I know readers of Business EQ are anxiously awaiting the second installment of the First-Ever Top Ten Business EQ Tips You Can Learn from Chickens.
This is ground-breaking work, after all.
But I gotta go back to the gossip theme.
But lest you think I’m more noble than I am, I will confess to a huge snark attack yesterday.
Here’s the deal
I’m working on a project for a non-profit organization that involves a) a radical ad campaign, set to debut next week; b) a new website, also set to launch next week; and c) very contentious state and local politics. Plus it involves children — and money — so passions are running high.
We have about half the people we need to work on the team and about a tenth of the amount of time we need to get it all done.
People are flipping out left and right — quitting, threatening to quit, breaking down into tears, yelling.
It’s quite an adrenaline rush.
Now, I have high levels of self efficacy around my ability to handle gnarly projects on deadline. But yesterday so many things went wrong and so many people acted badly and I was running on so little sleep that even I, your Business EQ Advisor, wanted to say Really Mean Things About Other People.
Instead I wrote a list of all the things I almost said or emailed to my team members from 9 am (when the fun started) until 9:00 pm (when I stopped working).
Here are some of the highlights (with, yes, the names changed to protect the innocent):
1) Let me know when she lands on this planet, ‘cuz I don’t have the time to fly out to hers.
2) Bottom line? She is the only woman I know who can go out for drinks on Mom’s Night Out and not crack a smile.
3) How is it that one person can so consistently have the wrong political instincts?
4) Can I just twiddle my nose like Jeannie and make him go away?
5) Oh god. She’s talking again. Make her stop.
6) He just needs to get over himself and do the work.
7) I could say some really bitchy things about her, but I won’t. (That’s a stealth snark attack, by the way, as it implies I’ve got the dirt, but am too dignified to share.)Those are just the highlights, mind you.
Were my sentiments kind? No. Were they constructive? Not even close. Were they accurate? Of course! Well, maybe not. Would it have helped me to vent? Superficially, perhaps, but I suspect they would have just fueled more divisive thinking — and come back to haunt me.
Was it ok that I felt them and thought them? Yes, humans have these kinds of thoughts and feelings. But emotional intelligence depends on our being able to stay aware of our thoughts and our feelings and make wise decisions on how to deal with them. I.e., It’s not socially intelligent to express every hostile thought that crosses our reptilian brain.
Tip for the Day
Keep a running list of all the snarky, gossipy things you feel like saying about people for a day. It’s a great way of getting in touch with your feelings – and keeping your mouth shut — especially on days when things (i.e., people, schedules, hormones, computers, blood sugar levels) aren’t working out very well.
More on the chicken theme. Promise.