I recently attended an event where the topic of discussion was stress management and based on recent events, how we are coping with the day to day challenges in life.
There were a number of stories shared about friends and colleagues who seem to be acting out of character. Whether they were folks we knew well or simply passing acquaintances, people just need a little more space than usual.
This had me thinking, not only about the reasons why folks are acting out of character, but, what do we do about it?
What skills do we need to navigate and support each other?
How do we handle difficult situations respectfully while being true to our own values and beliefs?
How do we create an atmosphere that is non judgemental?
As a business coach, one of the tools I use to start new a conversation is Emotional Intelligence. This individual report reviews 15 soft skills that drives our behaviour and creates a roadmap for how we function in our personal and professional life.
There are three skills from the report that I believe contribute to being supportive and non-judgemental:
Empathy ensures that we have an awareness and understanding of the people around us. It is one of the leadership skills that contributes to how we connect with friends and colleagues while demonstrating sensitivity and understanding. It is often linked with compassion.
2) Impulse Control
Impulse control is like taking a deep breath before we react to a situation or provide feedback. This skill allows us to reflect not only on current circumstances but solutions in any given situation. A great example, when we hit the pause buttom before we react.
3) Self Awareness
A great benchmark to understanding and recognizig both our strengths and weakness and how our emotions effect others both personally and professionally.
These skills combined allow us to navigate stressful situations and appreicate other points of view. They contribue to our understanding of others and how we are able to interact with one another. Each skill creates an awareness for how we handle and recognize the signs and symptoms of stress.
One stress managment tool that combines these skills with everyday life: healthy boundaries…
The is a list of non negotiables we use to communcate with each other while maintaining our integrity and authenticity. When we create healthy boundaries we are able to take a step back and consider the options before we take action. They establish a personal and professional safe zone when we face trials and tribulations.
They set the stage to becoming non judgmental.
Healthy boundaries give us permission to take a position without judgement. They allow people to develop an atmosphere of mutual respect creating a point of reference with a game plan to support our next move.
We all recognize that life is hectic. We appreciate that we are juggling multiple issues that contribute to being preoccupied or feeling overwhelmed. When we develop healthy boundaries it supports our neutral safe zone.
They create an environment of support.
I often use this visual when describing the concept. It relates to gardening. We all plant seeds that eventually grow and flower contributing to a visual display of colour. No two flowers are exactly the same and we celebrate their individuality. We don’t have any control over the outcome but we do take a proactive approach to nurturing how they grow.
When mature, the flowers create a visual display that in some way represents our own creativity and supports our authentic self. We welcome and expect slight imperfections and we rely on Mother Nature to do her part in contributing to our success.
So true with each other…
When we create healthy boundaries and come from a place of no judgment, we respect each other and our varying points of view. We are able to use our skills and apply the tools to navigate the challenges of everyday life.
Just like planting seeds in the garden, it takes practise and a lot of water but eventually the flowers grow and we are able to appreciate the little splash of colour.