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Leadership

Emotional Agility

Author, DR. SUSAN DAVID, HARVARD MEDICAL SCHOOL PSYCHOLOGIST 

  1. When we are in a time of chaos and complexity, we need to see ourselves.
    Only in doing that are we able to move forward. The traditional way we think about our difficult experiences is that they are good or bad, positive or negative. We talk about positive or negative emotions. This view is rigid. Rigidity in the face of complexity is toxic. Avoid the “’tyranny of the relentless positivity.” 
  2. When people are going through times of stress, we as human beings tend to lock down into rigid responses to our emotions. We may get so caught up in our stress we move into “doing” mode. We may get so stuck in a space of uncertainty that fear fills in the gaps. Creating agility in an organization is about creating space for our soul and knowing our internal emotional state. 
  3. Don’t focus on making feelings go away“ I don’t want to feel sad.” “I don’t want to feel disappointment.”
    “These are dead people’s goals. Only dead people never get stressed, never get disappointed, never experience the sadness that will come with rejection or failure.” 
  4. “Discomfort is the price of admission to a meaningful life. What we know more than ever is the only certainty is uncertainty. We as a society need to develop the skills to navigate this reality. What so often happens when we are experiencing difficult emotions, we bottle them, push them aside, pretend to our team that everything is okay.” 
  5. Emotional agility skills help us to be healthy and well “in the world as it is, not as we wish it would be.” 
  6. Victor Frankel describes the idea that between stimulus and response is a space. In that space is our power to choose. It’s in that choice that lies our growth and our freedom. When we are driven in an unhealthy way by our emotions, there is no space. That is not agility. It’s fragility. 
  7. To become more agile: Practice gentle acceptance (not passive resignation or hopelessness): “It is what it is.” And practice compassion 
  8. Links: 

– Free emotional agility quiz: https://www.susandavid.com/#ea-quiz

– Emotional Agility pyramid: 

https://drive.google.com/file/d/15up-6dbk3Hp7Z3jBvYq4OjLDZBfDp4eA/view

– TED Talk: The Gift and Power of Emotional Courage: 

– Emotional Agility book: https://www.amazon.com/Emotional-Agility-Unstuck-Embrace-Change/dp/1592409490

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