I spent a great deal of time earlier in the week extolling the virtues of Emotional Intelligence in the workplace. And I still believe there is a significant need for and benefit from increasing our EI/EQ and using that increased knowledge and wisdom in the workplace.
But, let me attempt to make a compelling case, and in fact a greater case, for emotional intelligence outside the office and in the home.
Consider the Emotionally Intelligent Husband
The emotionally intelligent husband is a step above the husband who is not aware of his emotional intelligence nor has he raised his emotional intelligence. What defines an emotionally intelligent husband is one who has figured out a secret to marriage that other husbands haven’t yet. That little secret, although it is actually pretty elementary, can actually be pretty difficult to develop because it requires him to become more aware of his wife and her needs. And this is contrary to human nature and a pop culture that says that it is all about me.
Like many husbands, the emotionally intelligent husband has learned to respect and honor his wife. But here is where the EI husband separates himself from the others. He also knows how to convey that honor and respect to her in ways that are meaningful to her. EI husbands don’t choose the choose the “currency” with which they pay that honor and respect. They use her native “currency” and speak to her in her language.
When a man’s emotional intelligence expands to include the value of reaching out to her in “her language”, he is getting to the root of EI, empathy. And her is the kicker. He will likely make his wife and his family the priority over his career. His values of success have been revised. He will not only understand the details of his wife’s world that is lived apart for many hours each day, but he will incorporate them into his own.
Consider the Emotionally Intelligent Father
This emotional intelligence will not only benefit the marriage. It will also enhance his abilities as a father. He will seek her opinions, her ideas, her experiences of the day and he will be able to discuss his own with her as it relates to the raising of their children.
He will be familiar with what is happening in the lives of his wife and his children. He will not be the father who doesn’t know what’s going on in his own home or who has to be prodded to remember that there is something important going on in his children’s lives this week at school.
He will know his children’s friends, He will know their teachers at school, he will have time for his family, and his family’s happiness is paramount to him. He will not be like the father about which the Harris County Courts recently opined. They reasoned that “just because a man is a terrible husband and leaves his wife and family, that doesn’t automatically make him a bad father.” Nonsense! It has everything to do with his character as both a husband and a father.
What is the Leadership Lesson Here?
I don’t know if it is so much a lesson as it is a narrative. It is a story woven through a successful marriage. It is the story of a man whose love for his wife was so great that he spent the same energy to “keep her” that he spent “pursuing her.”
And the story has a really happy ending when a husband and wife have a high emotional intelligence and they share the benefits of it together in raising their children.
Do you want to know more about how to increase your Emotional Intelligence? If so, just click this link and reach out to me.
I would love to work with you to become more aware and in tune with your wife and your children.