Boost Your EQ: How We React to Everyday Situations is a ChoiceRecently, a Harvard Business Review blog on mindfulness got my attention.
It sounds a little bit mysterious and dubious to connect meditation and conflict at work, right? One is a purely internal activity and the other is a very external reality.
But think about the fact that we tend to have similar types of miscommunication with certain people. In those moments, we may have thought our communication skills were to blame and gotten frustrated. This article made me consider the possibility there was more to it than that.
So, what are we missing here?
Rather than blaming our communication skills, perhaps it would be better to examine our emotional intelligence, or EQ. After all, having higher EQ makes it easier to control emotions and relate to others.
If you’re more aware of what’s going on in other people's worlds, you will have a better understanding of how to approach them or handle a conversation.
You never know what kind of challenges or suffering another person is going through.
The same principle applies when you have higher self-awareness. If you are in a bad mood, it’s better for you to pause the conversation to avoid a fight. During that pause, it’s often helpful to take a short walk, get a cup of tea and come back to the issue later.
"How you react — and the way you apply your own EQ — is a choice."
You choose to have more compassion and be more curious, or to open your eyes and broaden perspectives. Next time you jump into a sensitive topic or deal with someone you think is difficult to talk to, stop and consider how different people will perceive the argument.
Resist the urge to see different opinions as negative. If you interpret discussion or dissension negatively, the result could be anger. Mindfully accept them as neutral or positive input that will lead to better decisions.
It’s easier said than done to have fundamental change of your EQ.
But the good news is, you can improve your intrapersonal and interpersonal emotional intelligence through mindfulness training to improve overall awareness at work or at home, as the HBR article suggests.
Our marketing communication and design team recently took this challenge.
For a week, we were asked to be mindful of one thing. At the end of the week, we shared our findings.
One result: being mindful made us all more perceptive of others. Regardless of what we focused on, this mindfulness exercise caused us to tune into the events and dynamics around us.
I want to share what we were mindful of last week and how it impacted us:
- Appreciate specific colors, trees, cats, clouds or other things you like.
- By starting meditation, you can find something larger than yourself.
- Pay attention to people’s laughter and facial expressions.
- Notice hugs. Have 10-second hugs with your significant other every day.
Consider doing the same exercise with your team to amplify your mindfulness and reduce conflict.
Best of luck with your mindfulness practices and journey into greater self-discovery.