Mindfulness Meditation Improves Emotional Intelligence

By James Godwin | August 1, 2016

Mindfulness Meditation Improves Emotional Intelligence

Why train Emotional Intelligence (EQ)? Jobs such as those in sales and customer service in which emotional competencies obviously make a big difference, we already intuitively know. What surprised Google was they discovered that this is true even for individual contributors in the tech sector, namely engineers whom would expect to succeed purely on intellectual prowess. It turns out that the top six competencies that distinguish star performers from average performers in the tech sector are:

  1. Strong achievement drive and high achievement standards
  2. Ability to influence
  3. Conceptual thinking
  4. Analytical ability
  5. Initiative in taking on challenges
  6. Self-confidence

Emotional intelligence (EQ) is twice as valuable at IQ.

Four out of the six are emotional competencies. Top two are EQ

So how do we train emotional intelligence? It turns out the first step is Attention Training. The idea is to train attention to create a quality of mind that is calm and clear at the same time. That quality of mind forms the foundation for emotional intelligence. The simplest and most effective way to train ones attention is with mindfulness meditation. So what is mindfulness? Mindfulness, is the ability to see what’s going on in our heads, without getting carried away with it. It’s the capacity to feel sensations even painful ones without letting them control us. Mindfulness means being aware of our experiences, observing them without judgment. Responding from a place of clarity and compassion, rather than fear, insecurity, or greed. Mindfulness is proving to be more important than ever.

James Godwin has been in the Tech space for over 25 years and practising Tai Chi for just as long. When needing more focus or creativity or simply needing to manage stress, he would disappear outside for a little Tai Chi. Colleagues noticed him practising and would ask if they could join in. They were soon asking if he could run a class more regularly. They reported feeling and noticing significant changes in their behaviour while practicing.

This lead him to dive deeper into the health and meditation benefits of Tai Chi. On his journey he came across the work done at Google on their ‘Search Inside Yourself’ course. Their research was fascinating especially with regards to the six competencies that distinguish star performers from average performers in the tech sector. Turns out that four are emotional intelligence with the top two being EQ. What was mind-blowing was that emotional intelligence is trainable through a mindfulness meditation practice.

While as CTO at JUMO he built an emotional intelligence mindfulness course called Just Being thanks to the years of Tai Chi and meditation. It has been received with great interest and enthusiasm from fellow developers and even beyond the dev teams.

The Emotional Intelligence Training Course.

Attention training: Attention is the basis of all higher cognitive and emotional abilities. Thus, any curriculum for training emotional intelligence has to begin with attention training.

Self-knowledge and self-mastery: Use your trained attention to better perceive your own cognitive and emotive processes. Begin to observe your thought stream and the process of emotion with clarity.

Creating useful mental habits: “I wish for this person to be happy”, becomes your habitual instinctive first thought. Having such habits can change everything at work and life. Turns out mindfulness training automatically strengthens empathy and compassion.

The course runs for six week and covers the following modules.

  • What emotional intelligence is and how to develop it.
  • The theory and practice of mindfulness meditation.
  • Extending the benefits of mindfulness beyond sitting.
  • All-Natural, Organic Self-Confidence.
  • Developing Self-Mastery
  • Empathy & Compassion

IQ is not a shortfall in the tech space but EQ has huge value in supporting anyone in boosting their careers and leadership opportunities. The skills to work with our minds, our emotions, and other people are essential but rarely developed. The course at JUMO has moved beyond the developers and other departments have benefited from the training.

Checkout the Mindfulness Meditation Courses available.


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