Monday, March 18, 2013

What Do Elmo, Colbie Caillat, and Daniel Goleman Have in Common?

"When your monster wants to throw things and your monster wants to shout, there's a way to calm your monster, and chill your inner monster out."  We laugh when we play this for our young child and the cute little Elmo turns into a monster and we dance with our little one when Colbie Caillat melodically sings "Belly Breathe."  Toddlers are notorious for meltdowns.  All the research says it is because they don't have the words to express their feelings and guide the parents to stay calm.

But what about when you are at work and YOUR monster wants to throw things?  The Emotional Quotient Inventory (EQ-i), a popular emotional intelligence assessment, includes Emotional Management and Regulation as one of composite scales with Stress Tolerance and Impulse Control as subscales.  In other words, how well can you chill your inner monster out?

In his book Emotional Intelligence, Daniel Goleman, posits that 20 percent of an individual's success comes from IQ (which does not change significantly over a person's life) leaving 80 percent subject to other things, including Emotional Intelligence (EQ or EI).  Goleman believes that a person can train his or her brain to increase Emotional Intelligence.  While he believes this training is easier during childhood he acknowledges the brain can be retrained at any age.

But is it really as easy as Colbie says?  Do we just have to breathe?

How do you chill your inner monster out?