Posted by Peter Graziani on
Tuesday, July 05, 2011
I just completed MGMT 575, Leading with Emotional Intelligence (EQ). This class is unique to Seattle University, and often attracts UW students or graduates students from other schools at SU. EQ teaches students to use self awareness as a basis for self management and social awareness to reach the ultimate goal of relationship management. This is accomplished by placing students in situations where they must evaluate their ‘here and now’ feelings and utilize intense empathic listening skills. Many of the exercises for EQ are extremely powerful, emotional, exhausting, yet very rewarding. I made strong connections with my coaching triad, and my 6-person training group as well as the remainder of the class. EQ is the one of the classes in the SU MBA program that creates strong, intense bonds within the students. MBA 510 is the other.
One of the more powerful exercises for me was the reading of our autobiographies during the first day of the 3 day retreat at Snoqualmie Pass. We read our 4-page autobiographies to our t-group members. I was more moved by the stories of the others in my group, and how emotional they were while reading about the events and people that had an impact on their lives. All of us showed vulnerability and trust while we read our life stories and that created a strong bond between us.
The main feature of the class is the t-group exercises. I was placed in a circle with 5 other classmates to discuss our feelings and wants with each other. The facilitators prevented the conversation from leaving the ‘here and now’. That means that all of the feelings must be current and the conversation must be internal to the group and not include anything outside of the circle. I realize this is very difficult to understand from a short blog entry, but take it from me; this exercise was difficult, but powerful. It made me stop to think about my true feelings and how I react to the feelings and thoughts of those who I interact with.
We had the opportunity to practice coaching with our coaching triad. We were instructed to listen to a life or career oriented problem that a member of our triad is currently involved in. We practiced intense listening skills and how to ask questions that dug deeper into the issue and how the person truly felt. I learned that a coach needs to refrain from providing suggestions too early in the investigation process. A good coach keeps asking questions that allow the client to come close to the solution on their own.
EQ is one of the most rewarding and challenging classes that I have taken so far at SU. I highly recommend it to anyone considering a leadership or people management role. We are lucky at SU to have the opportunity to take a class such as this one so consider taking advantage of it!