Why aren’t we talking about Emotional Intelligence?
by Tyrone Dixon
Copyright © September 2017 — All right reserved.
3 years ago I moved backed home to Syracuse after graduating from SUNY Buffalo, and working in the city of Buffalo for 6 years. There were several reasons I decided to move out of Buffalo, but the “straw that broke the camel’s back” for me was the winter we got 9 feet of snow in just a few days. The city was under a state of emergency, and travel was extremely limited. (I did not go home for a total of two week. Thankfully, I was able to sleep on my old roommates couch).
Moving back to Syracuse was something I never imagined. Growing up on the city’s Southside was rough and I recognized at an early age, job prospects would continue to go down because everyone I knew was saying “I/we can’t wait to leave Syracuse.” As far as I knew, everyone wanted to move. Needless to say I was not overly excited to go back to a place I felt was going downhill very fast at the time. A few things happened when I moved back to Syracuse that made me feel as though I was in the wrong for not wanting to come back to the place that I was born and raised. One, I was able to reestablish genuine connections with my immediate family members. Many times I would come home to visit while living in Buffalo, everyone would say “we are all doing well” when in fact they were not. After being around someone for longer periods of time you get down to the root of their problems/wants/needs/desires, if you truly pay attention. The second thing that happened was I met a woman whom I felt had all of the qualities I could see in a wife. The final, most important thing was getting hired by Elmcrest Children’s Center as a Youth Development Professional.
Working at Elmcrest was both challenging, and fulfilling at the same time. Not only did I get to have an impact on the lives on adolescent young men on a daily basis, but working at Elmcrest introduced me to Emotional Intelligence (EI). For those of you who are not familiar with the term Emotional Intelligence (EI), it is your ability to recognize feelings that arise within you, managing those feeling and the impact they have on others. An example of someone with a high level of EI is someone who is able to sit down and have a conversation with a person whom they dislike in an effort to come to an agreement or compromise. Do you honestly think every person that sits down with Donald Trump is a fan of his? Did you think that former President Barack Obama liked all of the members of the GOP? What they did realize, through using EI is in order to get things done you have to sit down with people you are not fond of.
While working with a young man who was struggling with the structure of our Program (he would throw furniture, break windows, break gaming consoles, etc.). I used a major component of EI which is active listening. After conversing with this young man, he said to me “dude do you know how annoying it is to wake up every day around all of these black people.” Thanks to my knowledge, and studying Emotional Intelligence I was able to respond with empathy “I can understand that this is a new environment for you and it might take some time to get adjusted, but we are all here to help ensure that you go home better off than the way you arrived.”
Through dedicating my time reading, writing, and presenting on EI I noticed that there were not many people that are familiar with Emotional Intelligence, and the things it can do to improve the relationships they have. I invite you, the reader to become familiar with EI for yourself and others. What would a world look like if we had people who could correctly identify how they felt, manage those feelings without losing control, and be able to have genuine empathy for our fellow human beings?
Peace and Love,
Tyrone Dixon works as a Certified Professional Coach in the Syracuse Community through his business ArozeThrough Concrete Coaching. He was born and raised on the South and West Sides of Syracuse. He has a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from SUNY Buffalo. It is his pleasure to be a “writing contributor” for CNY Latino, and write about the topic of Emotional Intelligence (EI). He loves the City of Syracuse and believes that exposure to Emotional Intelligence can help change the direction of the individuals living in some of our “high poverty” areas. Can you imagine how much better our city would be if people were taught how to manage their feelings without hurting someone? Or if we could teach people to be proactive in identifying situations they are not comfortable in?.