And just like that, we got to September.
September is usually a time I view as “the other start of the year.” In January we set intentions, plans, resolutions, and goals for the year ahead. After the summer, September is conducive to revisiting, updating, celebrating achievements. It is also a good time to course correct if needed prior to the final stretch of the year.
But this September feels different, doesn’t it? We still have a year to wrap up, but we continue to figure things out, one day at the time. We are juggling high levels of unknown and overall uncertainty about how to best move forward.
Parents are dealing with the reality of “back to school” with Covid-19 with all that it implies. The return to some form of classroom is paved with inconsistent messaging between jurisdictions, understandably creating concerns. The economy is gradually coming back online, tentatively defining a path forward that will help us bridge to a new normal yet to be defined. There are signs of transformation just about anywhere we look, and despite being unsettling, it also brings hope.
Recent publications from workplace thought leaders reinforce the need to anchor organizational cultures in foundational constructs not yet widely adopted: a clear purpose, putting people first and fostering psychological safety and communicating with transparency and authenticity. I feel like saying, “It’s about time!” But now is not time for a rant.
There is also a need to dismantle structures that have created systemic racism and inequalities.
We have our work cut out for us, don’t we? Phew…
We are all being stretched, doing our best to cope with societal liminality.
I generally seek simplicity wherever possible. Yes, it is a tall order right now, making it even more important. So, I have been reflecting on where to focus attention and efforts. How do we equip ourselves to move forward with resolve, positivity and impact? The last thing we need right now, is to create another long to do list.
My reflection led me to look for the commonality among the demands staring at us. I found it—the common denominator is you. How do you deal with these tribulations?
If we were to do one thing to increase our capacity and resilience, what would that be? What can we do that will help us show up at our best? Although this may seem paradoxical, now is a great time to focus inwards. Undeniably, we need to take care of ourselves in order to be able to support others.
Let’s make this an opportunity to dedicate time and attention to becoming intimate with our emotional life, listen to the internal messages emotions convey and learn to leverage their power. No need to change, but simply to understand yourself better. Tap in your strength to show up, to be ready to hear and see, without losing sight of who you are — how is that for a beautiful balance?
We can achieve this balance by developing the skills that influence the way we perceive and express ourselves, foster and maintain social relationships, cope with challenges, and use emotional information in an effective and meaningful way. And that, my friends, is the definition of emotional intelligence. Developing the foundational skills that encompass emotional intelligence will help us at home, at work, and in our communities. These skills give us strength and tools to meaningfully interact with each other.
For many years, we have been provided an expanding body of evidence explaining how emotional intelligence predicts success, much more so than IQ (i.e., the intelligence quotient). Now is the perfect time to leverage this knowledge.
In the words of Mister Rogers, “Discovering the truth about ourselves is a lifetime’s work, but it’s worth the effort.”
Moving forward will require us to hold many unavoidable and challenging conversations. They will pave the way to redefining systems and beliefs holding us back. Make sure you are ready for them and feel good about using your voice. Don’t let the loudest voices silence you.
If you’re not sure about how to go about this, please visit my website for a limited time offer to support your skills development using EQ-I 2.0, a powerful assessment tool.
Be the change.