Massage & Bodywork

JANUARY | FEBRUARY 2022

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Why Emotional Intelligence Belongs in Your Toolkit Multidimensional Healing By Cindy Williams • Conflict management—techniques and ideas designed to reduce the negative effect of conflict and enhance positive outcomes • Influence—in this case, modeling positive interaction and change • Teamwork—the collaborative effort to achieve a common goal WHY DOES THIS MATTER? Life is a series of stimuli and responses. Massage therapists are keenly aware of this, as we work with manipulating tissue that is in the state it's in because it is responding to stimulus. Massage therapists become a new stimulus to the nervous system by using techniques to decrease stress, unwind muscular tension, increase or decrease nerve firing, and educate on daily activities that help or hinder healing. Emotions are stored in the body as a result of experiences. When a person experiences an emotion, their physical body responds. All you have to do is conjure a memory of a scary or joyful experience, then feel what happens in your body. People essential skills | BACK TO BASICS In 1990, two psychology professors, Peter Salovey and John D. Mayer, were chatting about politics while painting a house. The discussion, which centered around research on cognition and emotion specifically related to politics, culminated in the question: "How could someone so smart act so dumb?" The conclusion they landed on was that smart decision- making requires more than intellect. Because of this conversation, the professors decided to publish an article in an obscure journal that was read by psychologist and science journalist Daniel Goleman. Goleman was so moved by this concept that he turned it into a best-selling book: Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ. It took off like a rocket and is now taught worldwide—from hospitals and corporations to government agencies and, of course, schools. It has recently made its way into massage therapy curriculum. But like any great concept, more than just knowing it should be applied; it's useful to know why and how. That's what we will explore here. DOMAINS AND COMPETENCIES— AN OVERVIEW Emotional intelligence is the ability to identify and manage one's emotions and respond effectively to the emotions of others. It is made up of four domains— self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, and relationship management. Self-Awareness Self-awareness is knowing what you are feeling at any given time and understanding the impact those feelings have on yourself and others. Self-Management Self-management is the ability to supervise and direct one's own thoughts, feelings, and behaviors in any given situation without surrendering to impulse. It involves: • Achievement—exerting effort, courage, and skill • Adaptability—adjusting to new conditions • Emotional balance—maintaining equilibrium even in the face of challenge • Positivity—in other words, choosing your attitude Social Awareness Social awareness is the ability to consider the perspectives of others and apply them to your interactions with others. This requires: • Empathy—the ability to be aware of, and sensitive to, others' feelings and experiences • Organizational awareness—being able to read a group's emotional currents and relationship dynamics, then use this information to deliver effective communication Relationship Management Relationship management is the ability to inspire the best in others. This involves: • Coaching/inspiring—guiding and motivating through arousing emotion 90 m a s s a g e & b o d y wo r k j a n u a r y/ fe b r u a r y 2 0 2 2

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