The Big 3
There are three elements within the EQ-i that highly correlate with each other—Self-Regard, Self-Actualization and Optimism. This conceptually makes sense. If I have high Self-Regard, I like myself and bring to my interactions a sense of self-worth and confidence. Confidence allows me and even leads me to walk into goals with a sense of positive energy. “I can do this. I have the ability and power to make this work.” This goal-oriented self-confidence is Self-Actualization, and it requires a positive sense of the future, where any goal comes to fruition, and this is Optimism. It is natural for these three EQ elements, while each quite separate, to tend to vary together within the EQ-i.
Something that these three EQ elements also have in common is a difficulty—in coaching, training and development efforts—to strand them up or increase them in people in whom they are lacking. It is challenging to developmentally “move the dial” on Self-Regard, Self-Actualization or Optimism directly, for you need a good foundation of each of them to do most developmental work on any of them. For instance, you need at least a baseline of Self-Regard, to see yourself as a worthy person, to even agree to do work to deepen your self-opinion. You need to be able to set and move toward goals to work on your Self-Actualization, and you need to have at least some hope for the future to believe any work you are doing on Optimism might work.
The Power (and Wisdom) of Mis-direction
One great tool in the hands of anyone coaching, training or facilitating EQ development work is the fact that this EQ trio of elements—Self-Regard, Self-Actualization and Optimism—is so deeply connected (to each other and to every other EQ element). These elements are so woven throughout the entire EQ-i model that working on almost any other EQ element will have the tangential benefit of boosting these three as well.
For instance, setting a goal to be more Flexible and working on it will boost Self-Actualization (goal focus) while also offering proof that the future can unfold positively (Optimism), both of which boost self-esteem (Self-Regard). Emotional Intelligence increases notably on many fronts with focused effort in only one place.
One of the best ways to exercise the toughest EQ elements (Self-Regard, Self-Actualization and Optimism) is to work almost any of the others, and have these three come along for the ride.
For a deeper dive on Emotional Intelligence and its application, consider OKA’s EQ Workbook, by Hile Rutledge,
and learn more about OKA’s EQ-i Certification classes.
OKA can also support your team or program with Emotional Intelligence workshops (online or onsite), 360 assessment programs and individual coaching.
Other Blogs in this Series
This blog is Part of a 7-part series of EQ surprises and tips. Below are links to the other titles in the series. Enjoy the exploration.
- EQ Surprise #1 — There is no Emotional Intelligence on a Desert Island
- EQ Surprise #2 – Forget Your Emotional Intelligence Scores
- EQ Surprise #3 – The EQ-i Shock Block
- EQ Surprise #4 – EQ Deficiencies are Hard to Work On
- EQ Surprise #6 – You Can’t Dial Back and Overdone Strength
- EQ Surprise #7 – Small Changes in Behavior Make Big Differences in EQ