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Businesswoman motivating her team members in a meetingThere’s one asset we all have a limited amount of: time. There’s one non-renewable resource: time. If time is such a valuable commodity that’s limited and non-renewable, it would make sense that we would spend it wisely.

Leaders attract those with positivity and healthy, balanced emotions. Conversely, a neg-aholic is one who’s always focused on the negative, complaining, blaming, and being the “Debbie downer” in the room.

Jerry Slayton, my tennis coach, inspired me with these words:

“It’s not your aptitude that determines your altitude; it’s your attitude.” I quickly responded, “I can have an attitude!”

After 26 years of competitive tennis, I have learned that attitude transforms neg-aholics into leaders–or underdogs into top dogs.

As I pursued my Master’s Degree in Psychology, I understood this within the context of IQ versus EQ. IQ is your aptitude, EQ is your attitude, and success is your altitude. Research tells us that 70-80% of our success is due to our emotional intelligence. You can have all the smarts and IQ in the world, but it’s much more challenging to achieve success if your attitude is sour.

Men, I have some news for you. You may not want to hear it. The women have a head start on us. It’s proven that our EQ is far more important than our IQ, and women have been socialized to develop their EQ while men pride themselves on their IQ.

Our EQ is divided into 5 main components:

  • Your self-awareness and ability to identify and label your feelings.
  • Managing your emotions and having the ability to balance between stuffing and spewing your feelings. One with Intellection® can get introspective and analyze why he’s feeling the way he is, allowing him to process and handle his emotions well.
  • Motivating yourself. Jimmy Conners said, “The will to win is inside of you. You have to bring it out.” For a Maximizer® or Achiever® this is easy. However, we can all do it! Think back to elementary school when your teacher initiated a competition, whether it be the first to write the correct response on the board or the last one standing at the spelling bee. If she offered the winner a free ice cream in the lunchroom you were motivated. How can you motivate yourself?
  • Recognize and acknowledge others’ body language and feelings. Someone with the strength of Harmony® can do this well because they try to connect rather than causing conflict.
  • Handling relationships. Brian Tracy says, “85% of your success comes from relationships, 15% comes from your achievements.” A Relator® finds deep satisfaction in having deep relationships. While this may not be a dominant strength for you, draw on your Relator® or any of your relationship-focused strengths.

Game, set, match.

If you want to play with confidence, serve others well, bounce back after a defeat, and win in life, keep climbing the ladder of emotional intelligence.

What would those you interact with every day say about your emotional intelligence? If life is out of balance, others would score you low. Get support, deal with stress, and learn to have authentic, meaningful relationships.

Let’s face it, sometimes people wig out.

It could be your teenager, your spouse, or possibly a team member you’re supervising. They can’t handle the no or the not so good news you had to spring on them. They have an emotional meltdown, ranting and spewing all the negatives of the situation.

While teaching a stress management workshop recently, one of the members came up with a brilliant strategy to handle people’s negativity and I think it will work with just about anyone.

1. Validate the person’s feelings

Go ahead and give them permission to feel angry, disgruntled, emotional or negative. If you argue with them about their feelings, you only make the feelings hotter.

2. Give a time limit to expressing negativity

Set a 15 minute time frame for spewing all their negative hostility. After 15 minutes, time for negativity is up. Set that clear boundary.

3. Give the positive behavior you want now

Whatever behavior or situation they’re angry about, give clear direction on what you expect. Share the positive behavior you want and then model it.