It is one of those days where it’s insanely busy. You can barely function. You don’t remember when you last ate let alone with you last peed. It is busy and you are exhausted. You are physically and emotionally spent.
How can we get better control of our emotions during busy days?
Emotional intelligence is the term for all the feeling, thinking, learning, problem-solving, and decision-making that we do as a human. How well do you emotionally handle being human? Being a human is complex and sometimes confusing. Do you have the intellectual skills needed to understand, empathize, and communicate with other people? It turns out that some individuals have better emotional intelligence than others. The good news is that emotional intelligence can be taught.
The Internationally Accredited Training Center offers a Neuro-Linguistic Programming iNLP test, (https://inlpcenter.org/self-awareness-test). It tests for ten characteristics. It focuses on your inner self, personal beliefs, internal conflict, what you value, your stress triggers, your limitations, your self-sabotage and goals for the future. Taking such a test is a good way for you to recognize some of the triggers. Anytime a tool causes an individual to evaluate themselves in a different way, it will increase their emotional intelligence.
Step One: I Need Help Recognizing My Own Emotions
Improving your emotional intelligence starts with accepting that you may need improvement. Knowing that everyone needs to improve upon their emotional intelligence helps one to admit that they need to improve. It’s okay to say, “Sometimes, I am not the best with my emotions.” Every person on earth has had a moment where their emotions have gotten the best of them, they did not understand their feelings or they provided the wrong emotion for the situation at hand.
Honing in Your Inner Zen
A client is screaming at you and maybe using profanity. They are saying you don’t care about their pet. Think about the beloved character Yoda and think, “WWYD? What Would Yoda Do?” Would Yoda scream back at that client? No. Would Yoda show any emotion at all? Probably not. Does Yoda have feelings? Yes. The thing that separates us, mere mortals, from Yoda, is that Yoda has excellent control over his feelings. He is fully aware of the emotions that he is thinking at that moment, and he can control his reaction. We need to BMLY; Be More Like Yoda in our daily lives.
Teaching our employees how to BMLY is difficult. I have worked with employees that, in the face of getting screamed at by a client, hone in their inner zen, smile, and do not take it personally. They calmly and methodically work through the problem. I have also worked with employees that when screamed at by a client, start screaming back. Suffice to say the latter is never the right response to the situation.
Step Two: Finding Ways to Recognize Your Emotions
There is no magic answer how to best teach emotional intelligence, but sprinkling it in during meetings or day-to-day conversations will get the teams more comfortable with it. Some suggestions on strengthening your emotional intelligence include:
Look at yourself objectively
(What would I tell someone else if they had these thoughts or emotions)
Keep a journal about your feelings
Write down your goals, plans, and priorities
Stop & Reflect!!!
Meditate if it benefits you
Take a personality tests and ask a friend what they think about the results
Ask trusted friends to describe you
Set a reminder for the top of every hour on your phone that asks, “how am I feeling?”
Step Three: Find Ways to Manage Your Emotions
The S.T.O.P acronym reminds an individual to Stop, Take a Breath, Observe and then Proceed with their thoughts. While this method is often used to reduce anxiety or decompress when stressed I find it useful in collecting my thoughts to develop better emotional intelligence. So often we hear something that someone says and our brain starts to formulate what we want to say while they are speaking. We have created an opinion and are ready to share within a second of receiving the information. I like STOP so it prohibits me to not jumping to the first thing that I want to say or think. I hear some information. I stop myself from reacting. I take a deep breath and just focus on my breath. I observe myself by taking stock in my own emotions and thoughts. I then proceed. After I utilize STOP, I can then look at the situation with a clearer mind and make a better decision on how to react.
Reframing is about reshaping a negative thought and assuming good intention. Reframing is one of the most powerful techniques we can teach ourselves and our team. It goes back to the power of positivity and keeping more energy for ourselves.
When a competent doctor leaves a practice, it is normal for the team to dread and fear the change. There will be a lot of negative thoughts. Instead of the constant worry and fear, reframe the negativity to positivity. However, do not dismiss their feelings! “Yes, I know it is terrible Dr. Baker is leaving, but I’m excited about getting a new doctor on our team who may have some great ideas for us.”
The first step of reframing something from negative to positive is to recognize your thoughts. Are you aware you are having negative thoughts? Try to find the positivity for yourself and acknowledge the real feelings you are having. Trying to find the positive side of most things will help you redirect your volatile emotions. Not everything has a reframe to it, but many things do.
Emotional intelligence is a big subject and this blog barely scratches the surface. I encourage you to work on discovering your own emotions and learning about outlets that work for you. When it does get busy you will be able to manage your emotions better simply because you recognize the emotions you are experiencing.
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