We all know this person. Here’s how the conversation goes:
“In order to complete this project, we’ll need Wally’s input and expertise.”
Everyone gets quiet.
Someone carefully asks, “Is there another way? Wally is so stressed and tends to be a bit emotional.”
This is curious as, are we not all emotional beings? Is it a negative attribute? Did Wally suffer a tragedy?
Possibly. But Wally has a long history of losing his temper at work or shutting down communication when he doesn’t agree with something. Nobody on his team is comfortable going to him for help as there is no telling how he might react.
Wally also hasn’t been considered for a promotion as he seems constantly overwhelmed by his workload and life in general.
So how do we avoid becoming a Wally?
According to a TalentSmart study, 58% of job performance is determined by emotional intelligence and 90% of top performers have a high EQ.
What exactly is Emotional Intelligence Quotient (EQ) and how can we improve our own?
According to Wikipedia, emotional intelligence is the capability of individuals to recognize their own emotions and those of others, discern between different feelings and label them appropriately, use emotional information to guide thinking and behavior, and manage and/or adjust emotions to adapt to environments or achieve one’s goal(s).
In other words, EQ is the recognition of how feelings guide our actions and the actions of others, and the ability to manage emotions in a healthy way that edifies ourselves as well as those on our team.
“A high EQ helps individuals to communicate better, reduce their anxiety and stress, defuse conflicts, improve relationships, empathize with others, and effectively overcome life’s challenges,” says PsychCentral.
Career development expert Soulaima Gourani says that if you can accept diversity in age, personalities, and educational, economic, or ethnic backgrounds, and manage the conflicts that come from that, “you will be the highest paid, most valuable employee in the company.”
How to take your EQ to the next level:
The way we see ourselves does not always align with how we are perceived by others. It is highly valuable to determine the truth about who we are, how we communicate, and how our reactions are affecting our work and those around us.
Inc.com has a 1-question test that is highly effective:
In what situations do I find that emotions work against me?
Getting honest and humble enough to collect this information from a trusted advisor could set us on the path to success in our careers, our relationships, and our inner peace. Keep in mind that growth requires discomfort. Don’t expect to like the answers you hear. What you can expect, however, is a priceless tool that will launch you toward meeting your goals.
Arriving in a place where we can accept our emotional state requires a plan of action.
Lifestyle is severely underrated when it comes to understanding emotional deficiencies. Are we under-slept, over-caffeinated, under-nourished, or simply lacking in healthy interpersonal relationships?
This is the time to investigate all the dark corners of our lives, and start thinking about self-care as the first step toward harnessing and dismantling the ticking time bomb of emotion.
The common cycle of anxiety leading to sleeplessness, followed by overcompensating with caffeine and the unavoidable energy crash is slowly killing many Americans and their dreams. Read up on the importance of sleep, the dangers of caffeine, and how optimal nutrition can reduce anxiety in order to get off the exhaustion coaster.
With our physiology at peak performance level, we can achieve goals we hadn’t even thought of setting yet.
The ability to understand and share the feelings of others is a superpower.
When we become so overwhelmed with our own stressors and the immediate experiences which are affecting our ability to reach out and help others, self-absorption occurs and the disease of disconnection begins to erode everything we’ve built.
In an age of pandemic, severe political strife, and culturally acceptable busy-ness, disconnection seems unavoidable. We assure you, it is not.
A proactive plan to make healthy connections with others can take us places we didn’t know existed. Deepening our empathy will elevate not only our own sense of well-being but will nurture those around us.
The good news? We can learn tactical strategies to increase our empathy.
“Empathy is not a ‘you either have it, or you don’t’ quality in human beings. Unless you’ve experienced a particular brain trauma, you have the ability to be empathetic. And so does that rude team member of yours!” — Anne Loehr.