As an Executive Assistant, it is key to have high emotional intelligence and have the ability to stay calm when everyone else is losing their mind.
Emotional Intelligence is the ability to understand, use, and manage your own emotions in positive ways to relieve stress, communicate effectively, empathise with others, overcome challenges and defuse conflict.
Have you ever noticed that some people stay calm under pressure much better than others? Would you like to become one of those people?
Everyone has a different stress tolerance, but with practice, you can become much more resilient in the face of adversity. Dealing with stressful situations is part genetics and part skill. You can’t do anything about your genes, but you can certainly enhance your coping skills!
Practice these techniques and learn to handle stress which will lead to ultimate emotional intelligence:
1. Take care of your body
A calm mind is best supported by a healthy body. Taking care of ourselves allows us to have greater awareness around ourselves of others and their feelings. What does taking care of your body mean?
- Eat well.
- Sleep enough.
- Get some exercise.
When your body is out of sorts, your mind isn’t at its most resilient. A well-cared-for body is the foundation of a durable and stress, resistant mind.
You could make one small improvement to your diet each week, experiment with your sleep schedule or exercise daily in a meaningful way. These three simple things matter more than you realise.
2. Breathe and stay calm
Your breathing is the only aspect of your physiology that you can control easily. There are plenty of breathing techniques you can try when you’re feeling stressed. By mastering your breathing you will stay calm in a challenging situation. Consider trying the following:
- Simply take long, slow, deep breaths.
- Inhale for four seconds, hold it for two seconds, and exhale for six seconds.
- Just breathe normally and keep your attention on your breath. Feel the air moving in and out of your body.
3. Relax your body
When you feel stressed, there is a part of your body that is stressed, too. Find that tense, uncomfortable part of your body and focus on relaxing it. In fact, do your best to relax your entire body.
4. Focus on the positives
There’s a positive aspect to every negative situation. Look for the positive and your brain will feel more at ease. This sets you up in the right frame of mind for the situation head.
- Most of us focus on the negative and ignore the positive. Do the opposite and feel the calm.
5. Focus on solutions
Focusing on problems is very stressful. Focusing on solutions is the best practice. Rather than being emotionally attached to the problem remove yourself from the issue and look at it subjectively. What has occurred, what needs to happen and by who.
6. Manage your thoughts
Thoughts can get away from us very quickly. Do you imagine the worst when something negative happens? Do you sit around and ruminate on your difficulties? Managing your headspace is necessary to stay calm regardless of the situation and will help you overcome the challenge and potential conflict.
- Consider if your thoughts are helping you to remain calm or creating stress.
- Most people imagine the worst and their brains and bodies respond accordingly.
- Try putting your attention on your breathing until you feel calmer and then begin looking for solutions.
7. Communicate effectively
Calm communication throughout a situation is important to defuse conflict and escalations. Communicate to those people who need to know and keep them in the loop of the issue, resolution and timeframes. Depending on the situation it may call for key personnel to inform all staff. Knowing the escalation point in a situation is important and delivering the key facts to enable them to help you with a solution.
8. Take action
When you assertively deal with negative issues, you’re taking control. Sitting around and thinking is a passive activity. Only think long enough to find a good solution and then get busy implementing it.
- Activity helps to dissipate stress and build confidence and optimism.
Stress, conflict and things not going to plan are unavoidable, but your ability to manage stressful situations can be greatly enhanced with effort. You might be surprised by how stress-resistant and emotionally intelligent you can become! When you can handle more stress with greater comfort, you empower yourself to make positive changes in your health, career, relationships, and happiness.
At Executive Entourage, we assist Executive Assistants with their emotional intelligence. We assist your Executive Assistant to find the gaps in their current experience and work on strategies to improve within our coaching programs. Do you feel your Executive Assistant needs some additional training? Contact Us today to discuss your needs and consider our Coaching programs.
Would you like to continue reading tips on emotional intelligence? Continue reading an article on LinkedIn with 10 tips to make you an emotionally intelligent Executive Assistant.