When the chips are down, do you become a Drama Monster, or do you take a deep breath and find God’s teachings in the chaos?
In other words, what’s your emotional intelligence?
In a recent webcast for Highlands College students, Church of the Highlands Pastor Steve Blair shared 6 essential questions that help us take stock of our EQ. Pastor Steve is an amazing leader and a great student of leadership, and he’s been thinking a lot about emotional health impacts our ability to live in a moment like this and not be overwhelmed by it.
“These kinds of moments don’t create great leaders, they reveal if a leader has been developing over time,” Steve says. “If we lack emotional health, we will not be able to carry on through something like this, but will actually be carried away by it.”
So what does emotional intelligence mean anyway?
As Pastor Steve said, having a great EQ comes from being able to identify, understand and manage your emotions, and to self-regulate when times get tough. It’s something that must be practiced in small moments over the course of your life in order to effectively manage yourself when big moments come along.
Steve advised HC students to think about their emotional intelligence through the lens of 6 questions. Think about them honestly and let God reveal where you can improve. As Steve said, start “messing” with the questions. Tinker with them. Let God speak to you. Commit to working on them a little every day, and recognize this isn’t done overnight.
6 Questions to Gauge Your Emotional Intelligence
- Do I constantly compare myself to others?
Teddy Roosevelt said, “Comparison is the thief of joy.” Be content with God gave you while celebrating what He gave others. Be sure to lead from a place of authenticity, and don’t just mimic what you see in others. Ask yourself: Am I adaptable? Am I resilient? Am I optimistic? As you begin to develop these characteristics you’ll find you won’t need to compare yourself to others.
- Do I have a victim mentality?
This life we are blessed enough to live owes us nothing. What we have stems from God’s grace, so don’t have a pity party when things don’t go your way. Don’t be a victim or blame others. Instead, say you’re going to take responsibility for everything you do, even if it’s something small. For example, if you’re late to a meeting, don’t blame the traffic. Acknowledge you didn’t leave early enough to allow for the unexpected. Surround yourself with people who share a similar attitude.
- Do I need the ‘center ring’?
The celebration of success will come as God sees fit. Don’t let the conversation be about you, and don’t worry about taking credit. Scripture tells us that in Heaven, God will burn up all of our works, and only things done for Him will remain. Don’t be motivated by men’s approval, just by God’s approval.
- Do you know how to say no?
A person who is not free to say ‘no’ is not free to say ‘yes.’ The ability to say no is powerful because it allows you to welcome the things you really need in your life. Sure, sometimes you have to submit to things you don’t really enjoy but that are necessary to finish a season. Learning to say no allows us to make good decisions in the Spirit and to leave room for God’s plan.
- Do I turn into a Drama Monster?
If this is you in a difficult situation, then the thing to do is trust God and look for His peace. Remember Philippians 4:7, And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Tough situations don’t have to rattle us. Don’t be a person who needs the attention of others by falling apart or overreacting. A firm trust in God gives us deep peace.
- Do I know that joy is a choice?
It’s important to understand that we can choose to walk in joy and happiness, even when God lays difficult experiences on our hearts. Everyone has ups and downs, but those with strong EQ will choose joy in the midst of confusion. Make the choice to submit to God, and become the fruit of the Spirit. See the result of God working in you. He is the vine, and we are the branches. When we acknowledge this, great productivity will take place in our lives.
Thank you, Pastor Steve, for blessing our students with your wisdom and your leadership. We are so grateful!
This moment in time presents a rare opportunity for us to really take stock of our EQ. My hope is that our HC students will use these questions to do exactly that as they move further into their ministries. I invite everyone to use these questions in your own lives.
Nothing limits the power of God and His plan for each of us.