Emotional Intelligence Beyond EFBC

Emotional Intelligence (EI) is at the core of everything we do. Ask any EFBC member and they will tell you, “EI isn’t about being emotional, but being intelligent about your emotions.” It’s a valuable skill that, when used with EFBC protocols, can bring about endless opportunities. Whether it’s a conversation, a conflict, or a negotiation, EI skills and protocols can turn these moments into an opportunity to connect. At EFBC, we don’t just talk the talk. We put our EI skills and protocols to use. But what about beyond EFBC?

This month, we asked some of our EFBCers to share how they’ve used the EI skills and protocols they’ve learned from EFBC in their daily lives. As a business owner or team member, a spouse or parent, or even a friend, these EFBCers are sharing how EI has helped them become better listeners and communicators outside of EFBC.

I have greatly reduced the advice-giving I would have otherwise provided to my friends and family. This has been difficult for me, as I have been raised by parents that show their love through advice-giving, and I have had to change my habits that I have mimicked for decades. EI skills learned through EFBC programs and protocols have provided me 1) the awareness to understand the challenges with providing advice and 2) the tools to offer assistance in other ways, namely, shared experience.

The protocol I use the most, by far, is to put myself in others’ shoes. I consider myself a good listener but putting myself in someone else’s shoes elevates listening to truly feeling what they are feeling. What are they going through? What are they dealing with personally that they may bring with them to work? It helps me make the right judgment calls and the right decisions. And especially with my kids! Thinking back to being a teenager and trying to imagine all that they are feeling and going through makes me a better parent for sure.

  • George Karavattuveetil, President and Founder – Psyched, LLC

Improvement of EI skills has helped with respect to every one of my relationships. Most importantly, to take the time to listen to others’ perspectives, and understand where they are. As a performance improvement coach, I can only appropriately guide a client to a better place only after clearly knowing where they are coming. In a similar fashion, as a parent, I am most effective when I take the time to put myself in the child’s shoes and look at the current situation from their perspective. I have found that there is more value in them recognizing the time I have taken to be present and the effort to understand, more than providing an answer or solution to the immediate challenge.

Learning about and how to use the EFBC Emotional Intelligence (EI) skills and protocols has truly changed my life. It has influenced me in so many ways that it is hard to pick the area in which it has had the most impact.

After much thought, I would have to select how it changed us as parents. When we first learned of and started practicing EI, our two daughters were teens. Those were some rough years prior to EFBC!

After many blowups when giving advice, our older daughter came home with an issue one day and said, “I’ve got a problem with the dance team, but I don’t want solutions right now. I just want you to listen and validate that I am looking at this the right way.” Wow. We knew we had to change.

Thankfully, that was right around the time I joined the CFBC (as EFBC was known then). Employing listening skills was the first step. Instead of interrupting as soon as we thought we had a solution to their issue or problem, we would listen intently with good body language and eye contact. We would also validate their narrative with nods of affirmation and listen to them until they were finished speaking. We would express empathy for their situation. Next, we added in clarifying questions if needed then sprinkled in some shared experiences, not only telling the story and outcome but also adding in what we might do differently if we had the chance for a “do over”.

Voila! The previous outcome of anger, shouting and stomping off to their rooms lessened significantly. The back-and-forth of sharing and caring blossomed. We feel that by subtly employing EI and protocols, the girls were much more likely to come to us with issues instead of keeping them bottled inside until they reached a boiling point.

I am happy to report that they are now 24 and 21 and are on good paths to happy lives. Hopefully, they picked some of this up that they can use once they start families. If not, grandma, grandpa and the EFBC EI and protocols will be there to help!