The Institute for Social and Emotional Intelligence’s Profile® lists three competencies within the awareness of other-quadrant:
“When dealing with people, remember you are not dealing with creatures of logic, but creatures of emotion.” Dale Carnegie
“The best job goes to the person who can get it done without passing the buck or coming back with excuses.” Napolean Hill
These competencies determine how we handle relationships. If we are able to be aware of other people’s feelings, needs and concerns we can meet the person where they are at and choose strategies to engage effectively. Individuals who do not have well-established awareness of other often come across as indifferent or uncaring, find it difficult to get things done in social settings and often “pass the buck”.
There are various strategies or developmental tips to enhance your awareness of other to improve personal and professional relationships. You have to be willing to take the first step and reach out for support after that we will walk through the process together. Give me a call!
Emotional Self-Awareness is one of three competencies that define an individual's self-awareness and is important to our mental health well being.
Individuals who are able to notice and label their feelings/emotions due to gut-level instincts or reactions is but one part of being emotionally self-aware. Individuals must then be able to take that awareness and connect emotions/feelings to external or internal influences, and be able to identify the impact emotions have on their mind and body therefore performance.
When an individual is emotionally self-aware, they can tell – in the moment - when they are getting upset and articulate their feelings.
People Lacking this Competence
May receive messages from their bodies such as chronic headaches, lower back pain, neck or shoulder pain, heart racing, sweaty palms, anxiety attacks or other signals, but generally don‘t pay attention to these signals or connect them to their source, to what‘s causing these physical symptoms?
Due to being unable to gain insight and information from what their bodies might be trying to tell them they may get irritated, frustrated or angry easily, causing them to treat people in an abrasive way?
Individuals will often feel stressed and out of balance in terms of their life, health, work and family. This may be due to being unable to recognize individuals are asking them to behave in ways that do not match their values, beliefs or goals.
Here is a peek at an exercise that one could use to enhance their emotional self-awareness.
Stop thinking of your emotions as irrelevant or messy.
Our emotions are an essential source of valuable information they are not good or bad they just are. We are biologically wired to have emotional reactions knowing what it is your feeling and why is a great foundation to build self and managment strategies to attain success.
The Institute for Social and Emotional Intelligence© has several different styles of assessments. https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/social-emotional-intelligence-what-good-charlene
A youth assessment utilizes youth-friendly language and is for individuals who have a grade 7 reading ability although I can read questions to youth who have reading challenges. The links assessment is sent to individuals chosen e-mail account and takes 20 – 25 minutes to complete. Results are sent to me to review, I arrange for an individuals social + emotional intelligence© workbook to be printed and schedule a debriefing session to review results and discuss how to utilize the workbook to design developmental plans.
Individual adult profiles are available in personal and professional and use language relevant to the individuals chosen focus. Participants are provided a link to complete the assessment which takes approximately 20 -25 minutes to complete. Results are sent to me to review, I arrange for an individuals social + emotional intelligence© workbook to be printed and schedule a debriefing session to review results and discuss how to utilize the workbook to design developmental plans.
Leadership Group, Team or Family
Leadership Group/Team/Family social and emotional intelligence results are compiled utilizing all profile results – including any 360 multi-rater profiles. This is a free assessment provided to groups of individuals working together to support each other reach objectives/goals.
A presentation of results and a group discussion is facilitated to assist the group agree on developmental objectives, that are achievable and in line with the values, beliefs and mission of the group. Strategies to assist members achieve their individual roles/objectives within the team are also discussed. Multiple workshop or retreat formats are available to assist groups enhance skills.
Goals and Strategies
Teams or families can design individual and group goals and strategies for the next quarter, year or season. If you are requiring individuals to challenge themselves and lean into the discomfort of change the groups culture must accept mistakes as opportunities to learn and grow. Groups need to provide a culture of psychological safety to support individual and team growth to enhance success.
360 Inter-Rater Profile
A 360 inter-rater Social and Emotional Intelligence Profile© provides individuals, human resources and groups incredible data. With 360 profiles individuals complete an assessment of self but they also ask for feedback from others. What is amazing, a 360 profile has no limit on the number of inter-rater participants.
At times individuals are unable to identify how they are being perceived by others and it affects how they behave. If no-one is sharing with you how do you know to even consider changing the behavior. Most individuals struggle to provide effective feedback, here is a link to assist your awareness, https://www.thebalancecareers.com/good-and-bad-examples-of-feedback-2275923
I arrange for an individual’s social + emotional intelligence© workbook to be printed, these workbooks are large as outline all written feedback from your raters. A debriefing session is scheduled to review results and discuss how to utilize the workbook to design developmental plans.
I believe that feedback is a sign of caring!
We need to change the work cultures mindset regarding feedback. Imagine someone cares enough about you to take the time and energy to respectfully share their perspective.
One strategy to change the cultural mindset of feedback is change the ratio. What do I mean by that? Have a 3-1 rule, every corrective feedback conversation needs to be balanced by 3 praise and/or appreciation feedback moments. I know this takes time but this proactive strategy will save you time, energy and money down the road.
Care enough about the well-being of your team or family before you have to intervene due to a crisis!
As you can see there are a variety of assessments to fit your needs. Now that you possess greater self-awareness and potentially other awareness what are you going to do with it? I suggest a growth mindset approach, look into the benefits of coaching and how I can help you attain your goals!
In 2006 I wrote an article titled, “The Journey” for the “Relational Child and Youth Care Practice Journal.” I shared my lived experiences from the perspective of a Residential Child and Youth Care Worker/Practitioner [CYCW/CYC-P] with almost fifteen years of experience, a Correctional Worker diploma and Bachelor of Arts degree. No Child and Youth Care program existed at the Nova Scotia Community College when I entered the Correctional Workers program nor was I aware of group homes or the CYC field. When introduced to the CYC profession, during a practicum, the role provided me with the opportunity to help teens which is why I had entered the Correctional Workers Program. The team, home like atmosphere and power was welcoming. The supervisor at the time saw potential in me and I was hired as a casual.
I was not aware of the costs of caring associated with my career choice; vicarious trauma, compassion fatigue and burnout, as they had yet to be fully recognized or taught to social service employees.
Vicarious trauma effects the fundamental beliefs of a care provider. The individual's worldview/perspectives are altered due to the repeated exposer to traumatic stories, pain, fear, and the terror of trauma survivors in their care. Compassion fatigue, although similar, occurs when care providers do not implement strategies to refuel and reboot leaving them physically and emotionally depleted and burnout is a gradual loss of physical, emotional and psychological resources to deal with stress.
Until I attended a Provincial CYC Conference where Mike Holton presented a workshop addressing the impacts of caring I believed I was a failure and something was mentally wrong with me. I had already experienced the three costs of caring noted, had sought Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, due to depression and anxiety, and was rebuilding my confidence after joining a new team and program. The knowledge was empowering although implementing proactive strategies to prevent further physical, emotional and psychological impacts continued to be a challenge for me as the culture and profession of CYC progressed.
As the CYC field developed, relationship based approaches rather than behavior modification techniques became the focus. I resisted the changing culture of the field as I found comfort in the structure behavior modification approaches provided me. Perhaps I was having difficulty allowing myself to develop relationships with the youth because I could not balance the therapeutic connection. I struggled to find equilibrium between supporting others and looking after self. I decided to take my Masters in Child and Youth Studies at Mount Saint Vincent University.
My goal, to find out why I could not perform my duties as a CYCW/CYC-P without experiencing the negative consequences of costs of caring.
I completed my final thesis presentation January 2015, "Residential Child & Youth Care Workers' Perspectives of Job Stress and Knowledge of Interventions;" my secondary advisor asked me three times consecutively, “Why did you choose this topic?” I stuck to the claim “I wanted answers?” I later concluded that while I did want answers I was also seeking conclusions which would allow me the ability to externalize the problem, a bias I did not note or recognize in my thesis work.
What did I learn from the research examining the extensive effects of occupational burnout?
Personal, cultural and organizational variables have been found to influence the experiences of job stress, as well as, potential preventative and intervention approaches. It has been argued that holistic preventative approaches might assist early recognition and action as ones’ job, organization and personal characteristics impact how one experiences stress (Decker, Bailey, & Westergaard, 2002; Maslach, 1979). Prolonged exposure to stressful job environments erodes the psychological defenses that are used for coping and adapting (Raider, 1989). Individuals may begin to experience burnout consisting of: emotional exhaustion, a lack of satisfaction with work and/or cynical perspectives regarding clientele, if coping strategies are not implemented and practiced (Seti, 2007; Zellmer, 2008).
Organizations can assist individuals in avoiding burnout symptoms by providing employees with balanced workloads, feelings of control in decision making, appropriate reward for work, fairness among employee management relations, similar values and a sense of community. Reflecting on my current organizational structure the organization was providing prevention and management strategies to assist me in avoiding burnout due to job stress. Unfortunately, as I stated before I had already experienced vicarious trauma, compassion fatigue and burnout I needed to recognize and accept the impact of the lingering effects. What did this mean?
The knowledge I attained in my studies indicated that my own psychological defenses, although faulty, were no longer effective in assisting me cope and adapt with the stress I was experiencing. Job stress leading to burnout has been proven to affect the psychological, emotional, and physical well-being of human service employees, organizations’ economic status, and those in care. Physical illness and mental health issues can be costs to individuals who provide care to others, with resulting increases to organizational overhead, and reductions of best-practices.
I had my first panic attack hours after a team meeting. A fellow team member shared information on a few of our former residents. The atmosphere had been relaxed no major issues needed to be addressed and I did not have my emotional shield up. The youth were involved in an underage sex trade ring, a trigger for me. I made it through the meeting and home. I was trying to ignore acknowledging the feelings this information was having on me. I cleaned the house until my partner arrived home. I briefly shared the story my rhythm of speech indicating I was struggling I did not find the release I needed. I suggested I call a friend and fellow CYCW and I was encouraged to do so. When I called, and requested support, the response was immediate we agreed to meet each other.
As I began to walk I was acutely aware of my internal organs were shaking, by the time we met my teeth were chattering, despite my attempts to clench my jaw and maintain control. As we hugged I started to cry I was unable to avoid the emotions surfacing, intense guilt, failure, lack of control, and a lack of purpose. I could not fathom, why we do what we do? I was unable to stop shaking, crying or talking as we walked the neighborhood streets. My friend kept pace, reminding me to breathe, listened, provided safety, understanding and positive words. I felt defeated and lost and later acutely aware my emotional intelligence needed further development. I once again entered therapy to discuss years of repressed emotion. I often wondered, had I received CYC education or entered a professional culture that supported coping strategies and/or interventions, would I have avoided the consequences of the cost of caring?
I do not want to in any way indicate burnout is caused by individual characteristics. I believe the experience of burnout needs to be examined holistically. In my academic studies, I had looked at the organizational structures that may have impacted my experiences with the costs of caring, but I also needed to look within myself.
Personality characteristics do play a role in how one copes with stress and as I reflected, it was evident I had exhibited neuroticism characterized by depression, anxiety or hypochondria, as well as, low self-esteem. These individual variables are linked to all three burnout dimensions (Barford & Whelton, 2010). I lacked the ability to express, identify, understand and adapt to the feelings I was experiencing indicating low levels of emotional intelligence. I placed unique pressures on myself and others due to a naïve view of job expectations and client outcomes. These perspectives impacted my self-efficacy as the course of actions required to attain a given goal were often unrealistic and a result therefore unmet. Finally, I did not seek the support I needed not only did I view this as a sign of weakness I was unaware of the risks caring for others can present until the damage was done.
My journey also revealed individual strengths; my desire to invest and be genuine in my professional and personal well-being, my willingness to learn and adapt, my passion to role model and share knowledge with others, an ability to be compassionate with self and to learn from my mistakes. I have a support system in place and I ask for help when I need it.
I no longer wish to blame but rather am committed to educate and support others. Moreover, I have learned that human service workers appear to experience burnout differently than other service sector employees. The empathetic approach needed for relational practice requires is exceedingly demanding psychologically and emotionally (Barford and Whelton, 2010). I am unaware of just how many youth I have had a relationship with during my career but suspect close to two hundred most of which I never have had contact with once they left care. Unfortunately, it seems as practitioners we only hear about the youth who remain in the system – and this ‘contact’ is typically expressed negatively.
Our Shit Pile
I found new meaning to my lived experience, academic studies and personal reflective practice at a CYC conference with Thom Garfat and Andy Leggit. During the conference, a point was made that our culture /society’s greatest addiction is talking about our problems. As a CYC I see this in the interaction between youth as they share the badges of honor that define dominance, often in the bad choices department. These labels or disparaging stories make up what I refer to as one’s ‘shit pile.’
Connecting this observation with my own experience, choices and academic study then, leads me to ask: “Where is the positive psychology movement in our daily lives? And how might the positive strength lens impact burn out? During our work, meetings, conference work ... what do we talk about? Do we engage in gossip? How do we define ourselves to others? Are we alert to opportunities to share our joy, hope and positive encouragement?
Understanding theory in context, as a CYC instructor, provided me the opportunity to expand my awareness and therefore my growth. Inserting self and practice into the academic examination of burn out has enabled me to position myself actively as an agent rather than a victim. In previous articles, I noted that attitude “is a choice and no one can change it for you, but one’s environment can foster that change.” My practice goal therefore is choose to be a positive force in all areas of life - for myself and for all those who I have the privilege of being in relationship(s) with. As care providers, we need to look after self to effectively look after others; if we espouse the concept of self-worth in practice, then clearly it is not selfish to value our own selves – to do so it is necessary to be well in our own daily lives.
With this article, my goal is to help CYC practitioners to not only acknowledge the need of self-care and self-awareness but also to engage and empower practitioners – encouraging us as active agents able to identify when and to what degree we may need assistance. We all have a ‘shit pile,’ what are you doing with yours? Has it become unmanageable and out of control or are you like a gardener – utilizing shit to sow seeds of growth with awareness and positivity.
We need to deal with our own shit piles and nurture our own goals of well being to aid children, youth, families and communities in establishing their gardens.
Are you better at managing yourself or are you better at handling relationships?
Does your answer change if you alter the context?
The Institute for Social and Emotional Intelligence's© four-quadrant model identifies twenty-six competencies, thirteen competencies determine how we manage ourselves while the other thirteen examine how we handle our day to day relationships. Having an accurate self-assessment of these competencies is important but how do you know your perspectives of self are true? Imagine being able to participate in a twenty-minute computer assessment that will provide you with a reliable and valid analysis of your strengths and challenges?
Intimidating yes, the opportunity to enhance awareness and strategies to grow, empowering!
Prior to debriefing/reviewing a participant's results, I will ask them to examine the following twenty-six skills and identify where they feel their strengths and challenges exist. You can review each of the twenty-six skills listed choose to reflect on your personal or professional relationships. This will take time. Rate yourself from 1 - 10, 1 being your challenge and 10 strength.
Ask a friend/co-worker/supervisor to provide you feedback, even better find two or three. Lean into the discomfort, you will likely feel vulnerable during this exercise thus why it is important to create a psychologically safe environment. As a coach, I can facilitate individual/ couple/family/group/team awareness and assist each achieve health + wealth success.
How did you do? Are you interested in discovering how self aware you are? Be empowered and give me a call!
My mother, a sibling of fifteen and mother of three became a, Registered Nurse (RN). Her medical and familial wisdom enabled her to be aware of and support early intervention allowing me, to not only to survive but thrive with dyslexia. The school system also assisted I am unsure if I would have fared so well if I was entering the current school system.
My mother kept every document provided by our school system from 1977 until I graduated, report cards, pictures, and acknowledgments. The handwritten notes from teachers clearly outlined my progress or lack of. My grade primary report identified my inability to learn the alphabet or correct the direction of certain letters and numbers. Despite this assessment, I was provided a pass into grade 1 and spent the majority of my time in the resource class with several other kids requiring learning assistance.
My older brothers had been in the school system for several years before my first day and their accounts were not positive. Being labeled, “retarded” and “stupid,” beaten and bullied, kicked out of school, an ignorant system dictated by educators.
My brothers were not dumb in fact one is a genius. Mom was aware of studies taking place at the IWK regarding dyslexia and my brothers participated. Despite not being able to read or write assessments clearly prove intelligence was not the issue.
My experiences with the school system varied. I was very fortunate that my primary teacher, Mr. Archibald was aware of our families learning challenges and had participated in dyslexia training that past summer. I was quickly assessed and placed in the resource class to focus on my areas of challenge. There was no immersion of students and an individual personal plan (IPP) would not have helped me reach the goals I did.
When I left grade six and entered junior high, I struggled without the added support but I succeeded. My mother advocated for me and permission to drop French was granted. I no longer needed to be humiliated daily because of my inability to pronounce or spell French words. The resource class had been a place of safety to learn without an audience. Kids can be very mean and words do hurt.
When I went to high school, I also learned that having a teacher with an accent made it near impossible for me to comprehend what was being said let alone learn the material. That first semester I received 11%. I spent an extra year in high school attaining my University Preparation Math as I planned to enter Community college and later University.
All educational settings provided me opportunities to become not only more familiar with the various symptoms/challenges of my dyslexia but ways to fit within the various molds our educational systems define.
I was very fortunate to have entered school they year I did, to have adults willing to advocate on my behalf, to receive early intervention outside of a mold I was unable to conform to and to have the resilience to move forward no matter how many times someone told me or implied I was stupid. A lot of action had to occur to get me here and I am thankful for the help and support I received along the way.
What pattern of behavior are you repeating from your early examples of relationship?
The nature versus nurture debate clearly identifies that both influence our behaviors. Nature is defined by our genetics and determined by our biological birth parent’s genetics which has also been influenced by their ancestors. Nurture is the influence of others on self: families, schools, your spiritual group, community, media, government.
We are left powerless in regards to our genetics although we can educate ourselves on the various challenges one may experience from genetic influences and empower self to discover and adopt strategies to live well. Reflection is part of the educational process when examining influences of nurture, as well as an accurate self-assessment.
Today I found myself reflecting on the rituals my partner and I have established. One of the ways we express our love for each other is with a kiss when connecting or departing. There are others of course but this behavior is consistent and has meaning.
My parents had their own rituals, one was the kiss hello and goodbye as well as Dad's lunch box.
While growing up I observed my mother and father engage in rituals they defined for their marriage. As the youngest of three, I was present in the home when dads job did not have him away or working long hours. For years it was not unusual to have Dad arrive home after I was in bed and get up and go back to work before, I got up.
Every time dad came home, he would greet mom with a kiss placing his lunchbox and thermos on the counter. Dad always screwed the top off the thermos, as screwed on tighter than could be managed by mom. Mom would then systematically clean the items and prepare them for there next use. I knew Dad was home if the thermos and lunch box was on the counter, getting up or coming home.
Do you reflect on how your nurture has impacted you? Is there a behavior you engage in because of your genetics (nature) or upbringing (nurture)? Are you sure? Discuss with others or read an article/book on the nature vs nurture debate! If you do you may have a different perspective, thus the great debate.
How is your teamwork and collaboration?
Individuals are engaged in a multitude of teams and each team is trying to attain a goal.
Take a few seconds to reflect on the number of teams you are actively involved in, professional and personal. Can you clearly define the goal of each team? Are there values and beliefs that assist you with group norms? If these answers are not clear have a discussion with team members.
If you don’t know where you are going, you are following others, awareness provides you with the knowledge required to lead.
Teamwork and collaboration are important soft skills to develop. The Institute for Social and Emotional Intelligence® identifies teamwork and collaboration as one of ten management of other competencies in there Social + Emotional Intelligence Profile (SEIP®). Individuals who have a strong teamwork and collaboration competency share several characteristics:
Individuals learn how to effectively collaborate with others toward a shared goal through experiential learning.
In pre-school kids learn how to share and as language progresses collaborate to achieve goals. A group of children may decide to make a sand castle, defined goal. Watch the dynamics that occur in the sand box. Do you see a leader, follower, anyone not focused on the goal, what percentage of the children/team are focused on the task? Does the task get done?
As we grow tasks increase in difficulty, objectives and roles change there are more people in the sandbox in multiple contexts flexibility becomes an increasingly important S+EI© competency to assess and attain.
Awareness of self and other as well as management of self and other skills is key to engage effectively. S+EI® can be enhanced to infinity and beyond unlike intellect (IQ). Each time an individual works within a group successfully, reaching a goal, the behavior is reinforced.
It is important to address unsportsmanlike behavior and provide redirection in either sandbox if you are to reach the group goal.
Individuals who are challenged in environments where teamwork and collaboration are expected may exhibit these characteristics:
Being able to identify these debilitating team behaviors and engage in difficult but caring conversations with a group member is essential.
Sometimes a fellow team member who has a positive relationship may be able to help a co-worker but often outside support is required.
I can assist you overcome challenges! Want to explore what that may look like, contact me.
“Imperfect Perspectives" will consist of written and video format. The writing and videos will be imperfect as I am the composer and director and I am perfectly imperfect! Be genuine, have the hard conversations and be compassionate to self and other. Be empowered!