Own Your Emotions
Twelve and a Half

Own Your Emotions

Best-selling entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk explains how to sharpen your emotional traits for a calmer, more joyous and fulfilling life.

In this surprisingly – given the source – inspirational volume, entrepreneur and prolific best-selling author Gary Vaynerchuk stresses the importance of emotional intelligence (EQ) for business success. He outlines the essential ingredients of EQ and explains how you can develop and leverage them.

For example, he says that honing your self-awareness helps you identify your emotional strengths as well as your “halves” – your underdeveloped, but still attainable emotional skills. Vaynerchuk makes his usual enthusiastic, convincing case for how these attributes fuel long-term business success. He sweetens his lessons with many personal anecdotes, most of which concern his own emotional lapses, regrets and progress to greater awareness and emotional maturity.

Emotional Intelligence

Businesses increasingly measure their success using data. This prompts leaders to focus, Vaynerchuk laments, on performance to meet short-term goals while planning for long-term growth. He suggests that leaders, therefore, tend to overlook negative behavior from employees who contribute to production numbers. The theme of his book is that leaders – and everyone else – must consider the benefits of emotional intelligence.

The growth potential of most businesses is limited by the emotional intelligence of their leaders.Gary Vaynerchuk

According to the author, EQ includes hard-to-quantify, invaluable traits that contribute to a positive company culture. He cites patience, which, for example, aligns with accountability when you’re hiring and developing new talent. Much like cooking with spices, the way you combine emotional ingredients – and in what quantity – determines the success of your final product.

Twelve Emotional Traits

Vaynerchuk identifies the pivotal emotional traits as: gratitude, self-awareness, accountability, optimism, empathy, kindness, tenacity, curiosity, patience, conviction, humility and ambition. As you consider these ingredients in your life, he says, one or more will prove to be a “half” – not yet fully realized – and will require you to make an effort to improve it.

When it comes to gratitude, Vaynerchuk reminds you to be grateful for your job, apartment, or even safe drinking water and a functional toilet. Embracing gratitude lets you shed anger and resentment. Regarding self-awareness, he urges you to assess yourself and your capabilities. By fully accepting yourself, you will gain confidence and no longer need to fear or feel jealous of others. Vaynerchuk honors accountability and taking responsibility. Being accountable for your actions gives you greater control at work and in life.

As for optimism, he argues that looking on the bright side means having confidence in positive outcomes and being able to overcome challenges. He exhorts empathy as much as he values accountability, suggesting that you embrace empathy to help you, for example, work with a difficult boss. Patient people don’t pressure themselves with time constraints, but, instead, they enjoy the process. Though he seldom seems humble, Vaynerchuk maintains that humility helps you downsize, or start over and stay immune to others’ opinions.

Tune into your self-awareness to discover your halves and expand your emotional intelligence. For instance, to hone gratitude, the author recommends creating a list of the most important things in your life and reading it whenever you encounter minor challenges.

Or, to stretch your patience, post exciting thoughts about attaining your goals on your social media platforms. Become more humble by listing your weaknesses and then hanging that list in a prominent place.

The Right Mix

Perhaps a client call diverts your focus and energy, or you fear your co-worker is undermining your promotion, or you get unexpected, unsupportive feedback. To handle these common negative scenarios, mix your emotional ingredients to find the right approach. For example, if you fall into not trusting another person’s motives, mix self-awareness and accountability – take ownership for your own productivity and communication style.

Balancing your career and life as a working parent often creates stress. When you do drop the parenting ball, Vaynerchuk urges you to be easy on yourself by balancing kindness with accountability.

Showing frustration causes resentment and anger; instead, apply a mix of curiosity and empathy to any irritating situation.

Curiosity mixed with empathy can lead to intuition. Then, after experiencing or ‘tasting’ that intuition, you can develop conviction.Gary Vaynerchuk

Always balance your emotional traits to get the best results. Vaynerchuk offers the example of having tenacity but not self-awareness, which means you work to get approval from others, but not from yourself, which will exhaust you.

Safe, Positive Culture

Applying emotional intelligence to your challenges, Vaynerchuk asserts, leads to positive results, long-term gains, and sound employee and client relationships. You and your employees will collaborate more effectively if you can, for example, eliminate insecurity and fear.

There are different forms of privilege in society, but the ultimate privilege is peace of mind. Gary Vaynerchuk

Vaynerchuk reminds you that by developing each of the 12 emotional components, you can take accountability for your decisions, stop dwelling on your mistakes, and focus on your strengths, not your weaknesses.

Rowdy Optimism

Vaynerchuk is a rowdy optimist, full of enthusiasm – the noisiest guy at the bar. You might not expect him to channel Brené Brown, but much of Vaynerchuk’s arguments regarding empathy and humility – to name only two components – evoke her strongly – and that’s a compliment. The two authors differ in that Vaynerchuk pushes emotional growth primarily as a tool for increasing profit, climbing the ladder and becoming a less guilty working parent, while Brown views it as a sufficient gift unto itself.

Vaynerchuk is a lively, fun writer; he doesn’t sweat deeper concepts or more complex applications of his ideas and really, he doesn’t need to. His task is easy: He simply urges his readers to grow up.

Gary Vaynerchuk’s books include Crush It!; Crushing It!; Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook; The Thank You Economy; and 101 Wines.

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