The War Between Mindfulness and Emotional Intelligence
By Doug Lundrigan, MBA
What is this mindfulness stuff that everyone seems to be talking about, and how can I get some? What do you think?
Do any of these describe mindfulness:
- An Eastern philosophy corrupted?
- It’s all about meditation and spiritualism?
- A set of skills that can be developed?
- Has some scientific research behind it?
- A buzz-word du jour?
As I did some research on the topic of mindfulness I discovered that all of the above are true to some degree, and there are some simple and complex definitions. The one I like best is this (Kabat-Zinn, 2003):
Mindfulness is the awareness that arises from:
- paying attention on purpose,
- in the present moment,
- with suspended judgment.
So it’s all about finding a heightened awareness by intentional presence without judgment. Well that sounds much like the emotional competency (E-Comp) workshops I give that include self and social awareness. As I describe the knowledge and skills of E-Comp I break it into four sub-categories as shown here. It seems to me there is a clear overlap between mindfulness and E-Comp. There is no war between mindfulness and E-Comp, but harmony. As we do make that connection we obtain a very significant advantage.
Yes, there is excellent research behind mindfulness; the focus it brings to the mind, the calming effect it can have, and the improved neural pathways that can be developed over time. The research on E-Comp and related topics is, however, dozens of times more voluminous. There are thousands of controlled scientific studies over at least 30 years on various aspects of E-Comp, or EIQ. Many of those studies focus on measuring tools. Whereas we don’t really have a validated method of measuring mindfulness, we do have many validated tools to measure self and social awareness. So if you want to know how mindful you are, and how to get more of it, step into the world of E-Comp. I can help.