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Doctors Sylvia and Milton Gearing have been serving the Dallas-Fort Worth area since 1985 with compassion and professionalism.

The Gearings implement the latest in psychological research to stay at the cutting edge of their field and bring the most effective and life changing techniques to their clients.

Their methods and strategies have been sharpened over the years, and are now built upon Gearing Up’s Three Gears of Change.

Emotional Intelligence in Adverse Economic Times - Feb 26, 2009

Emotional Intelligence in Adverse Economic Times

February 26, 2009

Dr. Sylvia Gearing, TXA 21 News

The nation's jobless claims jumped more than expected last week and over five million Americans continue to receive unemployment benefits. The number of new unemployment claims is the highest in more twenty-six years. Psychologists are now saying that surviving the ongoing challenges is directly linked to using your emotional intelligence. Here to tell us more is TXA 21 Contributing Psychologist, Dr. Sylvia Gearing.

Q: Why is emotional intelligence more important now than ever?

Dr. Sylvia: Emotional intelligence is like having good emotional software that allows you to be smart in a different way. Managing your emotions when the "chips are down" builds self-confidence and the confidence of those around you. Emotional intelligence refers to those essential qualities of emotional self-management coupled with the effective management of others. When adversity hits, you are armed and ready to handle anything.

Q: What happens when we don't use our emotional intelligence in a job setting?

Dr. Sylvia: Success at work depends directly on your ability to handle yourself emotionally. You cannot perform if you cannot think and emote effectively. You cannot allow your emotions to run away with your mind. All too often, we act in emotionally unintelligent ways that can be both unproductive and even devastating. Increasing your emotional intelligence can make the difference between surviving and thriving in the current economy. Emotional intelligence trumps book smarts every time.

Q: What are the characteristics of emotional intelligence?

Dr. Sylvia: Emotional intelligence is a specific set of skills that can be built and cultivated over time. They allow you to combine your best thinking skills with your best emotional skills.

1. Knowing One's Emotions: Self-awareness and the ability to recognize a feeling as it happens is a key characteristic of emotional intelligence. The ability to monitor your emotions in real time is vital. Other wise, your emotions end up running you.

2. Managing Emotions: Handling feelings so they are appropriate is an ability that comes from self-awareness. Being able to dispute the discouragement of setbacks and failures is vital to your ability to move forward.

3. Motivating Oneself: Channeling your emotional energy to meet a goal is central if you are going to be effective. At the same time, emotional self-control enables you to bend all efforts in the service of a worthwhile goal such as finding a job or keeping a job.

4. Recognizing Emotions in Others: Empathy is the ability to identify compassionately with the challenges of others and it is an essential skill for dealing with adversity.

5. Handling Relationships: The art of effective relating is managing the emotions of other people. Leadership and interpersonal effectiveness are driven by an ability to understand and manage the people around you.

Q: Is emotional intelligence increasing in the workplace or are we seeing more challenges in this area?

Dr. Sylvia: According to studies, emotional intelligence is on the decline especially in the younger generations who seemed to feel entitled to achievement without earning it.

A recent survey of American employers by the Hay Group found the following:

  • More than 50% of the people who work for them lack motivation.
  • Forty percent seem to have difficulty working cooperatively with others.
  • Seventy percent of all change initiatives are not netting the desired results due to people issues such as poor levels in leadership, working together in teams, taking initiative, dealing with change, etc.

Q: What are the steps to increasing your emotional intelligence?

Dr. Sylvia:

Assess Your Stress: If you have a history of trauma, depression and anxiety, you may have more intense reactions to economic stress. People who have a history of depression have twice the intensity rates to economic adversity. We are just more apt to descend into a negative spiral and lose the capacity to extricate ourselves from negativity.

Use Your Mind and Your Emotions: Disregarding your good common sense when you are in the clutch of negative emotions is damaging, especially in the business world. Do not allow your emotions to engulf your reasoning ability.

Measure for Accuracy: Perception is not reality especially if you are inaccurate in your interpretation of the events around you. Learn to curb your overreactions to people and events and to take a measured approach to difficult situations. Job acquisition and sustainability may have more to do with your people skills than with your intellectual abilities.