Emotional intelligence, can be measured but, emotional resilience, is how you emotionally utilize all those components to say – okay life is throwing me a bit of a curve ball at the moment. How do I work with it? I don’t like the situation that I find myself in, but what do I do? If you don’t do anything you’re going to fall over and that’s not being, resilient.
My guest today is Robin Hills, author of The Authority Guide to Emotional Resilience in Business: Strategies to Manage Stress and Weather Storms in the Workplace.
Robin has over 35 years business and commercial experience, helping executives and leaders develop, emotional resilience, through increased self-awareness and understanding of others.
Listen to the full episode Here:
Robin’s focus is on supporting personality and behavior in business, based on the everyday application of, emotional intelligence. He is the director of Emotional Intelligence (E.I.) for Change. A company specializes in training, coaching and personal development focused around, emotional intelligence, positive psychology and neuroscience.
His educational program on, emotional resilience, and, emotional intelligence, are used in educational establishments in South Africa, India, as well as over 5000 students in 125 countries.
Introduction to Emotional Resilience
Myrna: Emotional Intelligence, and, emotional resilience, in the workplace is a big topic, because we know that a lot of our stressors come from working with people in the workplace. It’s not necessarily your spouse or your children or immediate family, but in the workplaces where we have the most stress and learning how to maneuver that with, emotional intelligence, or, emotional resilience, is actually a great skill.
Myrna: What does, emotional resilience, really mean and what was your journey into becoming an expert at it?
Emotional Resilience Starts Building at Home
Robin: I just want to say that, emotional intelligence, or, emotional resilience, in the workplace is going to be affected by what’s going on with your partner, what’s going on with your children, what’s going on at home, because these are going to drive your, emotions. So that when you’re at work, you don’t leave those, emotions, in the trunk of your car, you don’t leave them in the parking lot, you take them into work with you and they’re going to influence the way in which you engage with people.
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What Is Emotional Intelligence?
Emotional Intelligence, is the way in which you utilize your thinking with your feelings in order to make good quality decisions and build up authentic relationships. If you are awash with unpleasant, emotions, because of circumstances that are happening outside of work, you’re not really going to be in a good place, to have a jolly happy relationship with the people that you work with; particularly if you undergo levels of conflict with them and that’s going to mean that you’re not necessarily going to make the best decisions.
Those with a higher degree of, emotional resilience, can handle the stresses that come with daily life more effectively and calmly. They are also able to manage crises more easily. Fortunately, emotional resilience, is a trait that can be developed. In fact, it’s a trait that is worth developing for many reasons, not the least of which is that it can transform your life and your experience of, stress in the workplace.
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How to Build Your Emotional Resilience
How did become an expert on, emotional intelligence? I was doing a sales job (a very high pressured sales job) within the pharmaceutical industry in and around the teaching hospitals of Central London and I recognized that my, emotions, drove the way in which I engaged with people. Interestingly enough their, emotions, drove the way in which they engaged with meat the time, that was at the end of the last century where nobody had heard of, emotional intelligence.
It wasn’t until the mid 90’s when the first books were published on, emotional resilience, that I suddenly realized, this was what I‘ve been searching for all my life. I asked my self what can I do in terms of working with this idea and concept?
At the time I hadn’t got much more experience than a lot of sales experience and a bit of management experience. So, it was really a case of building that experience, just getting more experience working with people, influencing, persuading people and understanding how they engage.
Myrna: A lot of times, emotional intelligence, has to do with learning to navigate that situation because a lot of times, nothing is wrong with you, but you have a boss or someone that you have to learn to intelligently deal with them.
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Emotional Intelligence Test
Myrna: Is there an, emotional intelligence test?
Robin: The word “test” is not quite right, but people call it a test. Let’s go along with this, I prefer to call it an assessment or an inventory. because a test, it implies that there are right answers and there are wrong answers.
However, I will say that the word test is widely used when we’re talking about, personality tests, and a lot of psychologists will refer to their instruments as tests. So, the answer to your question is – yes, there are quite a few, assessments, or, emotional intelligence test. Some look at measuring abilities, some look at measuring competencies and some mix the two together.
My preference is to look at one that mixes the two together and I’m a great fan of what’s known as the, EQI 2.0, the Emotional Quotient Inventory 2.0. There are other good, emotional intelligence tests, available, but I like that one because it’s got a 360 view.
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Personality Assessment Test
The, EQI 2.0, generates a leadership report and there are a wide variety of norms which means that we can select out western managers who are middle aged, between 30 and 40 and identify how people perform against that group.
We can look at a South African norm and see how people perform against that group. The, EQI 2.0, is the most widely used, assessment test, across the world.
Myrna: What exactly are you looking for when you’re doing this, emotional intelligence test?
Robin: Ideally, we’re looking for a sweet spot which is about seven or eight points which suggests that there’s room for improvement, but people have got that level of competency – that ability when it’s appropriate and when the circumstances are right for them to express themselves in that way.
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The Authority Guide to Emotional Resilience
Myrna: In your book “The Authority Guide Emotional Resilience in Business”, you’re combining, emotional intelligence, and, emotional resilience. How are they related?
Robin: Really interesting question because surprisingly, emotional resilience, itself is not a part of an, emotional intelligence, framework. Resilience, is about sticking to something to a certain extent that is measured in the, emotional intelligence assessment.
What we need to do is just to understand what, resilience, is. It’s a component of, stress management. Stress management, is part of, emotional intelligence, particularly if you’re looking at the, EQI 2.0, inventory. It will measure how you, manage stress. it will look at your, stress tolerance, to a certain extent that could be called your, resilience.
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How to Build Your Resilience
If we look at what, resilience, is, resilience, is not what most people think. It’s not about bouncing back, that’s not what, resilience is. Resilience, is having a realistic understanding of the situation that you find yourself in and accepting that things cannot always be brilliant all the time.
Having a kind of realistic optimism that life is good, life is meaningful – that’s an important component of, resilience. Then it’s having the adaptability, the flexibility and the creativity to make the most of the situation and put things to different uses in order to help you to grow and develop through the situation that you find yourself in.
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How Emotional Intelligence and Emotional Resilience Differs
Now a lot of those can’t be measured in the same way that, emotional intelligence, can be measured but, emotional resilience, is how you emotionally utilize all those components to say – okay life is throwing me a bit of a curve ball at the moment. How do I work with it? I don’t like the situation that I find myself in, but what do I do? If you don’t do anything you’re going to fall over and that’s not being, resilient.
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Mental Health is a component of emotional resilience
I think it’s also important to say here that people have got to look at their, mental health. If people are undergoing severe, mental health, issues there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. They’ve just got to seek the support that they need whether it’s clinical or medical support. It could be support from family or friends or a therapist.
It’s getting the support that they need to see them through that awkward patch. There is nothing wrong with having a, mental health, issue.
Myrna: Let’s transition into, stress, your book also deals with, stress. It’s part of the title. What are some of the, strategies to reduce stress, in the workplace using, emotional resilience?
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Using emotional resilience for stress management
Robin: I think one of the easiest and quickest ways to reduce, stress, is to understand your, emotions, and to recognize what, emotions, you are feeling and the impact that they are having upon you. Now, emotions, are emotions. There’s a lot of nonsense said about positive and, negative emotions. We can’t label, emotions, as positive or negative.
We’re experiencing, emotions, for a reason and the important thing is to understand the information that these, emotions, are trying to convey to us. If we’re feeling angry why are we feeling angry? What is it that we need to do in order to work with that anger?
A negative way of utilizing that anger is to bottle it up, and let it get worse or to go and take it out on the wrong person (your partner, your children, the cat or your subordinates in the workplace). That is not effective, stress management.
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How Leaders Use Emotional Intelligence
Myrna: If I’m a leader with, emotional intelligence, I would understand that change is a process and I wouldn’t get upset if there’s a lot of push back from people who are objecting to change. I would understand that it’s a process and sooner or later they will accept change. In the meantime, how do I guide them?
Robin: I think the most, emotionally intelligent, way of dealing with change is finding out what everybody needs and what everybody wants, because some people will need a lot more guidance than others. What I need will be different from what you need.
A good leader will actually adapt what they do and how they communicate with staff. A lot of leaders don’t have that time and are not prepared to put that level of investment into their employees.
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Emotional Intelligence and Stress Management
Myrna: Can you use, emotional intelligence, to, reduce stress? Is there a way you can think your, stress, away?
Robin: Yes, but to a certain extent. It’s also all about, self-awareness; it’s a fundamental component of, emotional intelligence. So, it’s having this knowledge about yourself:
- What are you good at,
- Are you utilizing your strengths,
- Do you know your liabilities,
- What are the obstacles that usually prevent you from succeeding?
I‘m not a great advocate for working with liabilities and weaknesses and trying to change them. I look at what you are good at? What makes you really special? I try and get more of that good stuff because if you can do it well, strangely enough all those weaknesses and liabilities disappear.
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Using Emotional Resilience to Manage stress at work
Myrna: When you’re at work, the things that you can control is yourself. You can’t control someone else, you can’t control the situations. If your company decides to move their headquarters and go to a different state there’s nothing you can do about that. All you can do is use your, emotional intelligence, to decide whether you’re going to go or you’re going to stay.
Myrna: Tell our listeners about your book.
Robin: My book is called the “Authority Guided to Emotional Resilience in Business Strategies to Manage Stress, and Weather Storms in the workplace” and of course it can be found on Amazon. I was very pleased for it to be published under the authority guide series, because it actually shows the level of authority behind the messages that are within the book.
But, if people are not interested perhaps in reading a book, I‘ve actually converted the book into an online course.
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Emotional Intelligence for change Course
You can actually go along and watch short little videos around each of the topics. You can look at those in terms of self-paced learning, so that’s another alternative. If people go to courses.ei4change.com, you’ll be able to find the course there. People can download, and get a free, Emotional Intelligence Book.