The primary causes of executive derailment involve deficiencies in emotional competencies.
Read that again. What’s most likely to derail you is not a lack of experience or lack of a technical skill. It’s a lack of emotional intelligence. So how do you gain emotional competencies? It all starts with presence.
Presence: a noteworthy quality of poise and effectiveness
How does yoga/mindfulness increase presence and help us build EI? Let's examine three core elements of EI.
First, is self-awareness. Yoga/mindfulness ask us to be present and focus intently on only the present moment. This helps us gain awareness not only of our bodies when we move, but also our thoughts as they start to wander and emotions that arise related to those thoughts. This awareness allows for insight, which leads to understanding and eventually mastery.
Second, is emotional regulation. As we gain insight through self-awareness, our ability to emotionally self-regulate increases. We are aware of those de-railers and their triggers, except now we can avoid them before they send us careening down that old behavior path. Staying in the present allows us to choose a different response and therefore a different outcome.
Third, is empathy. Empathy helps build trust and deepens connection. This will improve your interpersonal relationships which means better collaboration with your team and likely improved morale as well.
So the next time you’re at your desk and struggling to stick to the task in front of you, try a short mindfulness exercise, or get out of your chair and do some simple movements or stretches to reset, and come back to the present.
These can also be very useful tools to sharpen your focus and listening skills before a challenging call, meeting, or task.
The good news is that these emotional competencies can be learned! Like anything else, they take practice, and yoga/mindfulness is a powerful tool to help enhance your presence and EI, and in turn your performance.
Click the link below for some quick exercises you can do right at your desk.