Imagine having a class at the beach… Both students and teachers sitting on their towels, feet buried in the sand, still wet from the morning mist. The endless ocean as a backstage, the roar of the collapsing waves echoing in the cliffs behind you. This was the scenario that our guided introspection took place. Learning, reflecting, sharing, there was time for everything, even a swim. This was the start of a training that gave us a deeper understanding of emotional intelligence, and how to connect with others around us.
I know what you’re thinking: as amazing as this might sound, it clearly does not describe a professional and productive scenario. Everyone knows that studying in a coffee shop’s terrace stops being an option when the exam season starts. However, we are not dealing with theoretical and logical content. Emotional intelligence is related to our limbic system, which is responsible for monitoring our feelings. It is known that the best approach to teach our limbic system is through motivation, practice and feedback. Training aimed for the neocortex, our analytical and technical mind, is not only fruitless, but it can even have a negative impact on the attendee’s professional performance. So if you are still thinking that working in the office is always more efficient than at the beach, think again!
But why would you take training on emotional intelligence (other than to have a relaxing weekend of course)? Emotional intelligence has proven to play a key-role in a good professional's performance. Although this might be more visible in working environments, it is far from being exclusive to them. Understanding ourselves, the ones around us and how to reach them improves our performance as simple human beings.
A catalyst is, by definition, a chemical substance that decreases the activation energy of a certain reaction, favouring it. When a team is formed, its elements need to learn to interact with each other. They have to give a piece of themselves and to sacrifice their own will in order to receive the positive outcomes that result from a healthy team working together. However, before reaching this peaceful state where all members interact in a fluid, respectful and productive way, they have to overcome a storming stage. A catalyst is a person that decreases the duration and impact of the storm, guiding the team towards the sunny moments ahead.
But what does it actually mean to be a catalyst, in practice? Like Aristotle once said: “I hear and I forget, I see and I remember, I do and I understand”. So if you want the answer to that question, join the next Catalyst Training!
By Sara Vieira
Published on 25 January 2019