Today’s blog is written by Malynn Utzinger, Director of Integrative Practices.
The essence of emotional and social intelligence (ESI) is a mindful and intentional approach towards life. This translates into our ability to recognize our internal states in each moment and being able to discern whether a current inner state serves ourselves and others or whether it is self-defeating and potentially destructive to others. ESI is the capacity to choose to move towards a greener, more optimistic and empowering state. It is also being able to tune into other people’s experience with empathy and compassion in order to choose the most appropriate response to them, and it is knowing how to respond skillfully –at work and at home — in a way that leads to the best possible outcomes.
COVID-19 presents a challenge to our normal lives that has caused many to find themselves experiencing increased anxiety and contextual depression—a sluggish tiredness that mitigates against a sense of empowerment and aliveness. In times of stress and uncertainty, Emotional and Social Intelligence (ESI) helps us grow the capacity to face life as it is with vitality, optimism and compassion. This compassion, it must be said, is also meant to be extended to ourselves, when we come, even momentarily, to the limits of our optimism and vitality. This blog series is specifically intended to provide teachings and guidance for enlivening ourselves in challenging times, especially those brought about by COVID-19. This first installment addresses the topic of our inner multiplicity and the power this gives us to hold more of life and to function freely instead of becoming fractured.
Sometimes the right question in the right moment is all you need. Once, when I was teaching a large group of people, a participant made a joking comment about me that got a laugh from the others. This joke sent me swirling down into a story about what kind of a person the participant was, what the people who overheard that comment must think of me and how that comment would surely undermine my credibility as a teacher. It was distracting and took energy away from my ability to be the teacher I wanted to be.
Thankfully my boss, who has an uncanny ability to know what to say asked me a question that immediately turned the whole situation on its head. “Could you think of any positive reasons the person may have said that?”
It took me a second to step out of my negative downward spiral, but I soon realized that the person and I have a congenial relationship and perhaps he made that comment because he knew I had a good sense of humor and was strong enough to handle the ribbing. Immediately I shifted from assuming everyone thought I was a rube to thinking everyone might see me as confident, funny and comfortable in my own skin. The sinking feeling in my stomach dissipated, and I could move on.
This story has been staying with me as I have been coping with the unknowns, fear, daily challenges and sweeping changes that come like waves day after day during this COVID-19 pandemic. During this time many opportunities to practice shifting my perspective have surfaced, and I have zeroed in on a few questions that have enabled me to pivot and see things in a different way.
Today’s blog is contributed by guest blogger Caitlin Cavanaugh, Client Support Consultant with Promega North America.
Recently, I began a new role as a client support consultant at Promega. In this role, I’m responsible for all technical and sales support for the Promega portfolio in the New Jersey and Philidelphia area.
Before coming to Promega, I worked in a lab at a start-up company right out of college, then made my way into sales, where I worked for a leading life-science instrumentation company for thirteen years.
Today’s Promega Connections blog is written by guest blogger Tori Sheldon, North America Marketing and Events Coordinator.
It is crazy to think how quickly the months fly by. It feels like yesterday I was watching the ball drop as 2017 turned to 2018. Now it is almost March, when Wisconsin starts to emerge from the cold winter. March also happens to be National Optimism Month.
As I think about optimism, I am reminded of one of the core values that guide interpersonal relationships at Promega: “look for the good, with discernment”. The spirit of this value is to remember that deep down everyone is trying to come from a positive place and that even though we may not always agree with each other it is an opportunity for further discussion and collaboration.