GeneralHr Library

What is Emotional Agility?

Source | LinkedIn : By Akhila Chandrashekar

Emotional Agility (EA) is the new buzz in management today. A concept that came up in as recent as 2013, EA refers to an individual’s ability to handle situations, people, thoughts and feelings based on one’s intentions and values in order to enrich routine functioning. HR practitioners, wellness experts, executive coaches, managers, and leaders from around the world have found EA as an important concept whose applications can facilitate organization-wide changes.

EA is different from Emotional Intelligence (EI) in specifically one way. While EI talks about recognizing the subjective experiences in order to manage them, EA talks about managing the subjective experiences by the means of one’s personal values. In other words, every action or behavior is intentional, which is contributed by an individual’s values. It is known that an emotional experience is paired with a physiological state that has an effect on the body and the conscious self. While EI looks at facilitating individuals to recognize an emotional experience in order to learn to manage it within an environment, EA helps in personalizing of the experience by placing it before one’s values in order to analyze the cause of the experience, and thus manage it more effectively from its roots.

Employees in organizations around the world experience burn out, high levels of stress, peer pressure, work-life imbalance, career stagnancy,  relationship problems, ego problems, tough competition and financial insecurity to name a few. Many personal, cultural, and psycho-social factors contribute to these specific problems. It is a matter of privacy, problems of confidentiality and fear of disclosure that disable an individual to discuss about their issues with workplace mentors, colleagues, or supervisors. Individuals also feel that their feelings or thoughts when shared, may lead to judgments about them. It is quite impossible and unrealistic however, to hold on to anything for too long considering the amount of stress one has to face. But what happens when everything bottles up? How do we vent out?

One fine day, when the individual feels helpless or is provoked by a circumstance, the feelings flow out in most inappropriate ways. A mere training to the employees may not bring about 100% changes to the way they respond to others. Experiential advises also do not serve any better. However, dealing with those relationships in the same manner may be essentially impossible. Interpersonal relationships is the key to the humanity. It creates a sense of belonging, a source of constant support, and also satisfaction of the survival instinct. The more number of people you know, the more easily you are able to resolve your issues! Relationships are the base of an individual’s social environment. What makes a man socially acceptable is the kind of people around him.

Individual differences exist so much so that our thoughts and feelings, though similar cannot be the same. Each of our perspectives significantly differ. We tend to relate with someone who is appealing, whose opinions are complementary with ours, who share similar interests, or whom we like in the absence of any reason. We respond to such people in a rude manner at times. We sometimes think that it is easy for someone we know to understand the reason behind our behavior than anybody else. We assume than they know us in and out. But is it right to take someone for granted?

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