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How Emotionally Intelligent People Cope with Change

Wednesday, May 25, 2022 - Joe Kiedinger

“The measure of one’s intelligence is their ability to change.” – Albert Einstein

I’d like to be so bold as to alter that quote by adding “emotional” to Einstein’s statement—in other words, “The measure of one’s emotional intelligence is their ability to change.”

Heck, the term “emotional intelligence” wasn’t even coined until a research paper came out from Yale in 1990, so let’s cut old Al a break.

What is emotional intelligence anyway? Psychology Today defines it as, “the ability to identify and manage one’s own emotions, as well as the emotions of others.”

What does EI have to do with change? Change itself is going to happen regardless of what you do in life. What matters is how you handle that change. What emotional reaction do you have when life turns things upside down? Do you ride the wave or do you spiral into doubt or anger? Maintaining control over your emotions is the key to adapting well in times of transition.

Three reasons those with high EI handle change better than the rest:

  1. Their Coping is Healthy
    According to Daniel Goleman, in his book, Emotional Intelligence, one of the aspects of high EI is self-regulation—which means “you can keep your emotions under control. You rarely, if ever, verbally attack or make impulsive decisions based on emotion.” In times of change, emotionally intelligent people manage their emotions and cope with stress in healthy ways. Rather than getting into arguments, these individuals utilize positive thinking, meditation, exercise and other stress-busting tools to regulate themselves.

  2. They Can Control Their Mindset
    Those with high EI are also more self-aware. They not only feel their emotions in the moment, but they are conscious of them on a higher level. That awareness allows them to choose a different mindset. They’re more likely to see change as an opportunity rather than a threat.

  3. They’ve Developed Grit
    Emotionally Intelligent people are less likely to be thrown off by bumps in the road. Rather than wasting time with “woe is me” moments, they acknowledge the bump and keep on truckin’. They’re gritty people who keep their eye laser-focused on a goal until they reach completion.

Good news: raising your EI is entirely attainable. It’s a skill that can be learned and developed with practice.

JOE KIEDINGER

ACTION PLAN: Listen in on my podcast, The Dignity Dialogue, to find out the six crucial elements of change.

Sometimes, all it takes is a little inspiration.

Understanding where others are coming from is critical in communicating and working toward a common cause.