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The Explainer: Emotional Intelligence,” defines the five elements of emotional intelligence and the ways in which these qualities define good leadership (and good living as well). I’ve a way to go yet, but I’d love these to be embedded in the “DNA” of Dadamac.


It’s best to see The Explainer: Emotional Intelligence video before reading on. It’s only 3 minutes 45 secs – and there are helpful animations.

I’m writing out the five elements as a memory jogger – and looking at one in more detail.

  • Self-awareness
  • Self-regulation
  • Motivation
  • Empathy
  • Social-skill – most important of which is listening

Listening – Not one of my natural strengths

Looking at the list above the one I’m high on is motivation, and my lowest is listening. I confess I’m a talker. My granny used to call me a chatterbox when I was tiny, in kindergarton I remember being sent to stand in the corner because I kept chattering…  listening is not one of my natural strengths.

I’m currently one of over 40,000 students on the “U.Lab:Transforming Business, Society, and Self” MOOC (Massive Online Open Course). Yesterday I was at Hub Westminster comparing notes with my U.Lab learning circle friends. We are in week 7 now – but I’m still working on my homework for week one, which was about listening.

The four levels of listening

Week one introduced us to four levels of listening. We have been challenged to continually notice what kind of listening we are doing (a reminder pops into my mail box every evening).

The four levels of listening are:

Level 1

Listening from habit:

  • Downloading
  • Habit of judgement
  • Reconfirming old opinions and judgements

Level 2

Listening from outside

  • Factual
  • Noticing differneces
  • Open mind
  • Disconfirming (new) data

Level 3

Listening from within

  • Factual
  • Emotional connection
  • Open heart
  • Seeing through another person’s eyes

Level 4

Listening from source

  • Generative
  • From the future wanting to emerge
  • Open will
  • Connecting to an emerging future whole shift in identity and self

A true level four listening experience means being changed by the conversation, so that we are “not the same person at the end”, and therefore the future we are heading for is also changed.

My listening homework

We had to choose something practical as a starter exercise for the section on levels of listening – I chose “listening to others without interrupting”. Wow – I didn’t realise what a challenge that was going to be. What an eye-opener (or maybe an ear-opener) that is being for me. It’s homework I’ll be working on for years to come.


Thanks to the Escape School team for pointing me to The Explainer: Emotional Intelligence  and to U.Lab for the Four Levels of Listening.