Stress naturally evokes an emotional response. With developed emotional intelligence, you can choose to respond externally in ways that are not only constructive but can even leverage your influence.
Emotions are a valuable tool. The emotionless executive is a thing of the past; now that we all know how important emotional intelligence is. We also can leverage our emotions for greater influence in the workplace.
Emotions are connected to your instincts. You know that gut feeling that tells you when something just isn’t right? This raw information may be one of your most valuable—and underused— resources. Instincts are the messages our bodies send to keep us out of danger, give us insight into complex interpersonal relationships, and help us generate spontaneous solutions to tricky situations. Listen to them.
Initial perceptions are a benefit of emotional intelligence. What you feel reveals how you perceive an event or action, and much of the time our perceptions have little to do with the other person involved. Make it a habit to question your perceptions and assumptions. Ask yourself where they come from and whether there’s evidence that they are correct.
Resolve to use your emotions effectively. Recognize that unchecked negative emotions only worsen already tense situations. Decide to use your emotional intelligence to convey a sense of calm to each situation you are presented with today. Start by taking a few deep breaths, then by asking yourself, “What can I do to diffuse this situation for myself or others? This may be as simple as acknowledging another’s viewpoint. By focusing on a rational solution, you can not only regulate negative emotions but also redirect them into positive action.
Once you internalize your emotions, you can use your emotional intelligence skills to make your work environment more productive for everyone.
Create a Learning Organization
What is a learning organization? In the words of Peter Senge, a leading expert in the field of organizational management,
…organizations where people continually expand their capacity to create the results they truly desire, where new and expansive patterns of thinking are nurtured, where collective aspiration is set free, and where people are continually learning to see the whole together.
Here are the five disciplines of a continuous learning environment, and how they can be integrated into your own organization:
Encourage Personal Mastery– Set the bar for personal mastery by encouraging and supporting people who want to development themselves and their skills.
Modify Mental Models– These are the assumptions and experiences that people have about themselves, others, and organizations. Explore ways to create new mental models that serve the organization better and facilitate learning.
Build a Shared Vision- Building shared vision is essential to garnering commitment. Improve your chances by being willing to take a stand for the guiding ideas they consider important. Bind people together by creating a shared vision, purpose and values.
Enhance Team Learning– Team learning is critical for creating a Learning Organization; the team’s ability is greater than the sum of the individuals’ talents!
Enhance the team’s training systems and learning programs in order to stimulate synergies and new idea generating.
Focus on Systems Thinking– Always consider the interrelationships within systems. Systems thinking always considers the whole organization, and the interplay among components. This multiplies the value gained from any training program.
By committing to and practicing these basic tenets, you will become a change catalyst in the effort to turn your workplace into a Learning Organization.
This Month’s Featured Tool
50 Activities for Collaborative Management!
Organizations everywhere are facing the challenge of how to work more closely with one another. This collection of ready-to-use activities will help you better understand the concept of collaborative management—a term used to describe an ideal work environment where everyone is dedicated to achieving a common objective.
In 50 Activities for Collaborative Management, you’ll find an array of dynamic and engaging exercises to help you explore what makes collaborative management work, its potential benefits and how to experience them in your organization.
Each exercise highlights a specific aspect of collaboration, such as:
- Thinking collaboratively
- Ten collaboration myths
- Finding collaborative common ground
- Playing collaborative roles
- Finding collaborative opportunities
- Talent tapping
- Erroneous collaborative assumptions
- Reaching collaborative consensus
With each exercise, you’ll get everything you need to bring it to life—including a purpose, description, time to allot, presentation tips and debriefing statement. This book is ideal for trainers and managers who are looking for creative ways to: Reduce the risk in decision-making Bring different perspectives and expertise into the decision-making process Instill ownership in decision-making Eliminate finger pointing and the “blame game.”
Designed as a unique way to bring people together, 50 Activities will elicit the best from all those involved in making decisions and solving problems.