The Benefits of Emotional Intelligence

According to studies done by Kandi Wiens and Annie McKee, people who have a high Emotional Intelligence (EQ), rarely get burned out even though they experience a great deal of stress.
Kandi discovered in a recent study “Leading Through Burnout” where she assessed 35 chief medical officers (CMOs) at 35 large hospitals for their level of stress and tried to determine what, if anything, they do to deal with burnout. The findings, despite the fact that an overwhelming 69% of the CMOs described their current stress level as sever, very sever, or worst possible, the majority were not burned out. In their interviews with these CMOs, they found a common theme to what kept their stress under control: emotional intelligence.
Annie states that research suggests the EQ supports superior coping abilities and helps people deal with chronic stress and prevent burnout.
Emotional self-awareness, one of the components of EQ, for example, allows us to understand the sources of our frustration or anxiety and improves our ability to consider different responses. Self-management, another EQ competency, allows us to stay calm, control impulses, and act appropriately when faced with stress. Conflict management skills allow us to channel our anxiety and emotions into problem-solving mode rather than allowing the situation to bother us – or keep us up all night.
Empathy also helps to fight stress. When we actively try to understand others, we often begin to care about them. Compassion, as with other positive emotions, can counter the psychological effects Of stress. And, attuning to other people’s perspectives, attitudes, and beliefs contributes to our ability to gain trust and influence others. This, on a very practical level, often means we get the help we need before stress spirals into burnout.
Studies show that people can leverage their EQ to deal with stress and ward off burnout by trying the following strategies:
– Don’t be the source of your stress. Talk yourself out of the negative, perfectionist attitude and realize it is generally self-inflicted.
– Recognize your limitations. Become aware of your strengths and weaknesses and surround yourself with trusted advisors and ask for help when needed.
– Take deep breaths when you feel your tension and anxiety rapidly rising. Mindfulness practices help us to deal with immediate stressors and long-term difficulties.
– Re-evaluate your perspective of the situation. Become motivated to think of situations to be problems to be solved.
– Deescalate conflicts by putting yourself in the other person’s shoes. Be inquisitive, ask questions, listen deeply. By seeking to understand the other person’s perspective, you’ll be in a much better position to gain his trust and influence him. Sharpen your empathic skills.

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