Tag: Personal Mastery

Improve your Emotional Intelligence

Posted on 02/21/10 by Aidan

I am meeting a lot of people who feel helpless to do anything in this economic onslaught.  As I say to them – “there is always something you can do” – even small things that get you rolling again.

The benefits of high Emotional Intelligence have been well catalogued. Emotional Intelligence accounts for more than 85% of exceptional achievement. While technical skills can be necessary for productivity, these are insufficient to explain the differences between high and mediocre achievers. High performers show emotional intelligence as task complexity increases.

The best leaders have found effective ways to handle their own and others emotions. Understanding the powerful role emotions play in the workplace sets great leaders apart from the rest. Also leaders emotional resonance sets the tone in the group effecting the outlook of all those around him. Having and developing high emotional Intelligence is therefore also key in the area of leadership.

What about our current economic climate? We are seeing the need more and more for Transformational (charismatic, personable, lead from the front)  rather than Transactional (work for reward only) Leadership skills. As always occurs  when things are volatile. And guess what – our friend Emotional Intelligence is even more important and more impactful on Transformational Leadership because its personality led with people skills to the fore.

So what can you do about this? Well you can improve your EQ (Emotional Quotient) through training. You can improve your Organisations EQ through training also – improving their ability to achieve what they need to achieve.

Now thats something you can do.
Talk to these guys www.adeo.ie

Aidan Higgins

Motivate Yourself First

Posted on 10/31/09 by admin

I recently gave a talk before Cavan County Enterprise Boards recent Awards Dinner on the topic of Motivation, with reference to the current economic climate. The reaction to the talk was extremely positive and also the feedback was particularly interesting.

I told the group that there are times I think when we forget the basics and lose ourselves in worry about things we don’t really need. This leads to suffering on a personal level that is not necessary and totally within our own control. Cutbacks and reductions can have an overly negative effect on us if we do not see that often these are necessary to moving forward. Often we attach meaning to things that causes us grief and worry. The way to address this is to sit down and think about what is really necessary at the end of the day and what of those things we worry about  are supports to our Ego rather than to our well-being and happiness.

Entrepeneurs and Small business owners in particular need to remain motivated and optimistic despite the current travails and to influence and motivate those around them as well. Someone once said “Sincerity is the secret – if you can fake that you can achieve anything!”. Well it can’t be faked, the people around you have a good idea whats going on really. So the feeling of motivation has to be real and come from within. Taking action every morning to bring a positive outlook into play by focusing on the positive things in our life can set the mood for the whole day. And bringing it to work influences those around us particularly small business owners.

The folks from Cavan had an interesting perspective. They reckoned the Celtic tiger hadn’t done much for them and so they didn’t miss it. “We never had too much around here anyway” they said and so we don’t miss it either. And this from as chirpy and cheery bunch of people as I’ve met. You know when you see what some have lost in terms of happiness and clarity in their lives its great to see that some have held on to what matters.

Aidan Higgins

Holistic Perspective

Posted on 09/24/09 by admin

Leaders are often able to make judgements and form opinions quickly and so give advice quickly.  This can be a blessing in turbulent times particularly. However a down side of this is sometimes missing or not appreciating others perspectives and not taking them into account when making decisions. There are overlaps here with Emotional Intelligence, Leadership in context and motivation of your team. It is particularly important to take the time, particularly for “black and white” thinkers to look at a problem as a whole and ensure you see the whole piece.

I thought this poem by American poet John Godfrey Saxe (1816-1887) was illuminating. It is based on a fable which was told in India many years ago…….
It was six men of Indostan
To learning much inclined,
Who went to see the Elephant
(Though all of them were blind),
That each by observation
Might satisfy his mind

The First approached the Elephant,
And happening to fall
Against his broad and sturdy side,
At once began to bawl:
“God bless me! but the Elephant
Is very like a wall!”

The Second, feeling of the tusk,
Cried, “Ho! what have we here
So very round and smooth and sharp?
To me ’tis mighty clear
This wonder of an Elephant
Is very like a spear!”

The Third approached the animal,
And happening to take
The squirming trunk within his hands,
Thus boldly up and spake:
“I see,” quoth he, “the Elephant
Is very like a snake!”

The Fourth reached out an eager hand,
And felt about the knee.
“What most this wondrous beast is like
Is mighty plain,” quoth he;
“ ‘Tis clear enough the Elephant
Is very like a tree!”

The Fifth, who chanced to touch the ear,
Said: “E’en the blindest man
Can tell what this resembles most;
Deny the fact who can
This marvel of an Elephant
Is very like a fan!”

The Sixth no sooner had begun
About the beast to grope,
Than, seizing on the swinging tail
That fell within his scope,
“I see,” quoth he, “the Elephant
Is very like a rope!”

And so these men of Indostan
Disputed loud and long,
Each in his own opinion
Exceeding stiff and strong,
Though each was partly in the right,
And all were in the wrong!


So oft in theologic wars,
The disputants, I ween,
Rail on in utter ignorance
Of what each other mean,
And prate about an Elephant
Not one of them has seen!

Old wisdom but current too.

Aidan Higgins

Attitude is a Decision

Posted on 04/30/09 by Aidan

Light through the trees

I was driving through the pouring rain the other day and I was listening to the latest ESRI figures describing the contracting Irish economy and the increasing number of unemployed. As I arrived on this dark dank day at my destination –  a conference –  I walked into the room and the speaker was talking gloomily about Swine Flu and the imminent danger it represented. I was greeted by one of the conference organisers – “You the motivation speaker?” …”Yes” I replied and wondered to myself if I wasn’t up against it on this one….

But no – I thought again about what I was to talk about and I brightened considerably. For I went on to talk about attitude.

And attitude is everything. Some will look out on a rainy day and think “oh what a horrible day” – well no – its not horrible its just wet. We tend to add the adjectives that make stories which drag us into a state of mind that can be hard to get out of. We need to remember that things are as they are. Our reaction to the situation can be either empowering or destructive – but we get to choose which.

Viktor Frankl – a Psychiatrist who was interned in various concentration camps during the second world war wrote that choice was the last of the human freedoms – he tells us that “Even under the most terrible conditions of psychic and physical stress, we, who lived in concentration camps, can remember men who walked through the huts to comfort others and give away their last piece of bread …They may have been few in numbers, but they offered sufficient proof that everything can be taken from a person but one thing, the last and the greatest of human freedoms, to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way of life!” Frankl founded a school of Psychiatry to rival Freud and made an impact all over the world with the theories he engendered from his observations.

Given this truth can we not choose our attitude? I believe so.

Its well known that one can alter state by conscious choice. There are methods which do this such as visualising happy events, or positive outcomes or repeating a mantra which evokes powerful and positive feelings. Once you achieve the new state of mind your (always) subjective perspective can alter too allowing you the freedom and energy to get into positive action.

And we need plenty of positive action right now.

Aidan Higgins

Rediscovering Life

Posted on 01/16/09 by Aidan

If you are looking for “something else” while you ponder the impact of the global downturn on you and others around you and you are perhaps reaching for another set of values – you might do well to get a cup of coffee or two and watch this series of lectures. Here is the first of a series of videos on Youtube of Anthony De Mello which he gave in front of an audience and which was simultaeously broadcast in interactive format all over North America.

De Mellos teachings (from 1989) provide a foundation for, or use the same foundation as, a number of modern teachings on self development as he pulls from a number of the same original texts.  A thoroughly engaging character, Anthony he was a good friend to Dr Dick McHugh who I have mentioned before in terms of the work he does in NLP all over the world.

Any student of self awareness or personal mastery will get a lot from these, however any person with a sense of wonder in this area will also get much from this. From the engaging anecdotes to the wonderful ideas to the warmth of his personality it is a joy. It may even be life changing. As he says himself “I discovered something  a few years ago that changed my life, turned it upside down…let me tell you about it”

No less than the secret of happiness? – Has he got it?
Stick with it through the intro and give him some time then you can decide for yourself.

Happy New Year
Aidan Higgins