From notable increases in the count of COVID-19 infections to just as notable decreases in interest rates and economic activity nationwide, there is a lot for credit union leaders to be stressed about – and it doesn’t look like things will calm down any time soon.
When you think about yourself, or your team, does the idea of sustained high-level stress, well, stress you out? How do you, or your fellow team members react when stress levels are high? Do you bring your best behaviors, or do you struggle not to show your worst?
What is Emotional Intelligence?
Stress is defined as emotional tension or mental strain, and while sustained periods of high stress are not good for anyone, why is it that some people seem better able to deal with tension and strain than others? One answer is that they likely already have a high level of “emotional intelligence.”
Emotional intelligence is the ability to identify, understand and manage one’s own emotions, as well as the emotions of others. This is also known as Emotional Quotient (EQ). A high EQ is demonstrated by the following skills:
- Emotional Awareness: The ability to identify one’s own emotions, and know/understand how one’s own emotional strengths and weaknesses affect others.
- Emotional Application: The ability to apply specific and appropriate emotions to certain tasks. This is also related to the ability to self-regulate behavior, and self-motivate for appropriate focus and action.
- Emotional Management: The ability to manage emotions, both personally and in others (meaning working well with others in emotional situations – not manipulating others).
Generally those people who seem to manage stressful situations well possess awareness of how they react to stress on an emotional level, know how their best and worst traits impact those around them, and are intentional about managing those tendencies to a positive impact on others – all in a variety of situations and among different types/groups of people.
In other words, they know themselves well, and have trained themselves to utilize their emotional strengths in ways helpful to themselves and to others – especially during times of high stress.
Improving Low EQ
So, how are you? Feeling frazzled? Having a hard time hiding stress-induced anger/irritation/uncertainty? Feel like you could be more “even keel” and high-performing for the benefit of yourself and your co-workers? The good news is that EQ isn’t something defined at birth never to change. EQ is something you can develop and improve.
The first step in developing a high EQ is to get a baseline of your current EQ level. This involves taking an online assessment. The assessment takes approximately 20 minutes to complete, and its questions are designed to gauge EQ in five critical areas:
- Decision Making
- Stress Management
The second step is to create an individual development plan, one containing strategies to sustain areas of high emotional intelligence, and strategies to improve areas of low emotional intelligence.
The third, and ongoing step, is to periodically re-assess to check in on plan progress.
The fourth step, or really state of being, is to live just a little better each day through the mastery of emotional awareness and strength.
We Can Help
“Know thyself” is an oft repeated phrase used by people to justify why they are the way they are (or think they are). It is a phrase used, actually, to defend against self-awareness – and more importantly to defend against the need for personal change.
There is, however, something very healthy about self-awareness meeting and responding to opportunities for personal growth, development, and change.
To be a better leader, to stand strong in stressful times, requires such a healthy approach. I can help. I’m Matt Griffiths, partner at Glatt Consulting, and I’m certified in EQ-i 2.0, the model depicted in the image above. This means I am…
- Licensed to run your assessment,
- Trained to debrief your assessment, helping you understand your score results in the context of the five areas of assessment.
- Prepared to help you begin the development of your improvement strategies, and, if you need it, able to help keep you on track with routine progress check-ins and course corrections.
While we can all acknowledge we’re in a period of high stress today, the reality is that, at least in the world of financial services, we’re always in stressful situations. Our decisions and actions are life-changing for thousands of people nationwide; we work with a wide variety of people, not all of whom are easy to get along with; and we’re often in the cross-hairs of people who too quickly find fault with our best intentions.
Stressful, yes, but with the right EQ foundation, nothing you can’t manage.
Begin the Assessment Process Today
Ready to develop high EQ for yourself or for your team? We have assessment options and processes for both individuals and for teams. Review the options below and select the one that best aligns with your needs.
If you’re ready to assess and develop your own EQ, here are your options:
Baseline Assessment and Debrief: This option includes an EQ-i 2.0 baseline assessment, your results report, and a one-hour results debrief and “next actions” discussion. The fee for this option is $475. Order Now
Assessment and Individual Development Plan: This option includes an EQ-i 2.0 baselines assessment, your results report, an initial debrief, creation of an individual education and development plan, and weekly check-in conference calls for three months. The fee for this option is $2,500. Order Now
If you’re a team leader and are ready to assess and develop your team’s EQ, we offer the same options above for your individual members – but with volume discounts. We also offer an Assessment and Team Development Plan option that combines the individual development effort with parallel team development (focused on how the team itself works together).
As pricing and timeframes depend on team size, start date, etc., we encourage you call to discuss the specifics of your organization so we can develop a Statement of Work considerate of your environment and expectations. The office number is (888) 217-5988, and I can be reached at extension 802. Or, simply complete our proposal/contact request form.
Photo by Pedro Figueras from Pexels