by Lou Russell

February 02, 2018

Agile and EQ: Emotional Intelligence

Emotions are behind every choice we make every minute. Given the different perspectives, competencies, behaviors, and motivators on an Agile engagement, it is critical that team members learn to manage their own emotions. There are five components to leverage as you grow ‘the muscle’ of your emotional state:

  • Self-Awareness
  • Self-Regulation
  • Motivation
  • Social Skills
  • Empathy​​

In Agile settings, I recommend that you focus on NOTICE and CHOOSE. Start with these three:

  • Self-Awareness
    NOTICE when your mood is beginning to get more negative
  • Self-Regulations
    CHOOSE how you will behave
  • Empathy
    NOTICE and CHOOSE how to see others

We all have biases in our thoughts that trigger negativity. Every time you evaluate a situation, you are comparing what you see against what you think is right. Think of the way misinterpret and judge each other. When you view someone else, you use your judgment to evaluate the world outside. The farther your judgment is from reality drives stress. Increasing stress tells the brain you are in danger. Your brain responds by shutting down higher-order thinking and memories. You’re left with only FIGHT, FLIGHT, or FREEZE. As Dr. Izzy Justice shares, you are blind to everything else. Our assessment provides practices that your staff can use to grow their own EQ.
“This week, as you face a challenge at work, a point in a meeting perhaps where you find yourself evaluating your risk/threat level to say/do something, consider what past memories are causing you to be so cautious. They are real of course but are they keeping you from being your best in the critical moments of your performance? For most people, the answer is a definitive “yes!” And if so, then you alone are your biggest threat to your performance.” – Dr. Izzy Justice
How could you as a leader drive conversation about the biases (judgments) that are misinterpreting reality? How can we stop and think about the other person’s issues? How does your own bias affect your leadership?

Lou Russell

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