My EI Journey

At our EIP3 launch event in June 2017, we invited Lydia Corneck, Head of Talent Acquisition and Development at JLL, to talk to delegates about the ways Emotional Intelligence can be embedded into organisations to improve productivity. Here Lydia tells us about her own very personal journey with EI which developed through the JLL project.

“I thought I’d share a more personal journey around EI (Emotional Intelligence) and how I have used it to make some real changes in my life.

Around the time that I first contacted JCA Global to research an internal Leadership Development project (ASPIRE) for JLL, something had happened to me which had turned my world on its head and which ultimately led to me making some significant changes in my life. If you like, I had had my very own VUCA (volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity) moment.

It had been my sister who recommended that I get in touch with JCA Global. To be honest, in thinking about the whole Emotional Intelligence thing, I thought I got it. I have always thought of myself as an intuitive self-aware person, so it didn’t occur to me for one moment that my own profile might be a shock.

The first EIP (Emotional Intelligence Profile) I did, my ‘Self Regard’ was 1 (the lowest value on the scale) – I didn’t think a huge amount of it. I was just back at work after the death of my father and I dismissed the result as a reflection of what was going on in my life. I carried on, we ran the first couple of ASPIRE programmes, and I gave up smoking after 22 years of 20 a day. I started feeling better about myself and I was adjusting to my new normal without my Dad.

At the end of that year, as part of an HR leadership group at JLL, we went through the JCA Global EIP Accreditation programme. I hadn’t been doing any conscious work on my EI because I had dismissed the first result due to the circumstances, and of course, I was taking more care of myself now by not smoking and taking up running again. So, it was another shock to see that my ‘Self Regard’ was still 1. Whilst I was still grieving, life had returned to a relative normal, so I couldn’t dismiss it anymore or find excuses for it. I couldn’t blame the circumstance anymore and I realised that it was something deeper and more habitual.

As part of the EIP accreditation course, we used JCA Global’s 21-day habit change model. We were asked to reflect on one of the EI scales we wanted to focus on and think about something we could do to make a change. I chose the ‘Self Regard’ scale and recognised that to get my Self Regard up, I had to focus on the things I do well. So, I committed that for the next 21 days I would write in a journal one ‘Brilliant Thing’ that I did that day. I bought a nice journal and from the 18th December 2015, the last day of the course, I started. I had some real moments of realisation during that time:

  • Sometimes the ‘Brilliant Thing’ was really very simple – like spending 10 minutes quality time when I got home from work playing ‘Guess Who’ with my daughter, instead of continuing with emails – I was fully present.
  • You can’t plan the ‘Brilliant Thing’ – I know because I tried in an effort to be efficient, and that’s what ended up being the ‘Brilliant Thing’ that day
  • It became such a habit that I carried on beyond the 21 days and felt anxious if I missed a day.

There came a time when I didn’t need to do it anymore and that coincided with the end of the journal. And however much I’m a competitive person – and believe me I am, and however desperate I may have been to re-test my ‘Self Regard’ – I knew that I didn’t need to re-do the profile to know that my ‘Self Regard’ is up. I’m walking a bit taller – I’m taking a bit more care of myself – and I’ve stayed off the fags because I had my “because I’m worth it” moment.

So, in my EI journey, the insight has been quite literally, life changing – it can make a very real difference on a day to day basis – back in the real world. It even made me say yes when asked by John to tell my story. To tell the story of how at JLL we are working to embed EI across our business, how I have improved my ‘Self Regard’ and knowing I had a good story to share; which has hopefully given you a feel for how it can work both in business and on a much deeper personal level.”

Watch Lydia talk of her personal journey at the JCA Global launch event here:

If you would like to find out more about how our Emotional Intelligence tools can help you and your organisation improve productivity with sustainable behaviour change, contact us at

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