Recharge your batteries with nonsense

August 7th, 2015

CRANIUM Point: Using emotions not ignoring emotions
Capitalize on emotional intelligence by putting to practical use the power of the emotional brain.

 

Work, relationships, bills…life can be overwhelming and it is so easy to fall into the pattern of being serious all of the time.  Don’t.  The brain loves nonsense, fun, humor, and novelty. Incorporating any of those into the serious parts of our lives wakes up the brain and makes the event more enjoyable, manageable, and memorable.  That also means making things less serious for the people around you.  Here are some ways to mix it up and make things a bit lighter:

  • Change locations – go to a park, hold a meeting while walking
  • Redecorate – hang lights, put up silly pictures
  • Celebrate – do something for everyone’s birthdays and anniversaries
  • Volunteer – soup kitchens, old folks homes
  • Play sports – start an office softball team or play minigolf
  • Compliment others – do it all of the time and never poke fun

 

How to build trust with transparency

July 23rd, 2015

CRANIUM Point: Using emotions not ignoring emotions
Capitalize on emotional intelligence by putting to practical use the power of the emotional brain.

 

Integrity is another way of saying that your actions broadly align with your values.  It’s what you do while no one is looking.  When our actions, beliefs or thoughts are out of alignment with those values we usually have an indicator and it’s usually emotional.  It may be a bad feeling you have internally or a negative response from others.  Today take a minute to reflect on those things you may do that others might complain about and see if you find some truth.

We’re going to do this alone because it can be soooo much easier to be honest when ourselves when we are not faced with someone else’s disapproval.  Our own disapproval of ourselves is usually more than enough.

Transparency brings consistency and trust. It means being the same even when no one is looking. Reflect on what areas of your life may be inconsistent. Identify ways to build transparency and utilize resources to help you follow through and be accountable.  Tell someone who may be affected by your discovery in a positive way and let them know that you are working on it.  That will build some serious trust.

When can assumptions be helpful?

July 7th, 2015

Angry man screaming in phone

CRANIUM Point: Using emotions not ignoring emotions
Capitalize on emotional intelligence by putting to practical use the power of the emotional brain.

Let’s face it.  We all have difficult people in our lives. We know what to expect of them and it’s generally not much. At the same time its always possible to do better in any situation. Even an Olympic gold-medalist could shave another second or score one more time. So it’s certainly true that we could always do better when we deal with that guy (or gal).

In this situation we usually focus on trying to limit contact, to moderate our responses or even to try understand them better.  Sometimes, though, we must set the table first. What would happen if we took the radical step of assuming the best of intentions on behalf of those troublesome individuals?  You know, fake it ’til you make it.

Identify a person or situation that is presently challenging you or causing you to feel conflicted. Rather than assuming the worst, assume the best. “Assume good intent” when working with this person or in this situation. You may not discover that this person or situation is actually wonderful and amazing but there is a strong chance that you’ll see possibilities you didn’t before.

Don’t write about your feelings

June 26th, 2015

Keyboard with white Enter button, angry word on it

We’re talking about email and texting. Go ahead and journal to your heart’s content but for communication to others this is a no-no. First, it’s always good to have extra time to wrap our head around our emotions before interacting. We’ve all hammered out one of those messages in all caps and it universally doesn’t make any outcome better. Second, and more important, we lose access to our non-verbal cues: body language and vocal tone.

We’ve all heard some variation of ‘90% of communication is non-verbal.’ Whether or not the exact number is true non-verbals are highly important. Imagine your boss looks over and asks, “what are you doing?” Was the brow furrowed or was the tone chipper and upbeat? It makes all of the difference.

When tempted to express emotion, communicate voice-to-voice or face-to-face. Email and texting are for information and not emotion. Write this reminder and post somewhere visible such as on the computer monitor, your wallpaper, or a screensaver. If you’re embarrassed about putting this somewhere other people will see, such as your office, don’t use words. Make an angry face with a line through it or buy a “mean people suck” sticker.  Whatever it takes.