Up Your EQ Game with Agility, Creativity, and Compassion
March Madness didn’t turn out as planned for Syracuse superstar Buddy Boeheim. Things got out of hand in the Florida State match-up after some pushing and shoving, and it looked like Boeheim threw a sucker punch.
Boeheim was immediately suspended, and owned his error in a statement that read, “In the heat of today’s game, after some shoving in the lane, I swung my arm while turning to go back up the court. It was wrong to act out in frustration. I apologized to Wyatt Wilkes multiple times in the handshake line. He said not to worry about it, but I know it was wrong. I pride myself in respecting the game and our opponent. I will not react that way again.”
Everything changed for Buddy in the split second when he lost his temper. Are people talking about his incredible scoring stats? Nope! His brand for the foreseeable future is The Punch!
In the May series, Reboot Your Brand with Emotional Intelligence, we’re talking about how to make positive behaviors so synonymous with your style that they become your brand. In Buddy’s story, did you catch the response of his opponent, Wyatt Wilkes? Wilkes didn’t allow The Punch to drag him into a pointless fight. Instead, he walked away looking poised, professional, and grown.
Being poised, professional, and grown doesn’t happen in an instant. Like any world-class skill, developing emotional intelligence requires executing on a plan. Let me tell you how a former manager chose a new approach which immediately upped her EQ game.
The EQ Light Bulb Goes On
All bets were off when I heard the door slam next door. Fifteen minutes later, Kayleigh emerged.
“I guess I don’t need to ask how it went! That team is no walk in the park,” I joked.
“The woman who leads that team pushes meetings, then never prepares. After 6 months, I don’t know why I keep falling for her game,” Kayleigh complained, shaking her head. “Since the meeting went long, I’m completely backed up. So much for acing my To Do list before the weekend!”
She continued, “Even worse, I’m noting an overflow with my family. I’m anxious the night before we get together and snippy when it’s over. That Team Lead is turning me into someone I don’t want to be.” Kayleigh sighed and said, “Maybe I need to treat this like an external negotiation, where I’d sketch out my game plan. Before the next throw down, I’d better meet with myself first!”
How to Reboot Your Brand with Emotional Intelligence
Have you ever known someone like the Team Lead, who wasn’t interested in cultivating emotional intelligence? And did their bad behavior affect your brand, where you started turning into someone you didn’t want to be?
Here’s the bad news: The world is full of crazy characters who may never develop their EQ. But the good news is that you don’t have to let someone else’s closed mindset become the boss of you. Just up your EQ game, so you can spot and bypass drama trying to drag you down.
That’s the change my manager made. Once the light bulb went on about the domino effect happening with her family, she decided enough was enough. She couldn’t change someone else’s actions, but she could make an intentional change to handling shenanigans.
It’s easy to up your EQ game — use soft skill How tactics, like staying nimble, applying creative thinking, and showing yourself compassion. Here are three ways to start:
1. Ask yourself The Big Question, “Before I talk with this difficult person, do I need to meet with myself first?” Design a game plan to address the frustrating behaviors that are sure to happen.
2. Swap unrealistic expectations and perfectionism with empathy. Hard conversations take a toll, so give yourself some grace, like buffer time before and after.
3. Support yourself by declaring, “I have what it takes to handle challenging situations. I keep it moving!”
With hard-headed people, you’ll need every soft skill in your toolkit to keep your first-class brand intact. So, don’t let irritations get the best of you or distract you from your priorities. Before you walk into that tough meeting, meet with yourself first.