Emotional intelligence involves many separate competencies. One of them is compassion or empathy. You might think of it as ^soft.^ Well, actually some people think of emotional intelligence as ^soft.^

Which brings up an interesting point. In the Strengths e-course I offer, I ask the learners to name the major strength of different well-known people. Last week I asked about Mother Theresa. Pamela Sheppard replied: “The standard is compassion, but, having had the chance to actually see her in action, I have to add mental toughness, clarity of intention and economy of action. She was Holy Hell on Wheels, and thank God for that! --- and anyone else pales beside her.”

I was intrigued and emailed Pamela back. Had she seen Mother Theresa? What was it like?

Pamela wrote back: “Yes. I met Mother Theresa in Tijuana, where she set up her seminary for the Order she had tried to start. This tiny woman didn’t waste a nanosecond on anyone like me … Her energy was given to the poorest participants, who had nothing but their faith. This alone made for one of the most inspiring afternoons I have ever or will ever experience.

“But beyond that, I witnessed her working with the man appointed head of the Brothers there. He sat, she paced; animated, vigorous, passionate about whatever it was she was discussing with him. She was unmistakably in command. I will NEVER forget it. Everything I read about her since that time has more resonance, more depth, more meaning in the light of her as this Commander in Chief.”

When I proposed Mother Theresa, I was after Intentionality. It’s one of the highest-level EQ competencies - meaning what you say and saying what you mean, and being accountable to yourself for your motives.

There’s nothing ^soft^ about compassion, or Intentionality, or emotional intelligence. EQ is what drives it all. Intentionality means not being able to make excuses to the most important person of all -- yourself.

Mother Theresa intended to help “the poorest of the poor,” and not finding appropriate vehicles, set out to found her own. She insisted people do things, not just talk. She told people to give, but not just money, give of themselves.

"There should be less talk,” said Mother Theresa. “A preaching point is not a meeting point. What do you do then? Take a broom and clean someone's house. That says enough."

Author's Bio: 

(c) Susan Dunn, The EQ Coach. Take The EQ Foundation Course(c), coaching, Internet courses: http://www.susandunn.cc. Mailto:sdunn@susandunn.cc for FREE ezine. EQ products available for licensing. EQ coach training.