When we look at world news on CNN, BBC or even through your own local news broadcast, we are often shown video footage of terrible events such as disasters, war zones, protests and riots. Such world events are often so negative that we just want to turn the TV off. But these are the same events that people at the office or coffee shop end up talking about all the time.
It turns out that despite the occurrence of these horrible events, there are important lessons we can all learn from for ourselves. All we have to do is look at how some of the affected people in these events reacted and coped.
The Vancouver Riots
For example, the Vancouver riots after the Stanley Cup hockey final resulted in hooligans turning over cars and setting them on fire. Downtown businesses had their windows smashed and merchandise looted. There were brawls with the police.
The offenders were obviously caught up in the emotions of the Vancouver Canucks failing to win a Stanley Cup and took their disappointment out on the city. Many were caught on camera and video (some even posed for photographs). They were obviously not thinking about the consequences of their actions as the police now have lots of leads to catch the offenders.
This is an example of very low emotional intelligence. The rioters were not able to manage their actions brought on by their emotions. They did not think about the outcomes of their actions and as a result, many will be punished.
The Japan Disaster
Now let’s look at another terrible world event which brought on a totally different reaction. The tsunami and nuclear disaster in Japan devastated the country. The damage to property and loss of life also created high emotions. However interestingly enough, the survivors among the Japanese population remained orderly and calm. People patiently waited in lines for food and supplies rations. There were no riots. No businesses were looted either despite such immense losses.
Here is an example of very high emotional intelligence. The Japanese managed their actions well despite the emotions from such a gigantic tragedy. Compare this to the Vancouver rioters who lost a hockey game.
What We Can Learn From Emotional Intelligence?
Two disastrous world events with two opposite ends from the emotional intelligence spectrum. What can we learn from these?
Although both events will require recovery, the Japanese will recover much faster. Businesses and lives will be rebuilt with the resourcefulness of the survivors. The hooligans in Vancouver however, will either be sitting in jail or will get into trouble with the law again.
As for ourselves, we will be more successful in many areas of life if we develop higher levels of emotional intelligence. We will be able to interact better with others in our careers and personal lives. We will also be able to handle the various ups and downs that come our way with far more effectiveness. This will be because we can manage our actions as a result of emotions better.
Emotional Intelligence Can Be Developed
It is estimated that only 15% of society is of high emotional intelligence. That means the majority of us can improve in this area. For example, think of the car driver out there that gives you the finger. Think of all the fights among youths that end up with somebody getting knifed or shot. These are all results of low emotional intelligence.
Unlike pure intelligence which is thought to be genetic, emotional intelligence is something that can be developed with training. Many corporations are sending their executives to full seminars and workshops on emotional intelligence. I was such an executive when I was in corporate life. I’ve been interested in this area ever since as I‚Äôve made it a personal commitment to develop my own emotional intelligence.
What about you? Can you think of past examples of actions when you could have applied more emotional intelligence? How about examples when you did do well?
You will find that even becoming aware of this concept is a good start in the development of your emotional intelligence skills. Feel free to share your experience.
Clint Cora is a motivational speaker, author and Karate World Champion. Get his FREE 3-part Personal Growth Development Video Series to help you expand your comfort zone to conquer even your most daunting goals in life.
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