24 May A story of success
I haven’t done the maths yet but there must be countless books and articles written on the subject of ‘success’ and how to achieve it. I assume I am correct in that the measure of success must be personal to each of us and likely to be governed by our individual goals: do we strive for more personal income and all the material possessions that it can bring? Are we driven by status and titles, both socially and at work? Do we measure success by a bucket list of achievements or by our social media ‘likes’?
A number of staff at JACE have recently embarked on a course of study around Emotional Intelligence or EQ as it is commonly known. EQ is the ‘sister’ of IQ (Intelligence Quotient) or our academic ability and is often described as the practise of being ‘smarter’ with our emotions. It is being recognised more and more as an indicator of an individual’s ability to reach their goals or their chance at being their best selves and therefore successful. It transpires that emotions can drive our responses to situations and so naturally, if we become ‘wound-up’ by something or someone, we may react and respond in a way that might not best serve our ultimate purpose or goal. The trick appears to be having an awareness of this and recognising our own trigger points, so that we pause and reflect before allowing little irritations to spoil our rationale thinking. (If in doubt, count to ten before doing anything!)
I’d like to think that this training fits with our company values of being understanding; innovative; and inspirational. We are seeking a greater understanding of this to help our individual performance at work and in our wider community; we believe that we are innovative to trial such training, which is a relatively new phenomenon; and we are looking to be inspirational by passing on our learnings to our students, to aid their performance.
Despite having just begun the course, I have already learnt much. For example, the brain is a muscle that can be improved through exercise, whatever our age (thank goodness!) and that there are many ways in which we can help to improve our EQ. For example, ensuring a good sleep pattern; healthy nutrition with regular meals (so that we don’t become ‘hangry’); together with good exercise of both the body and mind. Showing empathy and giving to others can also have a very positive impact on the part of our brain that develops our EQ. Alarmingly, studies have shown that our EQ has been falling across the world in recent times, due in part to the complexities of modern life and the bombardment of information that our brains are being asked to absorb.
The course has also shown that as individuals ‘develop’ they start to turn away from seeking material possessions and are driven to act by a more noble or higher cause. I have recently been fortunate to discover first hand that this need not be an age-related matter. JACE Training has established a formal link with a registered charity, the CoCo’s Foundation, that supports orphans in remote villages in South Africa, through programmes of house building; education; and provision of basic foods and clothing. This year, we are offering one of our students the chance to join an expedition to South Africa to help build a new home for such a family.
A number of our students have applied but sadly, we are only able to offer a single place on this potentially life changing trip. We have just completed a round of interviews for selection and have simply been amazed by the level of maturity, seemingly beyond their years, that these young adults possess. Each has shown a passion for wanting to help others that can surely only be borne out of a higher or noble cause. Their EQ levels do not seem to be in doubt. I have a hunch though that the trip, which is largely based around helping others; being placed in an environment that is far simpler than we are used to; and showing empathy to the plight of the orphans, will improve EQ levels even more. In the meantime, the difficult task of selecting the successful candidate is certainly testing both the EQ and IQ of our judges and so back to our training notes!!
Watch this space for an announcement on the winner soon. If you wish to learn more about the trip or how JACE works to support and develop the skills, behaviour and knowledge of each of our learners, then please visit our website or call into one of our Training Centres.