5 Habits that make emotionally intelligent people more adaptable

EQ Durban, EQ South Africa
Written by: Avril Kidd
Category: Habits
We are living in an ever changing world and as a result, adaptability has never been so important. EQ Expert, author and speaker Harvey Deutschendorf, tells us that there are 5 habits highly emotionally intelligent people practice that enable them to adapt to change. How many of them do you practice?

1. They recognise when they are getting too comfortable

When confronted with change, most people prefer to stay in their own little comfort zones. It’s a natural first instinct–staying with what you know–not to mention the easiest. But over the mid- to long-term, it can make you rigid and inflexible.

Emotionally intelligent people aren’t immune to this – they simply tend to be more aware when it’s happening – And that’s the key. After all, self-awareness precedes any possibility of action. Knowing yourself by recognizing your patterns gives you an advantage in dealing with sudden new variables. If you can’t first recognize when you’re clinging to cozy habits–and, “engage with” your discomfort at the idea of changing them –you’ll never find a way to break with the old.

2. They acknowledge their negative emotions

Change brings up feelings from both ends of the emotional spectrum: excitement and anxiety. “The fear will tug at your sleeves and attempt to pull you back into a spiral of second guessing.” Don’t try to suppress that anxiety. “Validate it by acknowledging it – Explore the reasons for it and then Transform it – by moving through it.” Remember this as “VET”

No one adapts to change and uncertainty by trying to ignore how it makes them feel. Recognizing your emotions is the prerequisite to managing and moving through them successfully. This forms part of choosing yourself through self-management.

3. They solicit and consider multiple perspectives

Instead of insisting on their way, emotionally intelligent people understand that their own point of view is merely that–and they aren’t discouraged by the knowledge that their beliefs have inevitable biases and limitations.

Grasping this reality is essential for considering new ideas. Needless to say, adapting to change requires approaching new and untried initiatives with an open mind, and a willingness to take risks on them. Instead of increasing friction in the workplace, emotionally intelligent people serve as the lubricant for ingenuity to flow more freely in fast-changing times.

4. They read non-verbal cues

With change there is likely to be resistance that can sabotage the process if it isn’t dealt with. Some may want to be seen as being open to new things and yet feel very differently inside. Emotionally intelligent people intuitively understand how group pressure might compel others not to voice their misgivings. So they try to predict wherever unspoken reservations might be lying dormant, then draw them out productively.

This takes an awareness of verbal and non-verbal cues. It might sound like an odd habit for cultivating adaptability, but making a conscious effort to practice reading others’ body language can help you home in on and address what your coworkers are feeling. This won’t just sharpen your own emotional intelligence, it will also help you win your colleagues’ support so you can all adapt to new circumstances together. A skill that is linked to giving yourself – through increased empathy.

5. They don’t react hastily to setbacks

Anyone trying to succeed in a fast-changing environment will encounter surprises, setbacks, and failures. The key isn’t avoiding those obstacles, it’s handling them effectively. Emotionally intelligent people don’t automatically revert to the old way of doing things as soon as a new approach falls short. Instead, they typically avoid reacting until they’ve had a chance to think things through and decide how to move forward. Often doing nothing (for now) is better–and more difficult–than doing the wrong thing too quickly.

The key is being able to sit with a problem long enough to think through the best way forward. It takes patience, composure, and listening skills to bring everyone together and come up with a solid group consensus. Instead of looking to lay blame for setbacks, they’ll be focused on solutions.

Adapting to change can be daunting but if we can learn these 5 habits, it will be a lot easier – Wouldn’t you agree?

In reading this extract from Harvey Deutschendorf’s article: 5 Habits that let emotionally intelligent people adapt to anything, we can also start to recognize some of the EQ competencies and brain talents that Six Seconds have identified as key to success