tender young age to be alone and “self-sufficient.”

While people need time and space for themselves, even the biggest introvert among us needs other people.

In solitary, people can literally lose their mind–alone, scared, desperate, but solitary doesn’t have to be a prison, it can be an emotional and mental condition where people are craving even just a hug from someone who gives a damn.

(Source Photo: here with attribution to Clover 1)

When Requirements Go Awry

When Requirements Go Awry

You may have seen this before–it is a great comic strip on how requirements can go awry.

When you look at how product or service requirements look from each person’s vantage point, it is easy to see how they can be misunderstand, misinterpreted, or misrepresented.

Getting clarity of the tire swing before we start can save a lot of wasted time, effort, and money on building contraptions that no one wanted or needs.

Get the business and technical requirements spelled out in as much detail as possible from all parties; document, document, document; and have the customer approval and sign off on these.

Build to specification, on time, and within budget and make sure it meets the operational mission needs and strategic vision of the organization.

(Source Photo: here with attribution to tamingdata.com)