Emotional intelligence, or EQ, is defined as the ability to recognize, understand and influence the emotions of themselves and others. Often our favorite leaders, friends, and bosses exemplify the qualities of high emotional intelligence.
We follow these warm and inspiring people because of their intangible skills: their team-oriented management style, their ability to listen and respond thoughtfully, or their ability to stay calm under pressure.
The best boss I’ve ever had was Matt Soucek, Systems Manager of our ten-person team in DLP® Advanced Light Control. Matt exemplified many aspects of emotional intelligence: self-awareness, emotional regulation, awareness of others, and strong interpersonal skills. Matt successfully influenced others through his calm and collected manner of communication.
When I started working for Matt, I was a second-year employee at Texas Instruments and just stepping into the role of Program Manager for the first time. Matt went above and beyond to make me feel welcome on the team. We had regular weekly check-in meetings in his office and ate lunch together about once a month. Matt made sure that all of his team – from the Dallas-based members to the Bangalore software engineers – felt included and important.
Matt became a key mentor for me in navigating program presentations to the TI DLP® leadership team. Matt taught me to be confident and prepared for each presentation by spending time understanding the technical content and the financial results. He reminded me that even if I couldn’t answer every question, I could always take a note and follow up later after conferring with my whole team. (I still use his presentation tips in my current job at Mastermind Meditation!)
When I endured a personal health crisis in 2015, Matt was understanding about taking a leave of absence and very focused on my full recovery. He treated me more like a friend or daughter than an employee. We worked together to create a recovery schedule that worked for my doctors and me. I will never forget his compassionate understanding of what I was going through and his gentle reminder that I could get through anything.
Perhaps my favorite part of working with Matt was that he was FUN. During my three years of working with Matt, we traveled together domestically and internationally. I vividly remember one night at PittCon, where he stayed out late smoking a cigar and dancing on Bourbon Street. We also planned an extra night in London on our way back from a business trip to Bangalore. We rented an AirBnB and went shopping downtown.
One of the hardest conversations Matt and I had was when I decided I wanted to leave TI to pursue a full-time career in wellness. I felt like I was letting him down by leaving. When I told him about my plans, he simply replied, “Well, I know you well enough to know I can’t change your mind.”
Matt supported the transition and we still keep in touch to this day. Before I even knew what emotional intelligence was, Matt was demonstrating it with our team and teaching it to me. To this day, I attribute a lot of my success teaching mindfulness to the skills I learned in TI’s corporate setting.
As Matt taught me implicitly, a practice of emotional intelligence benefits us physically and mentally through stress reduction and improved workplace performance. Unlike traditional intelligence (IQ), which typically remains stable over a person’s lifespan, emotional intelligence (EQ) is something that can always be improved upon.
Mindfulness and emotional intelligence training supports growth and success in profession and personal relationships. Visit www.mastermindmeditate.com/programs to learn more about upcoming classes and attend an EQ workshop.
As Chief Mindfulness Officer of Mastermind Meditation, Dorsey Standish brings research-backed mindfulness and mindful movement to clients throughout the state of Texas. A lifelong learner and scientist, Dorsey has a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania and is enrolled in the UT Dallas Applied Cognition and Neuroscience Master’s Program. After mindfulness transformed her own work, health and relationships, Dorsey left her corporate role at Texas Instruments to share the power of mindfulness with others full-time. Dorsey’s teachings combine neuroscience research with her experiences in Jon Kabat-Zinn’s Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Program and multiple weekend and 10-day silent meditation retreats. Join Dorsey for one of Mastermind’s upcoming applied mindfulness programs at mastermindmeditate.com/programs.