Build Your Emotional Intelligence

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I know that we’ve all had a time or two where we felt the only option was to use the “Stress Reduction Kit” shown above! I receive a newsletter from Lou Russell, who specializes in project management training. The newsletter had an article titled “You Can’t Scale When You’re Mad as Hail” that focused on using Emotional Intelligence to improve personal scalability (the ability to adapt to increased demands) and reduce workload chaos.

There are a number of emotions that can come with a new project; they can range from, stress, frustration, and anger.  Other common complaints are lack of communication, accountability, leadership, and resources.

“Joy comes from completion, appreciation, acknowledgment, helping others, and just finishing something. Those are things that are missing in our workplace as we work virtually or rush in our harried ways to the next on-fire task.”

So what can you do? Lou gives us three tips to change our mind to change our behavior:

  1. Keep a journal, real, virtual or in your mind. Set your cellphone alarm for your gnarliest time of day (mine would be 4:00 p.m. or so), the time when you clearly can see that you are not going to even come close to meeting your goals for the day. Stop for 1 minute to name your e-motion, rank it from 1-10 (10 being worst) and then list one trigger. Do this for seven days in a row and you will begin to be more proactive about whatever is triggering your shut down. You will grow your Emotional Competence.
  2. Leverage your new Behavioral Intelligence assessment to build a baseline for you and your project team/ stakeholders. This powerful and actionable new assessment gives you a reading on current emotional awareness, ability to regulate emotions, and how good you are at empathizing with others about their emotional challenges. In addition show your natural style (aka Happy Place) where you are most productive and your adapted style (who you are pretending to be to deal with your current reality). These strengths also predict what triggers really set you off, as well as how to regulate.
  3. I describe the Reptilian Brain as a squeaky gate. When we are provoked, the gate slowly begins to shut, blocking access to important parts of the brain including problem solving and memories. At some point, provoked enough, the gate slams shut. This leaves us physiologically unable to make good decisions, choosing instead to fight or run. When your brain is shut down, learn to NOT make a decision. Learn to walk away. Give yourself the 4 hour hangover your brain needs to recover and work on something mindless, like deleting e-mail, (I know that Lyn and Jeremiah will appreciate that!)

Remember—“It only takes a little spark to ignite a great fire.” Start the spark when the “gate is open” and your brain is open to change.


Live long and prosper.

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