Synergy article – November 2, 2016
Learning about emotional intelligence with Gates Cooney
Written by: Lyne Mathieu

We learned a lot in the emotional intelligence (EI) course for personal leadership given at the CNSC by Learning Specialist Gates Cooney.

Gates CooneyGates taught her last course in March 2016 to CNSC colleagues before taking her well-deserved retirement after 48 years of loyal service, including 15 at the CNSC. Yes, you read that right: 48 years. I was part of the group that took the course when it was given in French for the first time, which many participants especially appreciated.

EI is the science of studying the brain to explain the major and crucial connection between emotions and behaviour. For example, did you know that 80% of the skills that typically distinguish workers with excellent interpersonal performance can be characterized as emotional intelligence? Taking this course will help you better understand your emotions, and the instructor will give you techniques to better manage them.

In particular, Gates spoke to us about the importance of “crossing the bridge”, which means putting yourself in another person’s shoes and meeting that person halfway. Often, by changing our questions and showing empathy, we can turn a negative situation around completely.

Thanks to the Alumni Program, Gates will be back from time to time to give another course, this one on knowledge transfer.

What participants thought

“I feel lucky for the opportunity to attend this training with Gates. Throughout the course, you could really feel the instructor’s desire that we get as much as we could, personally and professionally, from this potentially life-altering experience. This training was an eye opener and helped me to refocus my life.” – Marie-Claude Valade, Project Officer, Regulatory Operations Branch

“I found this course very useful and applicable in both my professional and personal life. It should be mandatory at the CNSC, because it effectively supports organizational priorities that centre on a civil, healthy and safe work environment. The instructor was very engaged, effective and empathetic.” – Vadim Spac, Evaluation Officer, Strategic Planning Directorate

“The two-day course helped me learn about myself and about how other people react in different circumstances. Gates Cooney is an unparalleled coach: she listens and she’s ready to share her own experiences to help illustrate the concepts she’s presenting. Great job, Gates!” – Stéphane Thivierge, Senior Policy Analyst, Strategic Planning Directorate

“Gates, thank you for getting out of your comfort zone and providing this training in French. This course was greatly appreciated.” – André Lamoureux, Desktop Support Analyst, Technical Support Branch

“I really enjoyed taking this course with Gates. I realized that while I was familiar with some parts of my personality, I got to know myself better. I loved listening to Gates, and my goal is to one day be as patient as she is and to listen to others with her frank, positive attitude.” – Lucie Simoneau, Inspector Coordinator, Directorate of Nuclear Substance Regulation, Eastern Regional Office, Laval

“The course is very interesting. It is both a rear-view mirror and a mirror that reflects how we interact with others. It’s also a connecting thread, offering beacons to guide us and help us better understand each other for mutually beneficial interaction.” – Josué Wamegni, Environmental Program Specialist, Directorate of Environmental and Radiation Protection and Assessment.

Interested in learning more about programs in the Science of Emotional Intelligence? We will be in Ottawa on February 6 & 7.

This article was originally posted/printed in Synergy article – November 2, 2016.