• Kirsti Gwynn

7 Emotional Intelligence Competencies to Create a Fairer World

I've felt both heartbroken and overwhelmed witnessing the pain of the black community over the last few weeks. I know this has always been going on; it's just being showcased more now. To you: I see you and I stand with you.

I've also felt inspired and hopeful to see so many people bravely committing themselves to consider the ways society has influenced themselves and others, and to take action to change this.

One step at a time, I'm doing what I can to learn and to help. Here are some emotional intelligence competencies I'm keeping in mind.

1. Empathy

Empathy means being willing to hear about someone else's experience of the world, accept it as valid, and try to better understand their point of view. If you feel confused or are struggling to understand, nothing is more connecting than the power of hearing someone's story. Read about the experiences of black people. Ask. Listen.

This story is just one eye-opening example: read post.

2. Perspective

I'm still seeing a number of "all lives matter" posts online. I see the kind intentions behind them, but the reality is that until black lives matter it is impossible to say that all lives matter.

Society in general needs to protect and prioritise the lives of black people as much as it already does the lives of white people, and right now, it doesn't. "Black lives matter" does not mean other lives don't. Rather, it means that black lives matter too - just as white lives are already assumed to matter.

3. Mindful Curiosity

Mindful curiosity is an innately non-judgment state. It means observing what is going on without criticising or labelling it as "bad". Shaming yourself or others is horribly painful and won't get anyone anywhere, my friend. When we feel ashamed, we shut down, so staying kind at every step is so important.

If you find yourself feeling defensive, I invite you to turn inward with an attitude of mindful curiosity. Notice what you're telling yourself this experience means about yourself or others. It's likely that these interpretations were conditioned into you rather than you choosing them. And as Dr. Brene Brown says, "When we deny our stories, they define us. When we own our stories, we get to write a brave new ending."

See Brene Brown on discussing race without shaming:

Keep courageously observing. Facing our internal stories and biases helps us to make better choices going forward.