4 Misbehaviors that suppress our EQ

1.  Stop criticizing people to make yourself feel good in the short term.  Why? Because at the end of “Remorse Road” lies “destination Anguish.” Why do we criticize others so much? We aren’t made taller, nor even appear to be taller, by knocking other people down. So, what emotional payoff do we get from this common unconscious action? Psychologists like Nick Wignall know it for what it is, a defensive reflex that temporarily masks our personal insecurities. “How stupid can you get!” is aka “Look how smart I am!” The emotionally intelligent thing to do is give constructive feedback for improvement, at the same time as maintaining the self-esteem of others.

Build your EQ by first asking your people if you are critical too often. Make yourself do a mental ten-count before saying anything critical. Rephrase your verbal barbs into  feedback STARs. Describe the Situation/Task, plus the Actions (both good and bad) of the other person, and the Results (both good and bad) of those actions. Genuine feedback for improvement requires you to describe alternative actions and the improvable results.

2.  Stop worrying over future unknowables.  The post-COVID-19 economy is uncertain socially, economically, and emotionally. But when has the future ever been certain? As Dr. Stephen Covey stated, “Be Proactive,” keep your thoughts out of “circle of concern,” over which you have no power, and firmly focus on taking all reasonable actions within your “circle of influence” to reduce uncertainty. Thinking without planning solves nothing and only gives the delusion of readiness. Smart people face reality strictly within their circle of influence, making it easier to work things out with the tools they have at hand.

When you find yourself dwelling on the future, turn to your to-do list. Change the things you can and reach out to others with an offer of help.

3.  Swap the “there and then” for the “here and now.”  Fixating on past failures and what should have been changes nothing. Rather, it gives the fleeting illusion of control and relieves those feelings of impotent helplessness, but only temporarily. This is a stark life-lesson that high EQ people accept. So, do everything you can –  no matter how small – in the present, as you stop pretending you can control the past.

4.  Stop imposing your unrealistic expectations on others.  Projecting unrealistic expectations onto people around you is generally an unconscious attempt to control them. Having ideas of what people should do, how they should behave, or what they should accomplish is the human way of trying to make it come about. But it’s doomed to failure, and their shortcomings, compared to your ideals, will leave you frustrated and disappointed. Holding on to unrealistic expectations in the face of reality can lead to resentment and strong push-back from the very people you care so much about.

Emotionally smart people let go of their expectations. They validate the struggles of others and coach them with realistic boundaries, empathizing with where they are, instead of urging them to be where they want them to be.

When discussing business goals and objectives your first question is always “What do you believe you can achieve in this?”

The first and most important thing to boost your emotional intelligence is to kick out the head trash that is suppressing it. Take this quarantine time to reflect on ways to…

  • …Stop criticizing others.
  • …Leave the future out of your thoughts in favor of immediate proactive tasks.
  • …Relieve the burden of past emotional baggage.
  • …Coach people to set their own goals and objectives.

The COVID-19 pandemic will be a watershed event for all businesses. With the right mindset, you can get through this time stronger and more successful and develop some new EQ muscles that will make you even more competitive than before.

PBC is here to help. Call us for a free consultation on how to make the most of this stay-at-home business downtime.

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