What is EQ?

by | Apr 13, 2016 | Horses & Humans, Why Horses?

Emotional intelligence (EQ) is the “something” in each of us that is a bit intangible. It affects how we manage behavior, navigate social complexities, and make personal decisions that achieve positive results. EQ is your ability to recognize and understand emotions in yourself and others and to use this awareness to manage your behavior and relationships.

Decades of research now point to EQ as the critical factor that sets star performers apart from the rest of the pack. It’s a powerful way to focus your energy in one direction with tremendous results. A company called TalentSmart tested EQ alongside 33 other important workplace skills and found that EQ is the strongest predictor of performance, explaining a full 58% of success in all types of jobs. Of all the people studied at work, 90% of top performers are also high in EQ.

At Red Horse EQ one tool we use to help you increase emotional intelligence by creating mindfulness opportunities for people with our herd. The heightened awareness that exists in a mindful state allows you to more clearly feel, label, and understand your emotions. This turbocharges your emotional intelligence because it greatly increases your self-awareness, which is the foundation of a high EQ.

Horses, believe it or not, are extremely effective at helping humans develop EQ. There are many reasons for this. They are so highly sensitive to your internal emotional states, that how a horse responds and behaves around you, is a source of feedback about what is happening internally. You can’t successfully hide, ignore, or turn off emotions around horses, because they always show you what lies beneath the surface. In this way, if you are willing to listen to the horse and to yourself with a sense of curiosity and openness, horses give you non-judgmental feedback to understanding hidden, suppressed or ignored emotional states. Sometimes it is simply a matter of developing a habit of awareness, listening, paying attention.

Learning to listen to horses, and yourself in the process is a very effective, and enjoyable, path to developing emotional intelligence. During my workshops, retreats, and individual sessions I partner with horses in unique and effective, sometimes surprising, ways to help people develop the tools of mindful awareness and presence that lead to high emotional intelligence.

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