One of the things that makes Emotional Intelligence and the EQ-i so powerful is the platform they give us not just to understand, but to work on and get better at the behaviors with which we struggle. Movies and TV shows can provide great examples of the kind of focus and effort it takes to really learn and to actually change a behavior. Recently re-watching Steven Spielberg’s The Post, I found one of the best examples of someone working toward greater EQ than I have seen in quite a while. Specifically, the movie centers on Katharine Graham’s (played by Meryl Streep) finding her voice and spine as a leader within the Pentagon Papers crisis that swirled within the Washington Post in 1971. The movie displays an excellent and instructive example of someone who is struggling (ultimately, successfully) to find and effectively deploy their Assertiveness.
Assertiveness, within the EQ-i’s model of Emotional Intelligence, relates to your ability and tendency to put your thoughts, needs and opinions into the world–even when doing so brings some push-back or challenge. Finding your spine and using your voice–this requires Assertiveness.
Exercising Assertiveness–Finding Your Voice
Early in The Post, we see Katharine Graham worrying about and struggling to practice finding and using her voice in prepping for a high-tension board meeting. In this following clip, she wants just one more practice session with her close advisor to make sure her voice track is firm and ready. We then see, however, that when the meeting gets underway, that voice–her Assertiveness–are difficult to muster. When we are push for new behaviors, they are often difficult to stand-up and relay upon.
As the crisis grows and the story within The Post unfolds, Katharine Graham, finds another time and place where leadership is called for, and she then brings that Assertiveness with clarity and calm. Watch how–in this scene–she finds and uses her voice. Be mindful of how she moves, uses her body, her gestures, her tone–everything–to draw a line and defend it and to make her opinion and decision known and understood. This is an excellent example of Assertiveness–made all the more powerful when we see the effort that is underway to develop this set of behaviors and muscles.
For more information on how you can work on or practice Assertiveness or any of the EQ-i’s 15 behaviors, visit OKA online at www.oka-online.com. Or click here for specific information on OKA’s extensive offerings on Emotional Intelligence topics and support products.