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Emotional Intelligence

Something We Need Now More Than Ever


As we navigate a new normal of the receding pandemic restrictions, we may also find ourselves becoming swept away by the hectic pace we kept pre-pandemic. Anxiety and impatience can bring out the worst in us – longer waits in line, limited supplies or labor for goods and services, and increasingly crowded places can make things especially stressful and hectic. Customers are short on patience, customer service and hospitality workers are exhausted, and society is fraught with political tension. It’s these moments when emotional intelligence is more critical than ever.

Emotional intelligence helps us bring out the best in ourselves so we can bring out the best in others. Whether it’s to diffuse family tension, to share something that’s bothering us, to move a conversation forward, or to give feedback in the spirit of continuous improvement, emotional intelligence can help us work toward even better, together.

This is a big and broad enough topic that we can’t possibly cover everything you need to know in one newsletter, so over the next few months, we’ll drop more info and tricks on the four components of emotional intelligence: self awareness, self management, social awareness, and relationship management.


Ok, but what actually is “Emotional Intelligence”?

Sounds like a bunch of mumbo jumbo.

Emotional intelligence is ultimately about centering yourself to understand your own experience, emotions, and needs and taking action to help you show up your best for yourself and others, as well as better understanding the experience, emotions, and needs of others to bring out the best outcome for everyone. It’s not as hokeypokey touchy-feely as some might think.


Why should I invest time and energy into my own EI?

Sounds like a lot of unnecessary work.

People who dedicate time to growing and cultivating their emotional intelligence have been found to have higher resilience in the face of adversity, more empathy, better communication, and more effective stress management.

If you find yourself thinking something along the lines of “the way things are is working just fine” – ask yourself, is “fine” good enough? Will fine make you happy?

Emotional intelligence is by no means just for the workplace. Just think about how much nicer the world would be if we all took a few extra seconds or minutes – especially under stress! – to recognize our emotions and experience and consider other perspectives before hitting send or sharing our unfiltered thoughts on the internet or with our loved ones?


Can’t other people just do their job?

I’m not going to sugarcoat things for people.

The fact of the matter is we live and work in communities of people. Those communities and those people are all unique, with their own thoughts, emotions, and perspectives, and having those thoughts, emotions, and perspectives seen, understood, and validated makes people feel valued and perform better independently and we can work and collaborate more cohesively within our teams.


We believe emotional intelligence is for everyone, everywhere. Over the next few months, we’ll share ways to grow and use your emotional intelligence in two different ways: in the moment and to strategically plan your day to make the most of your minutes. 


It’s easy to be skeptical about emotional intelligence. We’ve been taught for generations that emotions and cognition don’t go together, and that work is work, not a place for feelings. But work happens alongside people, not robots (unless you’re in Silicon Valley, and even then, someone has to make the algorithms!). People have feelings and egos and lives and ideas and creativity and dreams and personalities. We’re all a delicate balance, and understanding that, and having compassion for our differences, is the only way we can thrive and contribute alongside each other.


We invite you to take this journey with us, learn a little more, and give it a try! We promise each week to highlight a tool or technique to help you grow your EI. Give it a try and see what happens! You might surprise yourself—and those around you!


Take our EI challenge! Try the EI tips and techniques highlighted in upcoming newsletters and share your experience with us. We’ll post some of your experiences on social media -- all responses will stay anonymous unless you give us permission to share your name. Take the pledge to grow your EI -- we want to hear about how it’s going and what differences you notice! 



Topics: Communication & Collaboration

Anna Lehocz

About the Author

Anna Lehocz

Anna Lehocz is a Your Clear Next Step writer and communications specialist working part time while following her passion of teaching young students.

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