Emotions and Data: How they can be similar

I recently had the privilege of attending a leadership conference in Minneapolis. A lot of the topics resonated with me, and I feel are worth sharing. Some of the most interesting topics were centered on emotional intelligence, personal branding, self-awareness and self-management.

So, do we have a control of our emotions? While I don’t believe the answer is clearly black and white, I do believe we have control over how we choose to respond to matters, and our ability to analyze a situation before replying has a strong correlation to who we are as a people and the kind of environment that we promote.

Here’s a deeper dive into some of the specific topics.

Relational Management and How We View Problems

“We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.”

 – Albert Einstein

Is something truly a problem, or have past experiences conditioned us to believe that if something does not fall within the spectrum of what we hold to be right, then it must be problematic? For a while, I viewed things as either right or wrong, and therefore I struggled with the concept that, “sometimes the problem is how we view a problem”. It’s easy to acknowledge a problem, but what matters most is what we do, within our circle of influence, to address said problem.

Relational management in the workplace is critical, and we must first = acknowledge there are times when who is right and who is wrong becomes irrelevant. When we seek to understand and collaborate, we create an environment in which problems become opportunities. We do not need to treat others how we want to be treated, but rather how they want to be treated.

Self-Awareness and Self-Management

“To be rather than to seem.”

Self-awareness, a trait common in highly effective leaders, is not enough when it comes to emotional intelligence. Having the ability to accurately acknowledge emotions across multiple situations becomes a more powerful tool when combined with the ability to manage the emotions. No one is perfect and there will be events that trigger an emotion, and while we cannot control external factors, we do have control over how we choose to respond.

Emotions are data; therefore, self-awareness is understanding the data: management is how you choose to use the data. If you find yourself in a situation that causes an uncomfortable emotion, first pause and look at the data, and ask yourself why it bothers you. Emotions are contagious and impact our interactions with others; if we fail to analyze our emotions, we create a filter for how we view and perceive things.

Let’s promote and encourage a culture that encourages growth and innovation. For that to manifest, we must start by working on ourselves. I’ve always viewed the slogan “be the change you want to see in the world” as a call to politics or community leadership, but recently I’ve found a new appreciation and meaning. If we want a flourishing community that is inclusive, just, and kind, then we ourselves must model those traits.

If you’re interested in learning more about some of these topics, below is a list of resources that you might find helpful.

Insightful Resources:

  • Emotional Intelligence 2.0 (Jean Greaves and Travis Bradberry)
  • Nine Lies About Work: A Freethinking Leader’s Guide to the Real World (Marcus Buckingham and Ashley Goodall)
  • The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People (Stephen Covey)
  • The Alchemist (Paulo Coelho)
A group of individuals catting in an office

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