How to give your best in Relationships: Emotions, Emotional intelligence, Empathy & Energy
Avoiding conversations, could be holding you back from growing relationships, pivotal in your career.
Each day, we have conversations and many we label more challenging than others. Why is this so?
Whilst reading (& listening) to a few books during August, I’ve found a connection.
Firstly, when thinking about a challenging conversation, we tend to cloud our thinking with emotions about the imminent event. These emotions arise as we experience a sequence of internal change to our priority motives – BANG – we are in conflict.
With conflict, it’s all about choice. In Have a Nice Conflict, by Tim Scudder, Michael Patterson and Kent Mitchell, we are predictable in our use of behaviours as we know what triggers our conflict. We have a choice to venture into conflict and a choice to control these emotions when our self-worth is being challenged.
However, we do need to learn to manage our conflict if we can’t prevent it in our relationships.
This could be routed in our practise of Emotional Intelligence (EI). If we choose to apply EI, we would stop and listen to the stores in our head and feel the change in our emotions.
We all have an EI radar; men focus more, whereas a woman’s radar hears too many beeps; opportunities to help others, opposed to focusing on herself. Sally Helgesen in her book, How Women Rise, shared this recent Emotional Intelligence research to help women understand what’s holding them back in their career.
When we practise EI effectively, we build our Empathy muscle. Empathy can be developed, and it commences when we start to see life through the lenses of others. We can’t show empathy when we open our mouth and close our ears (and eyes).
Leigh Sales, in your book, Any Ordinary Day, elaborates on her experience as a young and naive journalist, intent on chasing a good a story without considering the feelings of the person at the end of her bombardment of questions. Empathy is about the other person, not yourself.
And finally, Energy. Energy fuels our day. When we choose activities which need our energy, for the right reasons, we can accomplish more. Whereas, if we spend our top energy to clear our email inbox, it’s more than likely there isn’t enough energy to confront the person who you need the challenging conversation.
I’ve worked out this science myself! I’m a morning person and I can do my best work at 6am, however not many people are awake to engage with, so I must save my energy during the day if I’m working together on a challenging exercise.
When I coach people, I ask them to map their energy over a seven-day period. I then ask them to identify the type of work and activities which consume and produce energy. Try it yourself to determine when you’re at your best to enable you to give your best.
Comment below with the area which you need to focus on to give your best in relationships: Energy, Emotions, Emotional Intelligence or Empathy.