The first component of exercising a positive EI is to ask yourself what you are feeling at the time. Knowing what emotions are at the surface of your mind before reacting will help you to respond positively and decrease the chances of prolonging or intensifying issues. Let us consider a possible work scenario.
A staff meeting has been scheduled, and is set to begin but several employees have not reported to the conference room. The Human Resource (HR) Manager is standing at the front of the room ready to present information as the tardy employees enter the meeting boisterously. They do not apologise to the group for being late or for their disruptive entrance.
Fortunately, this HR manager has a highly developed EI and recognises that he must act. First he acknowledges that he is slightly angry. But, he also understands that anger is a secondary emotion, and not the emotion he wants to respond with. Instead he admits to himself that he is hurt and disappointed that a small group of individuals chose to disrespect him, their co-workers and exhibited disregard for their work responsibilities.
Acknowledging and accepting the hurt and anger allows the HR manager to put those emotions aside until they may be addressed in the proper setting with the appropriate individuals, and return his focus to conducting the staff meeting successfully as planned. Emotional Intelligence has equipped him to face emotions in a healthy manner; he rules his emotions they do not rule him. This principle applies to performing his work tasks as well as interacting with colleagues.
Practicing EI is also beneficial to maintaining healthy, positive interpersonal relationships at home and with work colleagues. Individuals who are self-aware and consider how their beliefs and behaviors affect interactions with others generally have better relationships. Let us consider this interaction between peers.
An office assistant is seated at the table in the employee lounge. A colleague approaches and places a stack of papers on the table directly in front her. The colleague explains her inability to complete the assignment, and states that she needs the office assistant to complete and submit it.
The office assistant is emotionally mature, and immediately begins to analyse her emotions. Her initial response is anger about her colleague’s chosen approach. Then, she recognises confusion over her role in this potential assignment. Lastly, she realises she’s hurt because her colleague did not extend common courtesy in a greeting or in making the request. With knowledge and acceptance of these emotions the office assistant is prepared to move forward with an emotionally stable approach.
As an Emotionally Intelligent adult, the office assistant is aware that how she responds will determine the success of their relationship and the work project. She responds by acknowledging a relationship exists between them by offering a greeting, and then inquires as to the specifications of her participation. The office assistant successfully addressed her emotions and diverted the possibility of a conflict between herself and her co-worker.
Emotional Intelligence or maturity leads to happier, healthier and more successful careers and personal lives. Forming the habit of identifying and analyzing the validity of your emotions before deciding on a course of action is a skill that all adults should acquire. It improves communication and promotes understanding. It assists in problem solving and increases productivity. Emotional Intelligence reduces stress and as a result stimulates better physical health. Emotionally Intelligent individuals are more peaceful, and interact calmly with others thus inspiring peaceful work and home environments.
Author: Dorothy Spry, Business Psychologist http://www.cognitive-behavioural-coaching.com
About the Author
Dorothy Spry IABMCP is an award winning business psychologist coach, trainer, researcher and author. Drawing on her research and expertise in the field of emotional intelligence training, accreditations, coaching and development led Dorothy to explore more robust, psychologically researched and evidenced based forms of coaching. Coaching that would provide a coach or client with the tools and techniques in which to build authentic emotionally intelligent behaviours.