Tune Out to Turn In

Keeping yourself grounded in a time of constant change can be a hard task to accomplish. Social media, constant email notifications, and the need to continuously be connected can make it hard to unwind and regroup after stressful days. Many people think that in order to be successful in our careers you need to be available 24/7. I was totally one of these believers, however I now feel the opposite. How can I give the best to my organization and coworkers if I never have time to focus on giving my best to me?

I recently listened to a phenomenal public speaker (Jeph Maystruck – you’ve probably heard of him) who enlightened my way of thinking when it came to this topic. When did we become slaves to our phones and computers instead of having them make our lives easier? I don’t remember the last time I had my phone on silent without feeling constant anxiety that I was missing something important. I mean, I even have my FitBit give me a notification so that I can know who is contacting me ALL THE TIME… talk about addicted. While it may not be realistic that I sever all ties with my iPhone, I feel like there are some things that I can do to help me perform my best at work as well as taking personal time to regroup. Let’s face it – being a burnt out 27 year old is not on my list of things to accomplish!

First of all, I decided to put technology to work to my advantage and I downloaded a meditation app. This app even has a breathing bubble – which comes VERY handy both at home and in the world of Human Resources (it’s not all roses, people). Second, I’ve attempted to stay on track and not be a slave to my incoming emails. Do you all know how much easier it is to accomplish things when you’re not constantly reading pop-ups?! GAME. CHANGER. Last, I turned off the notifications on my FitBit – I don’t need to be dropping what I’m doing at every second of the day to go to my phone, or sitting there reading my watch. Sorry Mom, I will be missing a few more of your phone calls now.

While these are a few things that have helped me to become more grounded in my day, they may not work for you. What makes you feel calm and relaxed? Can you somehow incorporate it into how you structure your days? Technology is a thing of the future, but we can definitely use it to our advantage! As future leaders of the CU system, we’ve got some exciting times ahead – let’s embrace them and live in the moment.


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Emotional Intelligence (EQ)

As some of you may know, I am expecting a baby this summer. This is not the topic of my blog but I could go into all the details about the anxieties that come with being a first time mom… I will spare all of you the details. Instead I would like to talk about how a symptom of pregnancy has forced me to be more aware of how I show up at work. In the past I have had a good handle on my emotional intelligence, but throw some pregnancy hormones in the mix and that goes out the window! As someone who frequently takes the time to self-assess my behaviors, I now find myself thinking “did you actually say that” and “what were you thinking”. So what does that mean for my work relationships? Will they just give me a pass because ‘it must be the hormones’ or do I have to be better for the people around me? I can honestly say that depending on the day I might answer that last question differently, again based on my hormones. However, today I say the people around me deserve better. How I show up at work and at home is so important for my own wellbeing as well as the people around me. So exactly how do I manage this when something going on internally makes it so difficult? Well it is through Self-Regulation, one of the 5 key elements of emotional intelligence. See, by reflecting on the things I have done, I am holding myself accountable to being better. Once I have recognized how I have reacted in certain situations, it helps me to manage my emotions in similar situations. It also made me self-aware so I was able to go back to the individuals who I had those “did I just say that” moments and apologize. This shows those individuals that I am comfortable with admitting when I am wrong and that I care enough about them to preserve our relationship. I truly believe that having a strong EQ helps us be better employees, leaders and all around better human beings.

According to Daniel Goleman, there are 5 key elements to emotional intelligence:

1.       Self-Awareness

2.       Self-Regulation

3.       Motivation

4.       Empathy

5.       Social Skills

 I have attached an article which goes into more detail around each one of these areas. https://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newLDR_45.htm

 While my story was around how my EQ was affected by hormones, how might someone else’s be affected? Could it be from a lack of sleep, a fight with a partner or friend, or maybe your child wouldn’t get dressed that morning; whatever the cause may be, it is important to understand the connection between that and our EQ. I encourage each of you to take the time to learn more about emotional intelligence. How does it affect your work and personal relationships? The nice thing about emotional intelligence is that you can always work at improving. If you are interested in investing in your development, I highly encourage you to work on mastering your EQ.  Just Google “EQ” and you will be amazed at all the resources available!