The Importance of Emotional Intelligence: Making Subtle Distinctions www.scotconway.com Big, obvious feelings are easy to Perceive (the “P” in PUMU*). Most people can tell when they feel what they think is Anger or Hurt. Sometimes they can tell when they feel Fear, if they are willing to admit it. Even basic feelings can get complicated by feeling more than one of them at once. Due to lack of training, many people fail this basic test of Emotional Intelligence. Develop Emotional Intelligence by learning to make subtle distinctions. This is beyond the present skill of most people. Doing it requires a level of understanding emotions that is beyond all but the most intuitive or people specifically trained for it. Anger means a personal rule has been broken. Frustration means you feel you’ve done your part to produce a result, but the result isn’t happening. If you know the difference, you can refine your strategy to be multiple times more effective. If you have Genius level skill, you can even tell when you are feeling BOTH Anger and Frustration. At Genius level, you can look to a situation and know what parts have you angry and what parts have you frustrated. Then you can be strategic in how you approach each part. Fear is another one that many people miss, surprisingly enough. Part of it is an unwillingness to admit we’re afraid. There are many uses of low-grade fear when we learn to understand the emotion properly. Meanwhile, we learn special code-words to hide the fact we’re feeling fear. “Stress” is a common one. We may talk about “concerns” or “difficulties.” When we understand that Fear means “Something’s Coming; I’m Not Ready,” it gives us a whole new level of insight. We can look very concretely at our “stress,” “concerns” or “difficulties.” What, exactly, is coming? What, exactly, would it take to get ready? What can we do about it? There are lots of options that become easier to see when we understand. For subtle distinctions, Genius level performance can distinguish between Fear, Inadequacy, and Self-Doubt. Inadequacy means “I’m Not Enough.” Self-Doubt means “I Do Not Know That’s True” when it comes to evaluating whether or not you can do something. Let’s take a quick look at how you approach each of these differently. For pure Fear, you look at what’s coming and whether or not you’re ready. Then you decide if it is something you should avoid or something you can get ready to do. With Inadequacy, it is more of an identity shift than a particular skill. You can get ready for the individual thing which would deal with the Fear, but not the Inadequacy. You need to work to gain more than just a set of skills for one particular activity. You need the breadth of skills for a role. For Self-Doubt, that really is only supposed to prompt questions. However, we often misunderstand the message and lose all faith in ourselves. The gateway to an unshakeable faith is through Doubt. The most confident people often got there through the feeling of self-doubt, or they skipped the feeling and went straight to the proper questions of self- doubt. When you ask the right questions and really answer them, you should discover exactly what you can and cannot do. If you are lacking in particular skill sets, you know exactly what boost you need to handle what you need to handle. The differences are subtle and important. Most people don’t even know what to do with the major emotion of Fear. For those people, any distinction beyond that is meaningless because they wouldn’t know what to do with it anyway! For someone trained in the Language of Emotions, the Action Plan for Fear will be helpful for all of them. The more precise Action Plan for Inadequacy and Self-Doubt are even more powerful. For the Emotional Genius using the Language of Emotions, the distinctions become useful. The human mind has a dramatic ability to learn to make distinctions it recognizes as useful. Thus PERCEIVE in PUMU depends in large part on Understanding (the first “U” in PUMU). Understanding makes the distinctions meaningful. When the distinctions become meaningful, we can make them more easily. You Reverse Engineer from Understanding to Perceive to make the subtle distinctions. * PUMU: Perceive, Understand, Manage, Use. These are the four basic skills of Emotional Intelligence. Those who are naturally gifted do so intuitively. Those who are trained well do so by skill. Training can make up for a lack of natural gifting. In fact, the well-trained person can easily exceed the Emotional Intelligence of the intuitive person. A portion (and only a portion) of those with Master and Doctoral level education in therapeutic sciences will develop their skills to this level. A simple, clear system like Language of Emotions can produce genius level skill with less training time than a single college course.