Frustration can race like fire, once it starts. Best to have a way to manage your frustration, so it does not consume you. Have you experienced frustration in the past week or two? Think of what happened. How did you handle it? Did you manage your frustration or let it get the better of you?
Frustration is a powerful energy once it gets going, but you can manage it. Here are a few ways: step back and away from the situation to cool off, stop and figure out its cause and what you can do about it or channel your frustration into constructive action. You are more powerful than your frustration – keep it under your control.
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Recently I listened to an episode of This American Life titled In Defense of Ignorance. In the episode, they discussed The Dunning–Kruger Effect, a cognitive bias wherein unskilled individuals suffer from illusory superiority, mistakenly assessing their ability to be much higher than is accurate. The theory was developed in experiments conducted by Dunning and Kruger of the department of psychology at Cornell University in 1999. The study was inspired by the case of McArthur Wheeler, a man who robbed two banks after covering his face with lemon juice in the mistaken belief that, because lemon juice is usable as invisible ink, it would prevent his face from being recorded on surveillance cameras.
Have you seen the Dunning-Kruger Effect in action in your workplace? You deal with all kinds of personalities in your workplace and need to use your emotional intelligence to remain effective. What do you do when you run into people with an unshakable sense of superiority? How do you keep doing your work well amongst them?
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1. What “button” of yours has the situation pushed? What is the source of your defensive feeling?
2. Is it a good idea to remove yourself from the situation for a time to center and assess before you respond?
3. If another person is involved, what does your emotional intelligence tell you is the most effective way to respond to them?
4. Is the situation even worth responding to or is it more effective to walk away?
5. What is the source of your defensiveness? What are you protecting yourself from?
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When something “hooks” me, either in a good way or bad, I find it useful to ask myself “does it matter?” The reason I do this is that some experiences and situations can knock me off balance and my response can be out of proportion to what is happening.
The next time you have an experience that creates a strong reaction, try asking yourself does it matter? Doing so allows you to gain perspective and respond from a place of power. Asking the question centers you, allowing you to get through experiences in control of yourself and to avoid creating messes you have to get out of later.
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How far are you reaching now to advance your career? Reaching puts you ahead of the crowd, gets you beyond the status quo and keeps you growing. There are many ways to reach. Here are a few:
• Identify a skill that can use improving and take a class, find a mentor or employ another way to improve that skill.
• Identify a career goal that stretches you and go for it.
• Ask someone you trust what he or she thinks you can improve relating to your emotional intelligence and work to do so.
• Pick a personal goal that stretches you and go for it. For example, running a marathon or entering a speech contest. Personal improvement has a positive effect on work performance.
Reaching serves you. Find something to reach for in the next month and be the best you can be!
photo: KaiqueRocha, stocksnap.io
You do not work in an isolated bubble, do you? The world that surrounds you has influence and impact on your workplace. Currently, there is a lot of change, uncertainty and even chaos in the outside world. How is this affecting your workplace and you?
There is value in putting some focus on this. What’s going on in the outside world is being felt by nearly everyone. In the workplace, this can impact productivity, balance, emotions and interrelationships. Take some time to assess how your workplace is responding and reacting to the outside world right now. Address what you see and find ways to keep your team together and thriving through it all.
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As a society, we have done a lot of work on developing and improving how we work in teams. What if we add to the definition of a good team, minimizing the drama? We have come far in recognizing the importance of emotional intelligence and collaboration. There is still work to be done to lessen the stress and dissonance resulting from interpersonal conflict.
The drama experienced in teams often derives from individuals’ emotional makeup and perspectives. Root causes are not usually pursued. Rather, we attribute conflict to superficial causes and stop there.
We do not have the luxury of bringing group therapy into our team activities, but we can do some things to minimize drama and conflict. When a team is formed, why not recognize the potential for drama and set some guidelines to minimize it? Examples may be: emphasizing the importance of each member’s emotional intelligence, having structures to immediately deal with and resolve interpersonal conflicts or establishing zero tolerance of bullies, unrestricted anger, psychological games or unhealthy competition.
Drama has always been present in teams. Let’s bring it out in the open and deal with it. We will see positive results quickly, leading to happy and productive team members.
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My guess is that you have seen others let their ego get the best of them, with negative results. Are you aware of any hold that your ego may have on you? Do you misstep due to pride, insecurity, need for approval or other attitudes?
Your ego is created by the experiences you have in life and lifts out of your subconscious mind. Sure, ego has positive aspects when kept in check – self-esteem, self-confidence. But here I am referencing ego’s harmful aspects that skew your responses, based on past negative experiences. The ego may act from a protective place, thinking you are still a child and need its protection from the big, bad world. That is not the case. You are an adult and able to find your own way.
Make some effort to understand yourself, your perspectives and your motivations. It is well worthwhile. Develop a healthy ego, so that your best self shines.
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How do you handle disruptions? Do what you can to prevent them, but they will happen. When disruptions occur, you have a choice in how you respond. You can deny they are happening (futilely), get present and figure out how to handle them, let your emotions take over, walk away or do something that lets them work to your benefit.
Whatever response you choose, there are consequences. Accept that disruptions are part of life and keep them from getting the better of you. That way, your work continues to flow and you may be able to work disruptions in your favor.
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Negativity creeps into all lives every once in awhile. Are you experiencing negativity in your work now? If you are, or if you do in the future, it behooves you to look below the surface and expose its roots. Only by doing this can you rid yourself of it.
Sources of negativity can be many things. They can be connected to your emotions, perceptions, real or imagined events, fears or a disconnection. Once you identify the source of negativity you can address it directly. In doing so, you can keep your center and not allow negativity to get out of control. Negativity is subjective. Find its source and let it go.
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