CHAPTER 11 Interactive Reasoning


In his seminal work on EI, Daniel Goleman (1996/2015, p. 6) provided defini tions for, and hallmarks of, these five components:

1. Self-awareness: The ability to recognize and understand your own moods, emo tions, and drives, as well as their effect on others The hallmarks of self-awareness are self-confidence, realistic self-assessment, and a self-deprecating sense of humor. Leaders who have a realistic self-assessment “are neither overly critical nor unrealistically hopeful” (Goleman, 1996/2015, p. 7). Their self-confidence comes from a realistic view of themselves and an understanding of their own strengths, weak nesses, and motivations. For occupational therapists to have self-awareness is essential because they need to know their own abilities and strengths, as well as identify their limitations and determine, for example, when to refer clients to others. Using a self-deprecating sense of humor can ease difficult situations when engaging clients. By being aware of their effect on clients, occupational therapists can consciously use their strengths to enhance therapeutic outcomes. 2. Self-regulation: The ability to control or redirect disruptive impulses and moods, the propensity to suspend judgment, to think before acting Self-regulation is important for all people in a professional role. When working with clients, many of whom are distressed and angry about what has hap pened to them or might have difficulty with emotional regulation owing to their condition, occupational therapists need to bring emotional stability to the encounter. They must be aware of their own impulses and emotional re actions and be able to suspend them when required to remain professional. They can model coping and impart hope through their actions and reactions. Goleman (1996/2015) identified the hallmarks of emotional self-regulation as trustworthiness and integrity, comfort with ambiguity, and openness to change. In occupational therapy practice, being perceived by clients as trustworthy and having integrity is vital. When occupational therapists have confidence in their ability to regulate their emotional responses, they can more easily face the complexities and ambiguities of professional practice and be open to changing their plans to achieve desired outcomes. 3. Motivation: A passion to work that goes beyond money and status, a propensity to pursue goals with energy and persistence The key to this component is motivation for the work itself, rather than for any external gain. This is a defining characteristic of professionals. Occupa tional therapists are aware that they are providing a much-needed service that will make a real difference to people’s lives. A passion for facilitating the occupational engagement and participation of clients is embedded in occupational therapy culture. 4. Empathy: The ability to understand the emotional makeup of other people, the skill for treating people according to their emotional reactions Empathy is central to therapeutic relationships and occupational therapy practice. Understanding clients’ life circumstances, values, worldview, and goals is essential for developing successful therapeutic relationships and creating a shared vision that gives meaning to, and engages clients in, a joint therapeutic venture. Through empathy, occupational therapists can

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