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John Q.

@john_mq456

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EQ is the ability to be able to recognize and regulate your own emotions, while also empathizing with others and maintaining an awareness of their reactions.

EQ can be developed with practice. 

@john_mq456

9 Tips To Increase Your Emotional Intelligence For Stronger Relationships

mindbodygreen.com

Know thyself

Having a deep understanding of yourself provides you with more accurate perceptions of how you are coming across to others. 

To increase your self-awareness, make an effort to reflect on your strengths, developmental opportunities, triggers, values, and the like so that you are intimately familiar with what makes you tick. 

Weighing feedback can help you guard against blind spots. It can assist you in recognizing if your behaviors are having the effects you are intending.

If they aren't, you can adjust your actions or apologize accordingly (or mindfully choose not to do either).

Do this particularly when you feel yourself experiencing strong emotions.
If a co-worker makes a comment that triggers you, make a mental note of what exactly it is that you might be feeling. It will help you to develop your emotional vocabulary and help you to take a step back from your reactions and engage the parts of your brain associated with problem-solving. 

Mindfulness is paying attention on purpose ... and non-judgmentally, to the unfolding of experience moment to moment.

By learning to observe your thoughts and feelings without judgment, you can increase your awareness of them with more clarity.

Breathe deeply

If we can calm our body's reaction to our stress, the emotional component is mitigated. 

Nip your body's stress in the bud, and you'll find that your emotional stress will decrease accordingly. When you feel tense, breathe slowly and deeply, concentrating on letting the air flow in and out of your abdominal cavity. 

Instead of succumbing to a knee-jerk negative reaction when you become upset by someone else's actions, slow down and consider if there are other ways of explaining the situation. 

Even if you don't change your opinion regarding what happened, the additional time spent thinking about it may calm you down enough to opt for a more constructive response.

People who experience more positive emotions enjoy better relationships and are more resilient in response to negative events. 

Be intentional about doing things that bring you joy. Practice gratitude, engage in acts of kindness, exercise and reminisce about positive experiences.

Empathize

Emotionally intelligent people are skilled at putting themselves in other people's shoes. 

Consider situations from others' perspectives to better understand those around you. This increased insight will enable you to connect with them more effectively, and may even teach you something about yourself in the process.

Deal with conflict more effectively by tackling issues head-on in an assertive, but respectful manner — all without defensiveness. 

By listening empathetically to the other person, you will also create the space for taking your own thoughts and feelings into account.

A Sense Of Belonging
  • Belongingness is an emotional need of human beings, a desire to be accepted by a group of people, be it at the school or office.
  • Being part of a group includes acceptance, attention and support.
  • As people strive for belongingness, they also change their behaviour, beliefs and attitudes to conform to the standards and norms of that group.
  • To affiliate with others and be socially accepted is due to a basic intrinsic motivation: The need to belong.
  • It affects our self-presentation, self-assessment and also leads to social comparison.

What Is a Sense of Belonging?

verywellmind.com

  1. Our pop culture interests (like fans of a certain group).
  2. Our religious beliefs or spiritual practices.
  3. Our shared goals, like a runners club, for instance.
  4. Our socioeconomic status.

Belongingness becomes a big factor in our hierarchy of needs, and impacts our life in basic ways. Lack of acceptance from other people and groups can lead to anxiety, depression, hopelessness, loneliness and even suicidal thoughts.

  1. Make a genuine effort to seek activities and groups of people with whom you have common interests.
  2. Remember to be patient as it takes time to gain acceptance, attention and support from other members.
  3. Focus on the common traits and not the differences, while remaining open to new ways of thinking.
The consequence of unrealistic goals

Some people love to set super-ambitious goals, thinking that even if they don't make those goals, they'll still achieve more than if they set lower goals. Other people get a buzz with stretch goals. Give them more incentives, and they'll achieve more.

But over-stretched goals can be counterproductive.

  1. Failure becomes excusable. Instead of challenging but achievable goals, piling unrealistic expectations on top of limited resources can lead to a culture of excuses and failure.
  2. If we frequently accept excuses, failure becomes acceptable.
  3. Once we've given people excuses and accepted defeat, we're too close to slipping into a culture where failure is expected.

Three Reasons Unrealistic Goals Create a Culture of Failure

huffpost.com

People are motivated by regularly achieving challenging goals.

  • Get your goals clear. Stated goals are specific and measurable enough to track progress and evaluate success.
  • Ensure that you don't have too many goals. Strategy is about saying no as much as it is about saying yes.
  • Ensure that you have the resources to accomplish those goals.

To better build rapport and counter isolation do the following:

  • smile, tilt your chin lower so you're not looking down on them, and slow down your speech during your video calls, so you come across as being more credible.
  • set a finish time before starting a conversation with someone new to reduce the initial wariness.
  • Be more likable and validate others by listening to them and suspending your ego. Put aside your wish to contribute to the conversation and ask short, open questions like how, when, and why.

How to Build Strong Relationships in a Remote Team

zapier.com

Relying On Text The Right Way

Voice and video calls can help you feel more in touch with your team and avoid the issues of asynchronous communication like time lags or misunderstandings.

However, you'll likely spend a lot of your day communicating via text as it’s a good way to interact without interrupting their work. So you need to be able to get your point across clearly and simply, show empathy and understanding, and be efficient to avoid wasted time.

Staying Up To Date

Remote workers can feel overwhelmed by the amount of text they have to process. So finding ways to keep on top of what's going on is imperative for communicating efficiently with others.

Create archive lists and CC irrelevant emails to them, so you can save and share them without flooding non-involved people. 

Remember Hanlon's Razor

Hanlon's razor refers to the idea that we should always assume ignorance before malice. This is especially important in situations where you're missing context.

If you're communicating via text with co-workers who are multiple time zones away, try to always assume ignorance before malice if you have a misunderstanding.

Asserting Yourself When Needed

One way to compensate for the lack of context in remote communication is to be more forward and open than you normally would. But doing so you're more likely to misread and bug people because you lack otherwise obvious physical signs that would let you adjust your behavior tactfully.

To reduce that issue it’s necessary to share that context explicitly with each other. An alternative is to set up rules for common issues ahead of time so everyone is more likely to be open about what they need and friction is reduced.

An Overwhelmed Team

While a manager expects and assumes the team to be top-notch in their work, completing projects like there is no tomorrow, the reality of workers is quite different. More than half of the workforce is overwhelmed and maxed-out, according to a survey.

A manager cannot pretend everything is hunky-dory and has to recognize the problem and provide solutions.

How To Spot The Signs Of Team Overwhelm (And What To Do About It)

blog.trello.com

  1. Dip in energy levels: It happens when the team is not enthusiastic and is only taking reactive actions and going through the motion, exposing the mental pressure they are in.
  2. Work quality is taking a dip: It happens if you see incomplete or sloppy work, along with decreased productivity.
  3. Frayed emotions: If workers are terse and curt with their colleagues in their personal interaction and written correspondence.
  4. Other unexpected irregularities: There may be some that move inside their mental ‘cave’ and others who become overtly extrovert.

If there are signs of team overwhelm, the manager needs to first see if the work can be shared with others, or if any deadline can be extended, providing some relief to the workers. A replanning of upcoming projects to lessen the intensity of upcoming work can also be worked on.

In many cases it is just a matter of giving the workers a day off to recoup.

  1. Restructure: A manager needs to reorganize the work using various productivity tools so that it is less overwhelming or stressful.
  2. Work-Life Balance: Encourage employees to take time off and get some balance in their lives by doing self-care.
  3. Vibe Check: Get to know how everyone is feeling by checking in on a regular basis.
  4. Open Door Policy: Make yourself genuinely open and approachable for a one-on-one conversation.
The Heart/Will/Head model

The Heart/Will/Head model defines three types of people and how they view the world around them.

Using this model is valuable for managers to build stronger teams en get the best work out of each member.

The Type of Team Diversity You’re Probably Not Paying Attention To

firstround.com

The secret to scaling is the people. People generally want to do the right thing if you set them up for success with the right conditions. They want to grow, develop, and have a meaningful impact. They don't need to be coerced or controlled.

Effectively scaling an organisation is then connected to helping people grow.

The model breaks people into three types, each of which sees the world through one primary lens:

  • The heart - People of this type need to be liked
  • The will - People of this type desires to be in control and win
  • The head - People of the type wants to be smart.

We usually have a dominant type that we've come to rely on as a coping strategy. Each type demonstrates key positive attributes and negative ones. This model's strength is to highlight the positive qualities of your type while reducing the negative.

People of this type are motivated first and foremost by relationships. Achieving something together is as important as the end results.

  • The strengths: They tend to be skilled at building a sense of community. They have strong interpersonal skills and are ready to lend a hand.
  • The challenges: They are less inclined to make big, bold moves. They prefer to be compliant and may prioritize pleasing somebody over doing the right thing. It an effort not to rock the boat, they may fail to speak up and share valuable ideas.
  • How to spot them: They tend to be your team's best collaborators.

People driven by will are motivated to be in control. They make sense of the world around them through results, or through the plan that gets them there.

  • The strengths: They want to get the job done and pursue the goal with intense focus. They are highly competent.
  • The challenges: They are more autocratic. They are ambitious to the exclusion of relationships and may drive for perfectionism where "good enough" is a better outcome.
  • How to spot them: They are good decision-makers. They relish in creating step-by-step plans and executing them.

This type needs to engage intellectually and philosophically and is most concerned with the direction the organization is moving.

  • The strengths: They are 'big vision' people and thrive when they're setting goals for a team.
  • The challenges: They tend to distance themselves from emotions and can become overly critical of themselves or others.
  • How to spot them: They need to understand the big picture before they can start talking about the details. They are also known for their strong integrity.

Every team should have all three types of the Heart/Will/Head model represented to cover your bases and build a team fully equipped. The key is to avoid the trap of hiring only people who think as you do.

Practically speaking, every interview panel should have each type represented - heart, will, and head. Once your team is built, help each member understand the complete Heart/Will/Head model - not just their own type. This will ensure an appreciation for what other types contribute.

This model is equally valuable for individuals. The more you understand why you react in a certain way, the greater control you get over those reactions, enhancing the good and reducing the weaknesses of your own type. Regularly ask yourself these questions:

  • Heart: Am I spending too much time trying to please others? Can I be more decisive? Can I look past the individual relationship and see the bigger picture?
  • Will: Am I making decisions to autocratically? How can I encourage better team play? Can I engage more authentically?
  • Head: Am I too critical of myself and others? How can I build more caring connections with others? What would it take to bring more strategic focus to my work?
Extroverts Working Remotely

Extroverts thrive in an energetic and frenetic work environment filled with people. Peace, quietness and solitude, while being an introvert’s dream, can drive an extrovert into distraction.

There are many ways for extroverts to enjoy and thrive on the new reality of remote working.

10 Tips To Help Extroverts Working Remotely Adjust and Stay Connected

doist.com

An informal daily huddle where everyone is face-to-face in a virtual meeting, holding a fresh cup of coffee is a great way to start the day with purpose and energy. It requires everyone to wake up early, get dressed and make a cup of coffee.

A morning routine is great for productivity too.

Infusing music and dance in your breaks can add a sense of pleasure in the otherwise dull and drab routine, enhancing the immediate virtual surrounding of the extroverts.

Assigning buddies/partners in completion of a specific task makes work less mundane while being socially active at the same time.

One way to do it is to work using video cameras but keeping the microphone on mute.

Earlier, meetups used to be a great way for remote workers to catch up and have a dinner party while discussing the problems and issues at work.

Nowadays, these sessions have to be virtual, but can accommodate priority setting and topic-specific breakout sessions.

Integrate regular movement into your sitting-whole-day routine, and give your workdesk a break.

Indulge in the many at-home exercise routines and dancing sessions available online, and share them with a coworker, so you do it together.

Learning together, be it an online class, cooking session or even a meeting to share skills and expertise to the entire company is a great way to connect with your coworkers.

Being stranded at home with limited options to go out can have a positive side-effect.

The energy we used to connect with our coworkers can now be used to reconnect with old buddies, ex-coworkers, and even our relatives which we had forgotten in our daily work routine.

Being honest about your feelings is advisable, as remote working isn’t for everyone. Some thrive on it, others will struggle. It’s a good idea to seek help and support. Communication is always good.

“Be A Strong Writer”

This is one of the first pieces of advice people give to those seeking remote work.

When you work remotely, a few misplaced words can become an occupational hazard. Every word you type (or don’t) is important in conveying your ideas and communicating effectively with your colleagues.

Writing Tips for Remote Workers (And Everyone Else)

doist.com

  • Use of caps lock, emojis, italics and tildes (~) to make your language flowery, fun and human is a great idea for remote working. You can also use memes and gif images, provided they are not offensive to anyone.
  • Robot speak is not a good way to freely collaborate with your remote peers. Use simple words, and keep it on the casual side, skipping the inaccessible and stilted language. You can also opt for contractions like writing isn’t instead of is not.
  • Do not obscure your message by words that are there to decorate the sentence and make it sound wordy while camouflaging what you mean.
  • Make good use of qualifiers ("I think, In my opinion") while not coming across as a perpetually confused person. Don’t use qualifiers while making a strong point.
  • While writing documentation, it is prudent to avoid jargon and acronyms.
  • Use complete words and sentences. Shortcuts and acronyms block any actual communication, acting as roadblocks. On the same lines, avoid cliches, idioms and any idiotic sounding phrase that catches the ear well but doesn’t really do any good to anyone.
  • Remote working is often on a global scale, and certain expressions will not be understood by some participants, or worse, will be misunderstood.
  • Your words and tone should be tailored according to your audience. The words are different when you are writing to a client, and when you are in a small group chat with your peers. More people in chat also means adopting a polished, professional tone.

While trying to convince your team, it is a good idea not to keep rambling and get to the point.

Lead with your key point, making the main point clear in the subject line or in the first sentence. Use bold fonts if required.

  • After the end of the video or audio call, the virtual gathering may have to be documented as minutes of the meeting (MOM) or simply the meeting notes.

  • Pre-meeting Prep: Instead of just writing the agenda, it is a good idea to write the key objectives and add context to keep people up to speed. If there are participants across time zones, make sure they would also be able to follow.

  • Lead your meeting notes with key takeaways, instead of the entire chronological script of the meeting.

Remote working has mainly two modes of communication, email type asynchronous communication, or an audio/video call.

  • Synchronous Communication is real-time and is best for discussing job performance, talking casually, brainstorming and to fire someone.

  • Asynchronous Communication is deferred (like email) and is best for important announcements, in-depth discussions, feedback and sharing of ideas.

One has to choose the right medium to be able to successfully request something specific. Also, find the balance of being gracious while making a specific request, yet be clear and explicit.

This is a literary device that makes your words interesting and confident, the direct approach is great for a business setting.

Saying ‘We made a Partnership with XYZ’ is a better way to convey the deal, than ‘A partnership was made with XYZ’.

Company-wide emails are an opportunity to use your storytelling skills and keep things interesting and engaging to the wide audience.

  • Use active voice and sentence variations and stay with the company’s wider goals/mission.
  • Make sure there are no redundant paragraphs in your memo. If a paragraph is not conveying a good idea, remove it or incorporate it somewhere else. Place your paragraphs in chronological order, keeping your story linear.
  • Make sure the ending is satisfying and the discussion does not keep going.

Summarizing a project’s success or failure is a great way to reflect within the group. It helps to be chronological and detailed, describing the impact, learning and conclusion.

Understand that writing always leaves room for (mis)interpretation, and make sure you are using emphatic words that convey kindness, honesty, positivity and team spirit.

Positivity is to be used, and negative language to be avoided. One should take up the opportunity to lift others up.

Also, avoid negative assumptions with accusing sentences formations that can backfire in minutes. Better to ask neutral and positive questions, in a cheerful way rather than assuming the worst.

  • Feedback is something to be done carefully, and it is a good practice to show gratitude and appreciation for all the hard work done by them, highlighting their positive aspects.
  • Feedback has to be constructive, honest and actionable, and not negative or disconcerting.
  • Provide the background information and context before providing the feedback, so that the groundwork is done in the recipient’s mind. It’s a great idea to have a face-to-face conference call.
  • Do not act like a robot and provide consecutive negative and positive feedback, as it risks spinning the recipient's head. It helps to buffer the good and bad news with some fillers and provide space.

There is increased isolation, anxiety and paranoia due to remote work, and many of the teammates can assume the worst in certain situations.

Keep your conversations transparent and honest, and keep motivating the teammates.

  • Proofread your message before you hit the send button. This you can read twice.
  • Spellcheck your message to comb any unintentional spelling mistakes.
  • If possible, get the document checked by someone for a second opinion or to find any blind spots
  • Try to wait a while before sending, and come back to it later, editing it if necessary.

Triple check your message while sending across the entire company, getting it reviewed by your colleagues or even different departments.

If it’s a big announcement, try to let it sit for a few days before sending.

If you decide on becoming a mentor, you might want to consider choosing a mentee who shares your interests. It will make everyone's life easier. Moreover, you will also be able to provide more useful pieces of information, that is to say, to fulfill your duty as mentor.

How to mentor and support other women - and help them succeed

ideas.ted.com

Mentoring requires having a clear idea of how the sessions themselves are to happen. 

Make sure that from the very beginning you communicate to your mentee exactly how all is going to take place: how often, where, how, etc. Get to know the other and use all the means you dispose of in order to help him or her reach the desired goal.

More than giving directions, a mentor is supposed to provide the so-called pieces of supportive advice, which will enable the mentee to make up her or his mind, based on their own beliefs.

When you are a mentor, you do your best to help your mentee to fulfill his or her goal. 

However, sometimes you can not provide the other with everything that is necessary or maybe you two just do not match as working partners. And this is when a line has to be drawn and the truth has to be spoken so people can make the right decision.

Mentoring has as ultimate goal the fact of making the mentee feel more self-confident and aware that he or she can achieve whatever planned. 

In order for this to happen, it is the mentor's duty to lead the mentee to the right questions, but not to the answers themselves.

Mentoring is, in no way, a synonym for motherhood. Therefore, if you are a mentor, bear in mind that your mentees are not your children. 

You will do a great favor both to yourself and to them, by making sure that they behave responsibly and know their part.

Being a mentor means, above all, having a feeling of accomplishment when your mentee has reached the desired goal. Moreover, having succeeded to establish a great relationship throughout the working sessions can only lead to more joy.

One of the reasons for bonding between groups of people is the shared culture that they have created. Culture is an invisible presence, a set of beliefs, history and rituals that encapsulates the values of the group, their conduct and their vision. This applies to movements, companies, and families.

The Subtle Art of Connecting With Anyone

designluck.com

A culture created in a two-way relationship or a small group is positive and open because it allows for differences to exist, which are not allowed by large groups in which cultures are attached to your identity.

Creating the right kind of culture organically is the magic of a strong relationship, something that is difficult in large groups with a shared ideology.

The idea of a complete and fulfilling life is always related to personal relationships. Happiness, in a way, is the other person. Happiness is our connections, and the relationships we foster, which create and shape us.

It's a lost art to cultivate personal relationships without agenda or motive, just connecting and trying to understand and relate to different people.

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