Emotional Intelligence: How hard should I Push?
How hard should I Push?
When feeling overwhelmed and stressed, work is often one of the things that add to the load. When we are faced with a situation, decision or interaction which could threaten our own personal needs, wants and desires – we often feel confused. This causes an internal struggle and self-doubt that brings about this question; “How hard should I push to have my own needs, wants and desires met?”
Another dilemma is peer review. When someone pushes back or defends their point of view, they may be viewed as aggressive. On the other hand, total agreement, can be viewed as a submissive move. In either context staff and management are often left feeling as if their own wants, needs and desires are being ignored.
Add to that the strategic demands of the business to be profitable and maintain good corporate citizenship and you could have a leadership conundrum on hand. Leaving everyone asking how hard should I push?
Developing sound and strong emotional intelligence skills for individual, teams, management and leadership is an essential skill to address the conundrum of – ‘How hard should I push?”
Emotional Intelligence in the workplace have organisational benefits which include: Motivated productive staff, Increased positive communication, Talent pool management and improved decision-making skills.
Can I increase my EQ?
The answer is thankfully YES! Emotional Intelligence, at its core is not a trait but a skill that with training, and practice can be mastered.
We have a helpful worksheet to help you in becoming more self-aware which is the first step in mastering emotional intelligence. Use our worksheet when completing the steps below.
Start by writing down your emotions.
When an emotion arises observe it and write it down. At the end of each day, review these emotions. Pinpoint the positive ones and encourage yourself to create more positive emotions. Here’s an example – When I enjoy my lunch outside, I feel fresh and rejuvenated for the afternoon, so tomorrow I will have lunch outside again.
Focus on the root cause.
Next down write down your negative emotions. Then, without judgement, gently ask yourself what am I feeling and why? Here are some examples. What? – I feel disappointed because I did not contribute positively during a meeting. Why? – Because my suggestions could have added value to the discussion.
Apply the if – then method.
The next step is to analyse the risks or benefits a change in your assertiveness would bring about. An example – If I speak up and contribute positively to the meeting, then others could decide to implement my thoughts. The benefit would be that I acted assertively, and I contributed to the meeting in a positive manner.
Change the pattern.
A pattern can be defined as a behaviour we repeat over and over – a habit. When developing assertiveness, remember to continue repeating or developing the new pattern. An example is – During the meeting you realise that you have something positive to contribute, but fear speaking out. You could be repeating the pattern of being assertive by dropping the relevant person an email with your positive comments.
Be open minded.
Try to determine the other persons motivation. When your positive contribution is met with criticism, do not shrink. Simply ask yourself what is the other persons motivation? It could be that your positive contribution needs to be analysed or re-worked to be a good fit to a problem.
Say thank you.
When you are given an opportunity to be assertive (for example), say thank you. Thank yourself for stepping out of your comfort zone, and if appropriate thank the person with whom you acted assertively for the opportunity to develop your positive pattern.
Teach people how to respect you and how to communicate effectively. Being assertive (for example) is about being considerate and respectful to your own needs and to accommodate the need of others. Your boss may ask you to step into their office to have a discussion, do so. If prompted to give answers, you may ask for time to contemplate and set up another meeting or reply via email. Ensure both parties reach an agreement.
Ask to be Guided.
For example – when you are not sure if you are being assertive or aggressive ask for guidance. Ask the person whom you are responding to if they feel safe when communicating with you. Listen to their response and reciprocate effectively.
Getting the balance right is important. More importantly, realise that some days implementing your new behavioural pattern will be easier than others. Be patient. Keep repeating your positive pattern as often as possible, until it becomes an ingrained habit.
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