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NFL Star Reflects on His Growth in Emotional Intelligence

On Twitter recently, NFL star Ndamukong Suh proceeded to, as the young ones call it, “spill some tea.” Except this time, the salacious details were not about another player or celebrity, but rather, himself.

A veteran defensive tackle for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Suh spent some time reflecting on the approximately three years he spent with the Miami Dolphins. Having just signed a tremendously expensive contract with the team, Suh said he arrived in Mami with the desire to make an impact on the organization. But he failed because he had “[zero] tact.” Suh tweeted, “If you’re not careful about how you do things, you end up being the bad guy.”

Though it wasn’t his intent, Suh explained how it happened. “For a long time in my career, I was always just saying what I wanted to say. Never thinking about how I delivered the message … I was just making my opinion known, regardless of how it impacted others.”

Within two years, Suh realized the net effect of this approach. “I was … creating divisions on the team … pushing people away … [and it was] putting me in a negative headspace.”

But eventually he figured out a better way. “So what did I start doing that I still do today? I listened way more than I talked, I paid attention to HOW I interacted with people, I observed others’ reactions and adjusted as needed, and I chose my words carefully to be more empathetic.”

In his conclusion, Suh claims that emotional intelligence, or EQ, is more important than IQ (intelligence quotient). He said, “Don’t just think about you want. Think about what others want.”

Possible Preaching Angle:

As Christians we are called to model the life of Jesus, who consistently made the costly choice to embrace humility and consideration in his relationships with others.

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