Building a peak performance career is not just about working harder, executive coach, leadership & talent strategist, and founder / managing director of People Shop in Cape Town, Chantal Kading, reminds us; it’s about crafting a vision for your career that is supported by values aimed at igniting your greatest possibility. In this article, she explains how the two peak performance quotients of emotional intelligence and social intelligence can help you overcome some of the challenges involved in crafting a peak performance vision.
Emotional Intelligence (EQ)
Building a clear vision can be challenging because it often requires us to think about something that is inherently uncertain and ambiguous – the future. What makes this harder is the fact that change is not only limited to the outside world but is also a function of our own evolving thoughts, decisions and perspectives.
Self-awareness as a component of emotional intelligence is an important skill to have and refers to one’s ability to recognise and accurately interpret one’s own thoughts, emotions, motivations, strengths, and weaknesses. Cultivating self-awareness is often challenging because it requires not only introspection but also the emotional resilience to confront uncomfortable truths about ourselves.
Emotional intelligence plays a crucial role in introspection because the objects of our introspection (our thoughts and emotions) are intertwined. Emotions influence thoughts by colouring our perceptions, while thoughts and beliefs shape our emotional experiences, making it difficult for us to gain clarity about what we truly want.
Developing emotional intelligence through techniques such as journaling, mindfulness, challenging assumptions, and asking ourselves open-ended questions about our motivations, can help us gain deep insights by allowing us to explore our thoughts, emotions and motivations from a more impartial and unbiased perspective that may uncover our true purpose.
Social Intelligence (SQ)
One of the best paths to gain clarity and validate our purpose or vision is through seeking unbiased feedback from a trusted friend, advisor or career coach. This path is rooted in social intelligence and has the distinct advantage of fostering the skill of external self-awareness by providing an external perspective, a shadow side that you might not be able to see on your own.
Social intelligence is the ability to understand and navigate social situations effectively, while external self-awareness refers to being aware of how others perceive us. Constant change in the external world means that our visions should not only be forward-looking, but also adaptable to change. Seeking out diverse perspectives, engaging in effective communication and leveraging support networks are some of the techniques that socially intelligent individuals use to learn from the experiences of others, adopt their strategies, refine and ultimately adapt their visions to seek out their peak.
Building a peak performance vision is a long journey that begins with inner awareness. Constant change means the process is almost always dynamic and multifaceted, requiring careful consideration, self-awareness and external feedback. It’s a process that often requires lifelong dedication and a mindset that views the pursuit of excellence and peak performance as a way of life, supported by a vision that is constantly changing to reach new heights.