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Until recently, when people talked about Emotional Intelligence in a company and even in a discussion with friends, a certain sly touch appeared, like a minor aspect, without relevance, as if looking sideways at an essential quality of the human being: their power adaptive to what happens.
Today, it is indisputable that the possibility of being flexible in the face of events, accepting what cannot be changed and transforming challenges into positive, becomes a daily management tool both on a personal and professional level.
Although in 2002 UNESCO launched a global initiative and asked the ministers of education of 140 countries to integrate emotional education in their curricula at different levels, very few actually do so. In Latin America , promoted by Lucas Malaisi, his draft Law on Emotional Education is circulating at a firm pace, which just reaffirms and seeks to implement that request from the international body.
So if we know the value of knowing ourselves better, regulating our emotions, using empathy, and learning to motivate ourselves, why are we lagging in this regard? Basically because it is a cultural change in which company managers and governments seem to be not doing their best to contribute to this substantial aspect of people’s quality of life, which directly impacts mental health.
Legislators and governments could be aware of these types of initiatives and promote them at all educational levels and in their structures.
And it is precisely the companies that, seeking to improve productivity, are gradually opening up to consider the emotional dimensions as necessary to address with their teams. The well-known Harvard Business Review constantly highlights it as an essential component for success in business and in life; while HR experts say they recruit people for their intellectual intelligence, and fire them for a lack of emotional intelligence.
Talk about emotions
A key aspect that starts from the individual and scales to the collective is talking about emotions, which have been present for more than fifty thousand generations and have allowed us to survive as a human species.
Every emotion is an impeller to take action: whether in a positive or negative way, it invites you to move from that place – celebrate, recognize achievements, motivate yourself; Or, correct the course, get up from a stumble, solve a challenge that arises.
The word emotion comes from the Latin movere (to move); it is “moving towards” another internal state as a trigger for external conducts and behaviors to better cope with what is presented. In the brain, it is the limbic system that adds emotions to the repertoire of functions that it regulates. And it is the capacity for self-regulation that allows the human species to evolve, as argued by the North American psychologist Daniel Goleman , considered one of the main drivers of Emotional Intelligence.
All that has been said is complemented by the more rational, thinking and structured functions associated with the left hemisphere of the brain, while emotions, communication and empathy, for example, are linked to the right hemisphere. Between the two, imagine millions of bridges permanently transferring information, at high speed, from one side to the other, giving rise to the meaning of how we interpret life and everything that happens to us. In other words, we all have a space in the brain that thinks and another that feels.
5 techniques of Emotional Intelligence in the VICA world
VICA ( VUCA, in English) is the acronym for Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous ; a denomination of the state of the world where everything can change from one moment to another, and nothing is certain. This is how the present moment is perceived.
Image: Sofía Ugalde
In the midst of an environment of complete chaos and confusion, Emotional Intelligence can provide clarity, understanding, and, above all, greater temperance to cope with these vicissitudes.
Here are five techniques:
1. Avoid overreacting: the tendency of the primitive brain, known as reptilian, is to face or flee from situations, respecting the instinct of prehistoric times. It is possible to manage this tendency to act reactively, and in this way, you will be able to observe, analyze, feel and, later, make decisions with greater assertiveness.
2. Accept the inevitable: in VICA settings there are situations that are completely beyond individual power and control. When you are in front of them, you can observe them and think internally if there is any way to contribute positively to solving what is happening: if alternatives appear, design the action plan. If we are facing something inevitable and that exceeds us, think about what part of me feels hurt or re-felt (to feel again) something in relation to the fact: identifying this is essential to go through it with greater understanding. It is not about resigning, but simply accepting that we cannot control it.
3. Work on your self-knowledge: in any of the development paths that you want to face, they will lead you to a greater internal exploration, so that you can better recognize emotions, observe where you feel them physically, and how they affect you. At the same time, by knowing yourself better, you will have coping tools to better cope with situations, no matter how challenging they may be.
4. Use the two types of personal intelligence: Howard Gardner, a Harvard researcher and author of the theory of multiple intelligences, invites us to think that we all have personal and interpersonal intelligence. The first, helps us to know our own emotions, manage them, motivate ourselves, recognize the emotions in others to be able to relate better. The interpersonal is the one that connects us with the environment and others. Here we can practice active listening being fully present with the other person, understanding, solidarity and affective communication, among other aspects.
5. Practice empathy: it is not about becoming who you are in front of you, but about understanding, understanding and even feeling from their perspective. If you turn and get out of your own gaze, rise and observe, you can have higher and complementary positions on the matter you are dealing with with others. This will give you valuable information as, by leaving your own interpretive world, you will expand the lenses through which you are perceiving what is happening. It is about understanding, and not necessarily justifying what the other says or does. You simply broaden the spectrum to connect better.
Emotional Intelligence can provide clarity, understanding, and, above all, greater temperance / Image: Depositphotos.com
With these application tools both in the personal and professional aspects, you will begin to better develop your emotional intelligence in a practical and concrete way. It is not about stopping being who you are, but about integrating new tools and visions that help us better adapt to uncertain and complex environments.