What my Mom Taught me About Emotional Intelligence

I am so fortunate to have my mom close by. She's healthy, active and sharp as a tack at 89 years young (she'd say, "Are you putting that on the internet?").

We've been spending a lot of time together lately, with Mother's Day, her birthday and other family events over the past two weeks. I am like her in many ways: a fun-loving extrovert, a people person.  She's out of the house every day volunteering, pursuing hobbies and having fun.

She knows everyone by name at bingo, church, and even the grocery store. And she knows a little something about them. She knows how to make people feel at ease and to make a connection.

I've definitely learned a lot from her (though she's way better at remembering names than I am!). She was the first person to teach me about emotional intelligence.

Here are three things more things I learned about EI from my mom:

You get more flies with honey than vinegar. One of mom's favorite expressions speaks to how important is it to "be nice." You will definitely get more cooperation and collaboration if you are authentically pleasant, easy-going and "sweet." You can choose to be sour or sweet. You get what you put in. All the elements of EI - self-awareness, social awareness, self-management AND relationship management - are represented.  Smart cookie!!

Mind your Ps and Qs. While the origin of the term is unclear, my mom always gave this advice. It meant to have good manners and be mindful of what you do and say. Clearly self-management. She also said, in a more restrictive tone, "Sit there with two feet in one shoe."

You never know who you'll run into, so be good! If you look beyond the hint of paranoia, you'll see that behavior matters. It's how you behave and treat others when no one is watching that is the true test of character. Take an interest in other people. Try to understand their perspective.

And always follow the Golden Rule.

Emotional intelligence is more than just being sweet! Join me for a 6-week online course that starts tomorrow. Click here for all the details.