– Marcia Hughes and James Terrell
Now is the time to live our intention to be the finest people we can be. All over the planet we’ve been challenged with COVID-19 and the attendant consequences of death, illness, and financial loss, especially for those who have the fewest resources. Now it’s spring in the northern hemisphere, it’s getting warmer, and vaccines are increasing our well-being. What have we learned? What are we learning?
How shall we respond and move toward building a world that works for all? The answers are based in intentional use of emotional intelligence.
- Be kind to yourself. Build your self-regard through appreciating your gifts. Be attentive to your self-talk. If you are constantly criticizing yourself, you’ll do the same to others.
- Listen with the ears of our heart. Focus first on the quality of what is said rather than letting the relationship be objectified. Our messages to and from one another matter. Empathy heals.
- Be forgiving. Forgiveness is the process of repair, healing, making whole again, it is the opposite of retribution. There are so many stories of reaching out with healing during the pandemic. Yo Yo Ma performed at a vaccine clinic after getting his second vaccine shot, as an example. Think of this as a very different way of problem solving. Extending forgiveness is a powerful form of assertiveness.
- Recognize and acknowledge our essential connection with one another. Research is showing our species thrived not because of ruthless competition but its remarkable ability to cooperate. Take a moment to be appreciative of those you encounter. Apply your optimism and happiness.
- Explore the truth and implications of the ancient Mayan statement “en la k’etch,” which translates as “You are another myself.” Build caring interpersonal relationships.
- Calm yourself. Whether you meditate, pray, walk or use another strategy, be intentional about taking dedicated time to calm and center yourself as you move beyond stress to connect with your truth. Imagine the stress tolerance benefits!
Developing emotional and social intelligence (ESI) is the focus of our work. We’ve written Emotional Intelligence in Action and The Emotionally Intelligent Team and several other books providing specific strategies for making a sustainable difference in the quality of the lives of individuals, leaders, teams and organizations by expanding ESI. This is how to mitigate and prevent the conflict that escalates to violence when we treat each other carelessly. It is how we act proactively to improve life conditions and relationships.
Thanks to all our friends and colleagues for the privilege of communicating and working with you.
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