iracards-whitebackground-cloud-lines (1)Did you know that your Ira Inspiration Cards are your little box of fabulous that will  boost your Emotional Intelligence (EI)?  You could be using them already as your word of the day.  You may be using them as a simple language learning tool on a flash (really flash) card.

But, there’s much more richness than that in your little box: as well as being a gateway to Te Reo Māori, you also get a powershot of EI!  Ka mau te wehi! Awesome!

What I want to share with you today, is that the kaupapa or intent behind the selection of specific words for the Ira Cards, is founded on Emotional Intelligence (EI) principles: to inspire, guide, and uplift us so that the ordinary moments of each day become, well,  extraordinary.

The three words of the ‘tag’ line for the cards – Look – Reflect – Connect – are a direct link to the four branches of Emotional Intelligence (EI). Let’s take a closer look at what that means.

Peter Salovey and John D. Mayer have been  leading researchers on emotional intelligence since the 1990s.

In their influential article “Emotional Intelligence,” they defined emotional intelligence as “the subset of social intelligence that involves the ability to monitor one’s own and others’ feelings and emotions, to discriminate among them and to use this information to guide one’s thinking and actions” (1990).

The Four Branches of Emotional Intelligence

Salovy and Mayer identified four different factors of emotional intelligence, which link to the purpose of Ira Cards:

  • the perception of emotion (Titiro* = Look)
  • the ability to reason using emotions (Ira! = Look intently)
  • the ability to understand emotion (Tirohia ki roto = Reflect inwardly) and,
  • the ability to manage emotions (Herenga = Connect with the meaning).

So, now you know how and why the Ira Cards are a super-juiced, EI resource for you to tap into every day!

I get a lot of feedback from people about how they have used the cards, the impact and effect, and it’s always great for others to know a bit about your experiences with the cards.  So, please do take a moment to pop a comment into one of the Facebook posts, or below this article: I’d love to hear from you xx

If you want to read a more in-depth explanation of the EI link to Ira Cards philosophy, then have a further read.

  1. Perceiving Emotions (Ira! = Look!) : The first step in understanding emotions is to accurately perceive them. In many cases, this might involve understanding nonverbal signals such as body language and facial expressions.
    1. When you choose an Ira card and the kupu/word it will have an impact, and that impact will generate an emotional reaction.  Sometimes when I am working with a group or person selecting the cards, there’s an ‘ah ha’ moment of recognition, or curiosity is aroused, or there might be an initial dismissive reaction – ‘nope, don’t need or want that one today’.
    2. For example, recently when someone was expressing how ‘hōhā” (fed up, bored, uninspired) they were with their work, the card they picked was ‘MAHI/ACTION’.  Their first reaction was return it to the pack and choose another that would tell them more.  I asked, what if they looked a bit harder at the meaning behind MAHI and their emotional reaction to it.  Which is exactly what the hero of this story agreed to do, and with some mindful consideration (see #2) started to think differently.
  2. Reasoning With Emotions (Ira! = Look!): The next step involves using emotions to promote thinking and cognitive activity. Emotions help prioritize what we pay attention and react to; we respond emotionally to things that garner our attention.
    1. Reflect on a kupu/word, by applying it to a situation such as the one described above.
    2. Let’s continue with our hero’s story: The word MAHI/ACTION that he struggled with brought out deeper emotional reactions including fear, anger, and some self-limiting beliefs –  and after putting attention into these specific emotions, reframing and revaluing them, a solution for him popped up.
  3. Understanding Emotions (Tirohia ki roto = Reflect): The emotions that we perceive can carry a wide variety of meanings. If someone is expressing angry emotions, the observer might interpret the cause of their anger and what it might mean.   Only the observer can know the source, cause, or effect of their own emotions.
    1. Ira Cards invite you to Connect with the emotion and call on your inner wisdom and guidance to seek out the truth.  In coaching or psychology speak, this requires reframing, revaluing, renaming and refocusing to understand the causes of the emotion and its triggers. Back to our hero: After some processing about his work history, and his own emotional reactions to the Ira Card “MAHI/ACTION”, he decided the action he needed to take was not ON his work but within himself.  He decided to address finding his sense of purpose in LIFE and take action to do the work that fulfilled him.  It was not so much about the actual work he was doing, rather that he had in a sense strayed from his deeper life purpose, his deeper calling, and so was emotionally out of kilter with himself.
  4. Managing Emotions (Herenga = Connect): The ability to manage emotions effectively is a key part of emotional intelligence. Regulating emotions, responding appropriately and responding to the emotions of others are all important aspect of emotional management.
    1. Ira Inspiration cards invite you to respond to your inner truth and explore what you need going forward.  Our final chapter on our hero’s experience: By understanding his emotional response, and choosing another appropriate response, he could better manage his interactions at work, negotiate around the things he was best suited to do and those he wasn’t, and make suggestions as to how to manage the work load and the people in the team more effectively.  This allowed him the time to come up with innovative ideas for the business and put them into action.  I’m hearing he’s pretty happy at work, and in his personal life now!

What this research and many other studies show us, my friend, is that you have a super powerful, super simple Emotional Intelligence tool in your box of Ira Inspiration Cards.

Kia kaha, kia manawanui, e hoa


If you click onto this link it will take you to a resources reading guide including books on EI, on my other website.

  • Titiro is another word for ‘look’ or to look at something.

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