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Rational vs. Irrational

rational vs irrational

Today’s reflection stems from my thoughts regarding this past week’s emotional roller coaster.

With people getting attacked for their views, I believe it really emphasizes the idea behind the science of social and emotional intelligence education.

Personally, I have to admit that this past week was hard for me.  Even with all the training I have had in life coaching and emotional intelligence coaching, I unfortunately allowed the whole negative energy to get “in” and affect me in a negative manner.  I can’t remember being so exhausted.

That being said, each experience does broaden our own personal awareness in order for us to use the experience to make future changes to enhance our quality of life.

Based on my conversations with many people, very few seem to have awareness about social and emotional intelligence. I find it worthwhile for this article to focus on what it is and what it can do for individuals and corporate organizations going forward.

Social and Emotional Intelligence is a learned behavior which I believe is the root of individual behavior and our quality of life.

Social and Emotional Intelligence has been defined as:  The ability to be aware of our own emotions and those of others, in the moment, and to use that information to manage ourselves and manage our relationships.

I believe that having an individual strong Social and Emotional Intelligence is so important.

I also believe there is an appropriate level of behavior that people need to exhibit when reacting to any situation, whether personal or in a workplace.  I believe that reactions need to be one of rational expression where we need to consider the whole situation and that we need to consider the ramifications of our own personal behavior.  I believe our behavior and reactions positively or negatively impact our lives and our relationships.

For example, think about explosive behavior in a workplace.  If you have a boss that does not consider all sides to a situation, but just reacts in an explosive manner, how does that make you feel?

This can be applied to any circumstance or relationship including that between yourself and your spouse, your parent, your child, your coworker, a checkout clerk, or that of a person driving a car next to you.

Our reactions are truly important to consider, which brings me back to why I wrote this article which discusses the potential different perceptions of people regarding rational vs. irrational behavior.  I believe we need to become aware of, and have a need for, broad social and emotional intelligence coaching.

In today’s society, I personally do not think we have the filters we used to have for our behaviors.  I also believe we have, as a society, have come to accept less controlled reactions from others.  It has become commonplace for bullying, riots, road rage and mass shootings, and we seem to have become desensitized and have come to expect these occurrences.  Personally, as we are not a barbaric society, I believe that this is step in the wrong direction.

While I do believe self expression is important, I also believe it is necessary to consider the “whole” and that it is the responsibility for each of us to control our reactions to not impede the rights, health, or to negatively impact the lives of others.  Ever hear the idiom “it is a two-way street”?  It may be necessary to consider that compromise is a necessary consideration in our interactions with others.  The problem with this is that we have to recognize how our behaviors and reactions relate to compromise and finding solutions to situations in a manner that is best for all.

I believe a strong social and emotional intelligence is necessary to have a quality of life for not only an individual, but the whole.

The following is an excerpt from the book, Emotional Intelligence written by Daniel Goleman in 1995:   “The emotional lessons we learn as children at home and at school shape the emotional circuits, making us more adept – or inept – at the basics of emotional intelligence.  This means that childhood and adolescence are critical windows of opportunity for setting down the essential emotional habits that govern our lives”.  He noted that hazards await those who, in growing to maturity, fail to master the emotional realm.  He further noted that deficiencies in emotional intelligence heighten a spectrum of risks from depression or a life of violence to eating disorders and drug abuse, and how teaching children the emotional and social skills they need can keep their lives on track.  Mr. Goleman reported that a survey of parents and teachers showed a worldwide trend for the present generation of children to be more troubled emotionally than the last:  more lonely and depressed, more angry and unruly, more nervous and prone to worry, more impulsive and aggressive.

Again, acknowledging that social and emotional intelligence is learned behavior, I advocate for the need for us to learn these necessary skills. Emotional Intelligence is an important component of the Foundation’s PREinvent YOUR Life® program.

During my Social and Emotional Intelligence coaching education, I learned there were 26 competencies that affect our reactions and behaviors that include: Emotional self-awareness, accurate self-awareness, personal power, behavioral self-control, integrity, innovation and creativity, initiative and bias for action, achievement drive, realistic optimism, resilience, stress management, personal agility, intentionality, empathy, situational awareness, service orientation, communication, interpersonal effectiveness, powerful influencing skills, conflict management, inspirational leadership, catalyzing change, building bonds, teamwork and collaboration, coaching and mentoring others and building trust.

I believe that you can build on your emotional intelligence strengths and that, if you have vulnerability in any particular area, it will negatively impact your quality of life and the quality of life of those with whom you interact.

Please feel free to contact me at 631-331-2675 if you have questions regarding social and emotional intelligence.  I would be most willing to discuss your personal situation.

With the knowledge that we are only able to control ourselves, our behavior, our feelings and our actions, I believe it is necessary to start with ourselves to insure a better future.  I believe it is time for us to each be personally responsible for our ability to achieve quality of life.

Just imagine the possibilities.

After all, it is time to enjoy life. It is Time to Play.

Love, Doreen

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Doreen Guma, MA, FACHE, CPC, CLC:

Doreen holds a Bachelor of Science in Management, a Masters in Business and Policy Studies, is a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives, a Certified Social and Emotional Intelligence Coach, Certified Professional Coach, Certified Life Coach, and the author of the book, If I Knew Then What I Know Now, Our Quest for Quality of Life.

Doreen is the founder of the Time to Play Foundation, a 501c3 not for profit organization with the mission and purpose to enrich the lives of others through programs, public awareness outreach activities, events and learning opportunities that further the concept of enjoying life.  The Foundation’s website, www.TimetoPlayFoundation.org, has resources, events and articles for a person to learn what they need to know for a better life.

The Foundation offers an unconventional approach in a non-threatening manner to provide solutions for the life situations that people may encounter.  Working in healthcare since 1987, and with her background in quality improvement, she has followed statistics showing our society’s current evolution to be more “sick and sad”.   She developed the Time to Play Philosophy:  you have to be happy, healthy, have money and a work / life balance for quality of life and believes everyone has the ability to enjoy life.

Photo credit:  https://sophistics.wordpress.com

 

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Honesty and Integrity

Honesty is the best policy

Honesty is the best policyWith this “race for the white house” upon us, I cannot help but think about these two words.

Honesty and Integrity.

I will not be getting political here.  I believe it is up to each of us to have our own beliefs and opinions and our own freedom to choose.

However, as I watch a race where I believe a particular candidate will do or say anything to be elected, I cannot help but think of the power behind these words: honesty and integrity.  I cannot help but wonder when our elected officials stopped being the government by the people for the people as designed by our founding fathers.  Did you ever stop to think how, in just 240 short years since our American revolution, we could screw so much up?  I also cannot help but wonder when becoming President of the United States become such a prize that it no longer represents all people in this great Country.

In the life of my personal family, I taught my children the value of honesty and integrity.  I believe our current political races teach our youth that it is OK to lie to personal advantage.  The whole situation makes me quite sad for the future of our Country.

As for myself, I will NEVER tell someone I am going to do something and not complete the task.  I taught my children not to lie to anyone and that, if you do, in the end, the truth will come out.  I learned these lessons by personal observation when I was young.  I saw the affects of my own relative hurting others by not being truthful (you can read more in my book www.ifIknewthenbook.com to learn more).

I believe it is so important to live in truth.  I believe that truth gives you freedom.

Think about that for a moment….

When someone does not personally tell you the truth, whether it is a spouse, a coworker, a sibling, or your child – how does that make you feel?

Personally, if someone does not act truthful or complete what they say I do feel betrayed and am more cautious in dealing with that person the next time.  However, please note: I learned some years ago to let these feelings go, to forgive the person and move forward.  I learned that the only person hurt while staying in a negative and hurtful situation is myself.  One thing that is most important to consider here is how the memory of the betrayal affects our current and future opinions and actions about that person or a specific situation.  As I personally have stated many times, my goal is to have a nice day, every day, so I can enjoy life.  It’s important to assess and recognize our feelings.  If our feelings are of hate or retaliation, we need to take a moment to stop, reassess, and determine the best way to move forward to insure a positive life experience.

So…. back to our topic.  In reference to honesty and integrity, take a moment to evaluate this:

  • What do you stand for?
  • What do you expect for the future and what will you accept in your life?
  • How do you treat others?

These are questions you can use to start to live in your own truth and integrity.

Starting with ourselves to make ourselves better will insure a better future.  We are only able to control ourselves, our behavior, our feelings and our actions.

Just imagine the possibilities.

After all, it is time to enjoy life. It is Time to Play.

Love, Doreen

Photo credit:  https://www.askideas.com/honesty-is-the-best-policy

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Doreen Guma, MA, FACHE, CPC, CLC is a board certified healthcare executive, a certified professional life coach, the founder of the Time to Play Foundation, a 501c3 not for profit corporation inspiring everyone to enjoy life and author of If I Knew Then What I Know Now, Our Quest for Quality of Life.  The concept behind time to Play and the Time to Play Foundation was absolutely created out of LOVE. Please see http://www.timetoplay.com/ for more information.

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RESPECT – We all want it

Respect Time to Play

Respect

I woke this morning with the word “RESPECT” running through my mind.  I realized that getting respect and being respected is a huge priority in my life.  I also believe others feel being respected is necessary in theirs.  I choose to write this article to provide an opportunity to bring awareness to unconscious actions we may have – to spark a change that will eliminate frustration and create more happiness in our lives and in the lives of others.

Let’s look at some ways we may be disrespected and you can see that I may be on to something here…

Let’s look at our family.  Do your family members respect you?  Do they arrive on time* to dinner or show up when they promise to be there (or do you wait frustrated for them to show up or call)?  Do they jump to conclusions without giving you the benefit of the doubt in a situation?  Do they speak with you the way you would like to be spoken to (and vice versa)?  Do they leave things on the floor or not clean up after themselves? The clean up part — we can excuse this behavior as “lazy”, but I believe it really is a respect thing, especially if there was communication to explain expectations.  Did you ever stop to think WHO has to clean up behind us when we don’t do it ourselves?  (This is valid inside and outside of our homes in public places like parks, restaurants, parking lots, public restrooms, etc.).

Let’s look at work.  We spend the majority of our day at work.  Feeling satisfaction and appreciation are most important in the workplace.  These feelings can be synonymous with feelings of respect.  Do you feel taken advantage of or not recognized for your knowledge or abilities?  I think this is all connected… we are emotional beings, after all.  I believe being recognized for your accomplishments and feeling good about being in your workplace are major parts of having job satisfaction.  This could also include fair pay for your service.  Knowing there may be economic hardships in today’s workplace, I know of situations, and have personally experienced, where staff “goes to bat” and actually takes cuts in pay to keep an organization together.  The basis for such an event would have to come from a feeling of respect and satisfaction – or else, truly, they’d “bail out” instead of staying during a turbulent time.

One thing that is, perhaps, my biggest pet peeve is people who don’t return calls or follow-up as they said.  This is a huge phenomenon in business – there seems to be a “game” that people play that all parties may not agree to prior to the beginning of a relationship.  Any sales person can understand what I’m talking about.  Personally, I always go out of my way for others.  I drop anything at hand to help out, and I always see the big picture, perhaps sometimes bigger than the person who I’m meeting with can see.  There’s so much potential in everything that we do – every project we start, every vision we have, every book we write, every story we share.  I see the end, the possibilities, perhaps to a flaw.  I see the dreams people have and what they can offer to another, and I want to make their dreams happen. 

I can give tons of examples where a person will call in distress.  Jim (my husband) and I will usually drop everything to accommodate a meeting, always coming armed with research and suggestions.  How many times have you gone on a sales call or attended to a customer or a client, work really hard to accommodate their needs, and they don’t return calls back?  They’ve apparently fallen off the face of the earth.  My sister, who has been in sales for her whole career, says this is the story of her life.  She works really hard for a prospect, gets them all the info they need, and never hears from them again despite fruitless attempts for follow-up. 

Or, how about when you go on a date –

Why do we have to “hurry up and wait” and guess what the other person’s thinking or doing.  We eventually get the message that they’re not interested in a work or personal relationship; but, OUT OF RESPECT, a quick call or follow-up email should be made.  I do my best to do this.  I, personally, know how bad one feels waiting for a call that may never come.  There are terms to support this, for example, “poker face”, or “games people play”.  I just believe, in consideration of the feelings of another, these games are unnecessary and create significant hard feelings and tremendous frustration in the one waiting.  Sometimes people are on timetables or have things they need to accomplish and they are really waiting on that phone call or email.  I believe respect and consideration for another go a long way.

AND… here’s another one.  Did someone say they were going to do something and then not do it?  Respect comes into play with this, too.  No one likes to wait for something that a person promises that never materializes. 

This is something that causes hard feelings and frustration that is super easy to eliminate. 

I know that sometimes people may “bite off more than they can chew” and become inundated with responsibilities to a point where they cannot physically accomplish what they said they would do.  In that case, just a quick phone call or email to follow up to the other person who is waiting for the “something” would be most welcome.  I NEVER promise someone something and do not follow-up.  NEVER.  That is a super priority of mine; one of integrity and conscious.  You need me, I’m there. I’ll go out of my way to support another and their endeavors.  Think of yourself, think of your actions, think of the actions of others.  If we all consider and respect another, this world would be such a less frustrating place.

I can recall countless situations where I felt I was slighted in my past, and I know I took these actions personally and wound up with terribly hurt feelings.  Still, to this day, I wait for people who say they are going to do something and the “something” may not ever materialize.  The most important recent growth factor I can acknowledge in myself is that now something may bother me – when it happens – and then I will realize it and, within a few minutes, re-rationalize it and let it go.  I work on this every day and am far from perfect.  I try not to take things personally and rationalize that it’s not necessarily an intentional situation of disrespect purposefully done TO me, but perhaps unintentional on the behalf of the other party.  They may not even realize they did something to hurt my feelings or hold back a project I’m working on.

My goal, every day, is and always has been, to take into consideration how other people feel.  To know what my actions will do to them, to realize what I should do or how I should approach something to make someone feel good about themselves.  Am I perfect? Absolutely not; but my intentions are true and I do my best to be aware of how my actions affect others.

I believe respect and consideration go a long way to make amazing relationships… personal and business.  Acting without respect and consideration causes significant hard feelings and conflict.  I believe it may be, truly, one of the largest priorities that should be considered prior to our actions throughout the day.  Perhaps we can try to preface our thoughts or actions with questions like, “If I do ________, then _________ will happen”, “If I do ________ then that will make this person will feel like ________”, “If I do __________ that will make someone feel good”, “I will be taking advantage of _________ if I do _________”. 

No one likes being taken advantage of or feeling badly.  Our actions can easily cause that to happen.  If we’re aware of the ramifications of our actions, we can totally change the course of the day, week, or life of another.

*A quick disclaimer to all my family who read this:  I’m always running a little late.  It’s not a respect thing or done in any way maliciously, but caused by continuously trying to fit 25 hours into a 24 hour day.  It’s something I’m aware of and working on, which is a step towards change.  Hey – I’ve got lots of things I want to do!

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Doreen Guma, MA, FACHE, CPC, CLC is the founder of Time to Play:  www.TimetoPlay.com = Resources for a Better Life.  It’s Time to Enjoy YOUR Life!