One of the benefits of working for a fairly sizable corporation is the ability to make suggestions and have the probability of seeing them adopted or funded on not only a small but also potentially large scale. In having a Health and Wellness Center within our company initiatives involving health and well-being are viewed in favorable terms when it comes to inclusion in the workplace. One of the terms that have been coming up in conversation is the idea of being mindful—mindful in our work and mindful in our awareness of our surroundings and overall picture. This mindfulness paired with Emotional Intelligence creates the ability to adapt to situations and move them towards desired outcomes.
Mindfulness and Emotional Intelligence starts with a state of mind and a mindset that is open and clear. Adopting habits like deep breathing and meditation may sound menial but both are actually proving to be quite powerful in terms of emotional management and creative collaboration. Being emotionally charged does not mean being irrational. It means being part of an environment that captures and acknowledges human emotional range. It is about creating a dynamic that is conducive to a happy workplace and a high quality deliverable.
Being reactionary adversely impacts our goals and what we are trying to accomplish. Maintaining a so-called “level head” is key in all areas of business decision-making. Emotional Intelligence is more than just a buzzword. Being able to access emotions can greatly change the mood of an individual or entire room of people and create an environment where the content that is being delivered is well received. Individuals that are emotionally intelligent have a better overall understanding of how to collaborate and how to change pace when a situation moves away from the designed course.
Acknowledging emotions recognizes our connectedness amongst each other. In order to be successful the goal is never to be completely independent or entirely dependent; it involves being interdependent in words and actions. While for many years the worker has been programmed to separate emotions from work, citing the infamous God Father line “it’s not personal; it’s business,” it has been thought that being direct and devoid of emotion creates the best practice for getting the job done. As design too has become more and more intertwined in the workplace it is questionable as to how anyone could omit emotion from a piece that is supposed to invoke it. However, there is still a slight disconnect from being able to talk about emotion and having actual emotions.
While there is no real scenario where you would want to burst into tears, there is a need for being able to harness an emotion and use emotion to convey your messaging in the most impactful way possible. As designers can attest to, being able to reach someone at an emotional level is what creates a lasting impression. Additionally, our current culture is now dealing with never being disconnected. While a home is our sanctuary it is now infiltrated but the demands of work and the need to connect. It is not difficult to see that we rarely shut down and turn off our attached at the hip devices. Well maybe not attached at the hip (that’s pretty uncool) but you catch my drift. Private socialization and conversation have now become common in the workplace and sometimes issue provoking. People check emails, update their Facebooks, send out tweets and live inside of a world that promotes accessibility. This accessibility has also made it easier for employers and marketers to reach individuals around the clock.
In staying connected by device our lives have been disconnected in other ways. Sending an email or a text message is sometimes easier than relaying a message in person or even by telephone. With that there is a loss of genuine connection and genuine emotional interaction. What we say versus how we say it is what differentiates and clarifies our message. We miss out on valuable cues and in some cases waste more time in understanding the back and forth of flat interaction versus dynamic communication.
According to Anne Kreamer author of It’s Always Personal: Emotion in the New Workplace, “Overtly acknowledging how and in what measure anger, anxiety, fear and pleasure and color shape our working lives can help us manage those emotions and use them to our benefit, both at work and at home.”We benefit from being able to express an emotional spectrum and knowing how to process those emotions to navigate and relate to each other in meaningful ways.