A Peek into The Junto Institute: Class on Self-Awareness

Last Friday we held the first of 12 classes for Junto I, the initial cohort of The Junto Institute’s flagship program. The topic was self-awareness, one of four components of emotional intelligence (EI), the others being self-management, social awareness, and relationship management.

The class was led by Cary Chessick, co-founder of Positivity and founder/former CEO of Restaurant.com. What he shared during the half-day session was based mostly on personal experiences and published research, all presented in the context of being an entrepreneur and company leader.  I was pleased to see the positive evaluation results from our participating founders, who were highly engaged during the class and pumped up afterwards, ready to implement what they learned.

Here were a few highlights and takeaways:

  • Our IQ tends to plateau in childhood. EQ (emotional quotient) can be learned and developed well into adulthood. The proverbial “old dog” can indeed learn “new tricks”.
  • Self-awareness is the ability to accurately perceive your own emotions and understand your tendencies across situations.
  • 83% of people high in self-awareness are top performers … just 2% are bottom performers.
  • Cary shared how he practices active listening by creating the right physical setting when interacting with others: seated with knees and shoulders squared to the other person, no table in between, leaned slightly forward. Or he holds small meetings with everyone standing up, being efficient with time and keeping everyone focused.
  • To build an action plan towards increased self-awareness, practice five phases:

    Recognition,

    Awareness,

    Non-judgment,

    Choice, and

    Action.

The founders in Junto I will be taking classes on the other three EI topics later in the year, as well as eight classes on management and leadership topics. Thanks to Foley & Lardner for hosting these classes.

This week, we begin the CEO leadership forum, which I believe will be a transformational experience for the participants.

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