By Amira Pollock
Part 3 of this webinar series examines how Emotional Intelligence is vital to build resilience and overcome stressful situations.
“The most important thing that I could share now is self-actualization, which is maintaining a sense of vision even in difficult times.”
Dr. Rich Handley, CPE Instructor and president and founder of EQ University
Last December, through UT’s Center for Professional Education, I hosted a three-part webinar series. Each featured a thought leader with a different perspective on leadership. Part 3 of our webinar series explored emotional intelligence as a vital leadership skill in turbulent times. For the discussion, I was joined by Dr. Rich Handley, an emotional intelligence and leadership coach at the Center for Professional Education and the McCombs School of Business.
Dr. Handley defines emotional intelligence as a series of competencies and skills that influence a person’s ability to cope with environmental demands and pressures. Here are key action areas that he highlighted:
Validate others through active listening
Since everyone has two ears but only one mouth, that’s one way to help you remember to listen twice as much as you speak. Besides ensuring there is talking space for others to contribute to workplace discussions, monitor how often speakers get interrupted. Practice impulse control by refraining from cutting someone off before they finish speaking or trying to move forward without hearing another’s viewpoint, even if you don’t agree with what they’re saying.
Increase your flexibility and stress tolerance in order to be more resilient
Flexibility is if and how quickly you can adapt to unforeseen workplace changes. In short, the only way out is through – keep going! Maintain your optimism that this, too, shall pass. Stress tolerance is how you manage not just short-term stress and bounce back, but long-term, constant stress. The good news is that going through stressful situations really does make you stronger.
Maintain a strong vision to unlock your potential
Don’t think small when you create a vision. Order yourself a supersize vision by considering big questions: How close am I to living up to my potential? How can I positively impact others? What gives my life significance? Next, step outside your comfort zone to make a vision that feels as big as Texas become a reality. Finally, remember that you’ll miss 100% of the opportunities you don’t pursue.
Manage mood and optimism, even in trying times
“The most important thing that I could share now is self-actualization, which is maintaining a sense of vision even in difficult times,” Dr. Handley explained. “Because when that is strong, it typically strengthens a person’s happiness, optimism and self-regard.” In conclusion, increasing your emotional intelligence can help keep you on the sunny side of your life and career, and spread sunshine to others in your orbit, too.
Watch the webinar to learn more.
Amira Pollock is an instructor for the Center for Professional Education and a leadership/communication coach and frequent presenter for the Texas MBA+ Leadership Program, McCombs School of Business, at The University of Texas at Austin. She is also regularly selected as a presenter at SXSW.
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