EI At Work - Articles

EI At Work - Categories


3. EQ skills 1-5: How to cope with change

Written by Rachel Green. Director, The Emotional Intelligence Institute.

Whether people have a low emotional intelligence, an average emotional intelligence or are lucky enough to have a high emotional intelligence, they all still have to face changes at work, and in their lives generally.

Change is all around us, some of our choosing, much of it not.

Change is happening very fast too, probably faster than ever before in history.

If you don't manage the emotions associated with the changes then keeping up with the speed of technological change can be overwhelming at times,

Changes in the workplace are now happening all the time. Workplace change no longer is an occasional event we have to deal with, but an ongoing pattern of change.

However, there is a lot you can do to manage change smoothly, so you feel comfortable with it, simply by applying some steps based on the principles of emotional intelligence.

This article will cover 5 EQ skills on managing change.

A further article will cover another five EQ skills on change.

EQ skills 1: Be willing to change

The world is moving rapidly. I suspect that never before in human history have our lives changed so quickly. So much so that the people who cope with change the best are those who will probably thrive and survive the easiest.

I know of people who have lost their jobs because they've been unwilling to change.

I know people whose relationships have broken down because they are unwilling to change.

There have been companies who have gone to the wall because they couldn't change.

Be willing to change by accepting that it is normal. If you don't do this and become resistant to change and rigid in your unwillingness to accommodate to it, you are getting stuck in unhelpful emotions.

This may suggest you could benefit from developing more emotional intelligence skills in the area of emotional self-management.

Want to stay calmer about change? There are MP3s "Happy not hassled", which can help you to manage your emotions and stay calm during change.

EQ skills 2: Change little things

We are all creatures of habit. We buy the same colours, cars or clothes. We sit next to the same people in meetings. We drive home the same way each night. We start work at the same time.

Try changing these small things.

  • Wear a different colour.
  • Put your watch on the opposite wrist.
  • Choose someone new to sit next to.
  • Take public transport to work.
  • Take up a new hobby.
  • Stop dying your hair.
  • Volunteer to sit on a new committee.

Get used to change. The more used to it you are the more comfortable and relaxed you can be about it, and that is emotionally healthy and intelligent.

EQ skills 3: Tolerate the feelings

Change can produce feelings of discomfort. Learn to tolerate the discomfort.

You don't have to give in to the feelings. Emotional intelligence is about choosing how you respond to your emotions, not being dictated to by them.

For example, if you put your watch on the other wrist, and it irritates you, leave it there. Over time the irritation will probably go and you'll get used to it.

Emotional intelligence is not about giving into your feelings or only responding to them in one way.

Learn to tolerate uncomfortable feelings, when you do you may end up doing something worthwhile that you otherwise may have missed. Meditation can help you feel more at ease at times of change and to cope with the feelings of discomfort.

Want to stay calmer about change? There are MP3s "Happy not hassled", which can help you to manage your emotions and stay calm during change.

EQ skills 4: Keep some things the same

When you're coping with big changes, keep some things the same.

It might be that you still:

  • Go to your favourite lunch bar.
  • Keep your old car.
  • Get up at the same time each morning.
  • Carry the same briefcase.
  • Go to the same gym.
  • Keep your house the same when work is changing rapidly.

This can help you maintain a sense of security, control and stability during change.

Invest your emotional intelligence in managing your emotions in a healthy way.

EQ skills 5: Be around positive people

It's hard to change when the people around you are all complaining about the changes. Spend time with the people who are supportive of the changes.

Negative people may pull you down emotionally. Positive people may lift up your emotional spirits.

Being able to maintain positive emotions during change is the emotionally intelligent thing to do.

Develop even more emotionally intelligent skills in managing change

There is so much that you can do to develop the emotional intelligence across your organisation and manage change well. The EI Institute has a number of options to help you:

  1. There is a high energy, interactive and practical emotional intelligence workshop: "Emotionally ready for change".
  2. There are CDs, DVDs and books particularly the unique and practical CD set/MP3s "Happy not hassled", which can help you to manage your emotions and stay calm during change.

For more details or to make a booking e-mail us now or pick up the phone and call us.