Keith Cunningham is one of Damelin Online’s Subject Matter Experts (SMEs). The focus of his course is on emotional intelligence (EQ). We chatted to Keith about the concept of EQ, and the course he has specifically created for Damelin Online.
Keith and his wife decided they needed to reconnect with each other, and to find themselves. So they both left the corporate world, and spent several months backpacking around the world.
It seems to have worked!
When he returned to South Africa. Keith started EQuip, a company specialising in Emotional Intelligence. Keith has 15 years’ experience working with companies. He works to enable people to get out of their comfort zones and find meaning in the work they do.
KC: Aptly called EQuip, it is a company which equips people to make changes in their lives. We use Emotional Intelligence as the vehicle to get people to shift. People resist getting out of their comfort zones. But change is constant.
We, as people, need to influence how we choose to see that change. Nothing has meaning other than the meaning we give to it. EQuip helps companies thrive in the business world. We truly believe that people are a great asset to the organisation they work for. We enable busy managers to make the time to talk to people; to create powerful robust relationships; and to instil change!
KC: EQ is a set of learnable competencies that can enable you to connect more powerfully with others. Probably more importantly, though, it enables you to connect powerfully with yourself by becoming aware of those default patterns of seeing, feeling. and doing. To see those patterns that serve you – those that don’t.
When we start this awareness and begin to look within ourselves, there may be denial. Only then do we start to pay attention, to understand the default patterns of behavior that serve you and don’t serve you. It’s important to understand which ones serve you, because then you can leverage from them.
So, in essence everybody has a level of EQ. Whether everybody uses it, is a different thing. The biggest challenge with EQ is making the subconscious conscious. If you keep on operating in the subconscious, you are going to keep doing what you have always done – and achieve the same results. When we make the subconscious conscious, we can then make active choices. And that is how you do EQ.
KC: To fill a gap in people’s lives. So many people want to change, but they are victims of their own subconscious feelings, and behaviours. Sometimes people feel so overwhelmed. By designing this course, I was trying to give people the insight that the only person they can truly be responsible for is themselves. They need to look at change not from their default patterns, but really how they can thrive in this difficult, challenging environment. Ask…“How can I actually start making some choices that will benefit those that I love and those I interact with?”
KC: The experience will be different for each person. It is about your mindset when you enter the course. The workshop, although called EQ, is really about embracing change. This is personal change. And it is about taking responsibility for yourself or what you say or do. EQ truly blooms when it turns insights into action – and that’s what the participants are going to take out of it.
KC: You may decide to become an EQ Practitioner like myself. But you are not limited to that. EQ is needed in any career path that you follow. As you climb the corporate ladder, you tend to use your degree or qualification less and less. Instead, you begin to manage people. This is part of the problem nowadays. We manage people … but we do not connect with people – because we don’t have the time.
Businesses are based on relationships.
If your relationships are good, you’re going to fly in business. EQ is an enabler: it enables you to connect powerfully with people.