The acronym CARDS refers to managing your Composure and ensuring you keep the right kind of Attitude in your sphere of influence, these first two help you manage your Relationships and allows you to provide valuable advice exhibiting a Drive without prejudice or judgment which ultimately produces a Solutions minded individual and society.
Let’s break it down:
Emotional intelligence is really all about managing yourself well enough that managing others become easier. Maintaining a calm composure in the face of aggressive or hostile environments is key to successfully navigating conflicts and coming out on top. A calm composure also acts as a deterrent to bad behaviour. I always use the Suzy Welch 10-10-10 method to evaluate situations and persons. Will this matter in 10 minutes, seconds, hours, weeks, etc? If it doesn’t, chuck it in the rubbish bin and walk on by! Be mindful of your reactions to situations and learn to manage your emotions better.
Learn to maintain a positive attitude at work or anywhere you find yourself. Surround yourself with things that make you happy. Create a personal space where you can go and recharge. I create my space wherever I go, my space has music, journals, colour pens, scented candles, candies (sweets) and a novel. Stay away from negative situations as much as you can. If caught in one, diffuse with a joke, calm but stern response or just walk away. Have an anchor song that keeps you steady and sure; mine is Titanium by Sia, most people like spiritual music or jazz, find your beat and stick to it. Most of all, always wear a smile, it helps both you and the person you are with and introduces cheer into the environment.
Create the right and strategic relationships around you. In an office, know who the influencers and power-brokers are. It has been said often a person’s network is their net worth. You spend at least 8 hours a day at your workplace, as much as it is possible try and have a good working relationship with everyone. Don’t be a people pleaser, be your authentic self and that means working on the above two points (Composure and Attitude) – if you have a calm but amiable composure, you will be approachable and this helps in building strong relationships within your sphere of influence. Build relationships on respect, faithfulness and loyalty. These are very scarce currencies. Love People, Trust God- my motto!
Be driven. Never give the excuse you can’t. Everything is possible! Never stop learning. Read up on new things. Volunteer on new projects, start something new. Even if things seem to be moving slow, provide energy and innovative ideas. Never say ‘oh they don’t appreciate all my hard work” – still work hard, release all that creative energy, when you bottle all that up, it can become negative or disruptive in a bad way. Be driven!
In a world that has become very critical, be the one in the room with light, look for the solutions, look for the way out of a problem. Don’t join the crowd of naysayers. Be positive that this too can be worked out and go for it. Approach every problem with a solution and not a criticism. Be constructive if you want to criticise, start with the positive parts of the project, then move to what isn’t working and finally move to your suggestions and offer help.
How do you start?
First do a personal diagnostic –
- Ask a close friend (your spouse, sibling, best friend or even a work colleague) to help you discuss your possible reactors – what things do you react nicely to and what do you react negatively to?
- Write these down
- Then write down what your typical reaction should be (best possible outcome)
- What do you like in your personal space?
- Make a list
- Get them in there- positive little favourite things
Live and Love
- Practice greeting people with a friend or just in front of a mirror (if you are a shy one like me) – smile, laugh, speak
- Learn not to take things personally, forgive easily- it leaves your heart and soul open to receive from God
- Find conversation topics that are engaging (politics, entertainment, industry etc)
- Read up on these issues, make yourself current
- Go out, create relationships outside of work so you can have a balanced view and advice from an objective party when things are not going well at work. You also will be current with what is happening outside of your immediate sphere.
- Be yourself, no one likes a fake friend! Be honest and true to self and others
- Show genuine care
- Do TGIF office gigs- it builds relationships
- Celebrate each other
- Read – an open mind is an exposed mind
- Be helpful
- Join new projects
- Learn new things (Be humble)
Innovate! Innovate! Innovate!
- Before you criticise – STOP, take these three steps
- What are the good in the work done? PROJECT THE GOOD
- What are the things that you are not happy about? TALK about it
- What can be done better? ENUMERATE them and OFFER your help
- Look up the new and interesting things happening in your industry
- Look for ways that the firm can grow
- Be hungry for knowledge.
I do hope that these can help you start to play your CARDS right. Remember it will be become a habit as you practice this daily. Best of luck at this!
Oge Funlola Modie