EQ is a measure of your emotional intelligence.
If there was a time to use your emotional intelligence (which is always, but…) it is during crises. Stress, conflict, extra challenges all contribute to a perfect storm. Your ability to understand those emotions from others is paramount to your group’s (and your own) success.
What four things can you do to be more connected with others? In crisis or not?
UNDERSTAND your own emotions. Who you are. Your own failings. Your social skills. Work on improving those you can and always be as self-aware as you can.
OBSERVE. If you are in the same room, office, home, etc., this is easier. What does the other person say, how do they say it. Are they nervous, methodical, bored, angry? What you see will give you great insight to how to interact. And if you are virtually connecting, watch for reactions, voice inflection, eye movement. You’ll gain much more awareness about that person if you do.
EMPHATHASIZE. I first learned about this word’s power when my father spoke to an assembly at our high school (I was sooo proud of him). His speech was about how using empathy could reach across divides and much more. He was a small town attorney and I know he must have used this with his clients – especially new ones. I looked at him very differently after that speech. My parents can be so much more faceted that we ever gave them credit for.
So…consider the other’s feelings, especially if you are making decisions together. Be sensitive to cross-cultural differences. Work to help the other be comfortable with the conversation before getting into deeper subjects. Sometimes that is simple as asking how the weather is where they are (if it’s virtual, of course), or asking about their family or pets! Try to establish a common interest.
LISTEN. That is number one. Ginger and I spoke to an individual recently who was a reference for a job candidate we were working with. He shared a practice that he and the candidate employed every day called the “ten second rule.” It worked like this: when someone asks you a question or poses a challenge to you directly, wait 10 seconds before you respond. This does two things: 1) takes your possible overreaction and slows it down and gives you time think, and, 2) allows them to see that you are really listening to them. Wow, what a difference that could make in our relationships. Try it.
There are many other things you could practice to be more emotionally intelligent. Remember that the five components of EI are: self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy, and social skill. Lots of articles about it can be found on the internet, but here are a few of my favorites:
Share with me how you did on the quiz or any other thoughts you may have!