Collaborative Intelligence
    Volume 13    Issue 6    November 2006

Are You Lucky? It Matters!
by Marcia Hughes

Are you lucky? The answer is a reflection of how well you use your mind, and it matters a great deal. So how does your mind affect your life? Just what is your mind? How effectively are you using your mind? Excitement about learning how we use our thinking and decision-making capacities was a hot topic at the recent International Coach Federation (ICF) Conference.

Whole mind thinking resides at the core of all Collaborative Growth trainings. By that we mean connecting all your neurons – tapping into all your wisdom. Typically we refer to the HMG Connection – integrating your head, heart and gut wisdom. You're familiar with thinking in your head – that's where your brain is, we're learning a great deal about the brain and how to use it well and the potential is thrilling. But don't stop there! How about your heart? There are so many neurons around your heart that the folks at HeartMath refer to it as the second brain. Then the power house, in terms on number of neurons, is in your gut. This source of wisdom is also referred to as intuition or as your belly brain.

Our booth at the ICF Conference demonstrating our emotional and social intelligence (ESI) offerings was a popular spot as ESI is a powerful approach for helping us understand our current and potential use of our whole mind. We find the BarOn family of EI instruments speaks well to the right and left sides of our brain and then creates pathways to use all our wisdom. According to keynote presenter, Daniel Pink, author of A Whole New Mind , this is critical to be successful in our transforming world. Pink emphasized that our rational left brain is essential for success, and we're now moving into the age of increasing right brain demands. Working with the EQi® as well as another of our favorite instruments, Emergenetics® , provides the privilege of helping our clients exercise their whole mind strengths.

Daniel Pink emphasized the importance of four key skills - empathy, meaning (“we're in a significance economy”), story and play - as pivotal parts of our new economy. The EQi speaks to our left brain with its amazingly well crafted questions which provide data and measurable levels of our current capabilities. The skills measured by the EQi match well with the four areas he listed, and your right brain will love it. Empathy is highlighted directly, self actualization is a score which reflects the meaning we develop in our lives and pulls together several of the 15 EQi skills, story is a fascinating function of our ability to apply what we call our emotional literacy - our ability to read ourselves (emotional self awareness), read others (empathy) and read the environment (reality testing). Finally, fun – well that's measured by the happiness score and reflected in self regard and optimism.

Are you lucky is a question Pink said he learned from a colleague who always uses it as a part of her hiring practice. Someone who views him or herself as lucky is optimistic, one of the 15 EQi skills. One of our colleagues recently said that the EQ analysis performed at their very large company has led them to decide that optimism is the price of admission to be hired.

James and I have been emphasizing for years that optimistic people achieve more, will hang in longer when a task is difficult and live longer. Optimistic people are more influential because folks like to hang out with them more.

Now here's where the exciting work with ESI comes in – you can grow any skill that's important to you! Don't get me wrong, it takes real desire on your part if you want to accomplish sustainable behavior change. Is now the time you're ready to grow your optimism, enhance your empathy or expand meaning for you or your company? There's a good chance your right brain is engaged with the possibility these questions offer. As the authors of Emotional Intelligence in Action , we are deeply experienced in developing the right strategies to bring the right and left sides of your brain together with your heart and gut wisdom so your organization and your personal life work even better. You can make changes!
Be optimistic!


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