This week, a coworker and I attended the Society for Human Resource Management local chapter’s training on emotional intelligence.
My coworker, Becky Martini, receives the emails from SHRM each month announcing the training and she always asks if I’d like to attend. When my schedule allows, I try to make it.
Each of the trainings I’ve attended have been useful, but the presentation Tuesday from Stacia Skretteberg really hit home.
I’ve said on these pages before that I’m an INTJ. While many people who take the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator and examine the results find themselves near the middle for some of the types, I landed on the fairly extreme sides of all of the types.
I am an introvert. While my job encourages me to step outside that comfort, I need time alone to recharge. I am analytical and struggle sometimes processing or dealing with emotions — whether they are mine or anyone else’s. When I saw the email about SHRM’s training on emotional intelligence, or EQ, I immediately responded to Becky and said, “I should probably go to that one.”
I’m aware of my weaknesses. But, as Skretteberg pointed out, being aware and doing something about it is not the same thing. Attending the training was one step toward doing something about it.
Once I got over the acronym being EQ, instead of EI, I was able to focus on Skretteberg’s presentation.
She focused on how we handle EQ in work situations, primarily, but it applies elsewhere, too.
Emotional intelligence has many definitions. One defines EQ as one’s ability to manage your own emotions and the emotions of others.
Other definitions were more complicated.
For kicks, I took an EQ test online. My score came back as average, but I imagine it’s because I answered with what I should do in situations, rather than how I actually react.
The point, though, is this: We all have areas we can work on.
Empathy and EQ stand out as important qualities for members of a community to get along. Note, I did not indicate that everyone must agree on every issue. That expectation is not only unlikely but far-fetched.
Given the debates going on within the community regarding race, sexual orientation, gender identity, respect and discrimination as a whole, perhaps we all should take a moment to examine our EQs.
Perhaps self-awareness of our own weaknesses could be the first step toward understanding each other.
Empathy will be crucial to addressing such issues within our communities.