Three Ways Building Your EQ Changes Mental Models

Emotional Intelligence (EQ) is a relatively recent discussion point in leadership development. Today we are talking about three ways to build EQ within leadership mindsets and positively shift our mental models (which we use each time we develop policies and procedures). Did you know our mental models are so powerful and deeply ingrained we are often not even aware of them?Several years ago, when I managed a private school, I had a teacher, Miss Sharon. She started off great and over a short period of time, became a problem employee. I had complaints from parents and other teachers about Miss Sharon.  Eventually, I had to let her go and learned a lot of tough lessons in that experience.Years later, across the country, and in a different industry, I was interviewing for a marketing assistant. I had an interview scheduled with a woman named Sharon, and I almost fell off of my chair when she came in for the interview and was the complete image of Miss Sharon. It could have been her twin.My immediate, almost visceral response was to dismiss her from consideration even before we began talking. Luckily, I was aware of my mental model around Sharon. We completed the interview and I hired her. She was an amazing assistant to me for several years and broke my barrier of my limited mental model thinking. Had I not been aware of my own mental model around Miss Sharon, I would have missed out on a phenomenal employee.Keep this story in mind when watching today’s video to learn three ways to shift those mental models and “think outside the box.”Remember, our mental models are the ways in which we view the world, our own personal lenses, and filters.  These filters, lenses, or mental models created throughout our lifetime, influence the way we understand events, including communication.  Our mental models, developed through our life experiences, location we grew up, religious background, birth order, number of siblings, and education; all of these contribute to our own, unique way in which we view the world.The danger of not being aware of our mental models is that our ability to leap to assumptions and make decisions and conclusions based on those mental models can be destructive or harmful to our organizations.Once we do become aware of our mental models, we can make a conscious choice to change some of our lenses.  We can choose to take a step to the left or the right and have a different view, a different perspective, and a broader perspective.The beauty in all of this is to not only just recognize the mental models in ourselves, but to also recognize the mental models of our team members and those with whom we communicate.As always, I love to hear from you. What are some mental models you are aware of that have held you back? What beliefs have your formed from your experiences?With love,Maria