“You can’t stop the waves from coming…but you can learn to surf.” More than just much needed warm imagery for those who braved a recent frigid January morning, these are career-enhancing words to live by according to Dr JP Pawliw-Fry, co-director for the Institute for Health & Human Potential, and guest speaker at our first PMCQ meeting of 2003.
The psychological basis for this concept is “emotional intelligence” (EQ), a process by which practitioners use self-awareness and self-assessment to become high performing leaders. The premise is that by choosing a career for which we have passion, along with learning how to manage our emotions along the way, we are on track to be at the top of our field. Interestingly, he says that IQ and technical skills are actually poor predictors of star performers, and that EQ is where we find “our edge” in order to grow in our professional development.
Pawliw-Fry also made a strong case for the importance of being able to let go of those moments that, if we allow them, define who we are. For example, baseball player Bill Buckner, who let a routine play roll through his legs, costing the Red Sox the World Championship, refused to let this moment determine his worth and went on to become a business success. Another ball player, a pitcher, gave up the winning run and later committed suicide, unable to shake the “loser” moment. Both are poignant examples of our ability to choose whether we surf the waves or let them overwhelm us.
If you want to determine your EQ, answer these three questions:
The answers to these questions decide whether you see yourself as a failure or resilient in the face of setback.
Senior Partner at Tamarind Healthcare Communications.