‘Don’t assume’ can mean dropping our assessments and judgments. When we are able to drop our assessments, then we can hear and listen. When we drop assessments and instead ask questions to better understand where someone is coming from, we are more likely to engage in communication that creates understanding.
It is my personal belief that my reactions are an opportunity for me to recognize unhealed parts of myself. When I become a witness to my reactions, I can see what inside me is reactive. I believe reactivity comes from fear, so if I look at what I’m afraid of, then I can be vulnerable and express my concerns without being reactive. My fear may be simple; not feeling like I have energy to complete the demands of my life and still be joyful!~
The ability to self reflect rather than react, some call emotional maturity or emotional intelligence. In business, we call this our EQ. When we are mature, we are less prone to emotional outbursts. Outbursts are exhausting, both to us and those we discharge on. If we are tired a lot, we might want to look at how reactive we are. We can learn to be still, and sit with our feelings; rather than discharge them
“Mature workers are less impulsive, less reactive, more creative and more centered.” Deepak Chopra
Those of us who discharge our feelings probably didn’t learn as children healthy ways to express our emotions. I teach my children it’s ok to be angry. It’s ok to feel like you want to choke the shi# out of your sister. We allow space for their anger and teach them healthy ways to discharge it. It may be writing, screaming, yelling, hitting a pillow or talking it out. Once they are ‘clear’ then they can use their higher EQ skills to work out conflict.
Most children wait to discharge their pent up emotions onto their parents. This creates a vicious cycle, because tired parents are likely to discharge their own pool of unhealed emotions back at their children. So to change the family dynamics, we as parents have to learn a new way to respond! Once we learn to get clear in healthy ways, then we can help our children get clear. Pillow fights seem to get us there pretty quickly!
At home, or in the workplace, when we discharge our anxiety, fear and need for control on others it can wear them out! We create high stress situations to validate our own self worth. Those of us with a high EQ stay focused on progress. We don’t spiral down too far into drama and are therefore able to keep our minds clear for the bigger picture.
Conflicts provide an opportunity to learn and evolve. The most transformative changes can begin when we learn how to quiet our inner storm, be less reactive, focus on what is going well and take time to reflect on what is ahead. We can be proactive, and then take action, and there is little time to lose focus on reactive responses when we are committed to these high EQ responses.
“A leadership culture is one where everyone thinks like an owner, a CEO or a managing director. It’s one where everyone is entrepreneurial and proactive.” Robin S. Sharma