Tuesday Talk: Emotional Intelligence

For many of us, the only emotions we would want to deal with in the workplace would be those that we are most comfortable with. If so, we are certain that productivity would follow. However, this ideal work situation could be limiting our possibilities. Let’s think about a work environment where emotions are not only accepted but encouraged. In this environment emotions are accepted because they are, managed effectively and leveraged to get greater results. Experts tell us that the first step in effectively practicing emotional intelligence is to perceive what is going on internally and externally. Daniel Goleman, the author of Emotional Intelligence: Why it can Matter More than IQ, says, “The range of what we think and do is limited by what we fail to notice.”

In the workplace we have opportunities to “notice” all day long. For instance, you are in a meeting, a comment is made, and you experience a negative emotional response. You have the option in that moment to “notice” what is happening. Many times all it takes to turn a tough conversation into a transformational interaction is to quickly run through a few mental checks. Here’s a three-part mental process you might use to assess the situation and determine the best approach:

Consider yourself by asking, “What am I feeling?” and “Why is this coming up for me now?”
Consider the other person(s) by asking, “What is their intention or goal at this moment?” and “Am I reading their body language and vocal cues correctly?”
Consider the big picture by asking, “What is the desired outcome that serves the larger purpose here? And “What is my best response to achieve that desired outcome?
Taking a few seconds to “notice” what is happening internally and externally could be the real difference-maker in your next high stakes situation.

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