Importance of Emotional Intelligence & Compassion During Unprecedented Times — Greatway Financial
To say that 2020 has been a challenging year would be an understatement. Going into 2021, the current COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the very fabric of our day-to-day lives, making fear and uncertainty ever-present forces in the minds of many. Even if your own family has managed to avoid financial hardship and insecurity, for example, it’s likely that you’re aware of how drastically other individuals in your community are being impacted.
To echo a phrase that has been repeated relentlessly over the past several months: we’re currently living in unprecedented times. As with most difficult things, the best way out is through — and we’re going to need each other to make it. That’s why at Greatway Financial, we believe firmly that skills like emotional intelligence and compassion, which are essential in forming meaningful connections and positive relationships, are crucially important in today’s world.
Here’s how we define emotional intelligence, how we define compassion, and how both serve as priceless tools for healing and community building during these difficult times.
What is Emotional Intelligence?
Often undervalued, emotional intelligence (EQ) encompasses the skills required to understand and embrace the complex nuances of human emotions. In part, it allows us to regulate and positively address our own emotions — but it also gives us the ability to interpret and understand the emotions of others. In providing pathways to understanding the individuals around us, emotional intelligence is not only a wonderful tool for coming to embrace our true selves — it is also a valuable vehicle for connecting with others in order to establish community and systematically spread kindness.
Given its broad nature, it’s somewhat of a challenge to pin down emotional intelligence in concrete terms. On the surface, EQ appears simply as the capacity to “just get” people, embracing them wholly and accepting them as they are. Those who are emotionally intelligent are often regarded as particularly kind, warm individuals who act selflessly and love fearlessly.
Below that external facade however, there are unique and valuable skills at work. At Greatway Financial, we describe emotional intelligence as the encompassment of key social and emotional skills such as self-awareness, empathy, motivation, self-regulation and social skills. At its best, a matured emotional intelligence will allow you to accurately identify your own feelings, productively manage emotions, motivate yourself, understand the emotions of others, empathize when necessary, and react appropriately.
Importance of emotional intelligence in current times
Fear, uncertainty, anxiety and frustration — it’s likely that these feelings have had an unprecedented presence in your life amidst the current pandemic. Unfortunately, they’re also some of the hardest emotions to maneuver. Outside of COVID’s surface-level threat to our physical health, its peripheral consequences have also created financial instability, mental health barriers and other frustrations that echo throughout our day-to-day lives.
Amidst these negative and overwhelming emotions, we’ve noticed at Greatway Financial that EQ is one of the most heavily tested skills. Why? Current times are awash with difficult emotions, and EQ is what allows us to positively maneuver through difficult feelings. To address fear healthily, you must first masterly label it. To manage anxiety productively, you must first successfully identify it. To navigate feelings of loss and uncertainty, you must first skilfully specify them. See the common thread?
At its best, our emotional intelligence allows us to do more than just navigate our own internal struggles — it also helps to encounter and react to the emotions of others in a way that positions us as strong, effective leaders within our families, communities, workplaces and social circles. And in this age of uncertainty, we need effective leaders now more than ever.
What is compassion?
Of the core traits and skills which contribute to emotional intelligence, compassion is perhaps the most essential. At Greatway Financial we describe compassion as an individual’s ability to emotionally understand the misfortune of another in a way that motivates them to provide help or support. Although related to sympathy in nature, compassion differs in its capacity. If sympathy is feeling for someone, compassion is feeling with them and — more importantly — fostering a genuine desire to help them.
In other words, compassion isn’t just about pity — it’s about understanding and sharing feelings on behalf of another individual. By putting ourselves in other people’s shoes, compassion helps us discover pathways to help them overcome misfortune and heal. Of compassion’s many functions, its primary purpose is to motivate kindness and support; when you feel compassionate towards another individual, you’re prepared and eager to help.
Importance of compassion in current times
Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, so many of those in our communities and workplaces are experiencing misfortune. Some have lost their jobs; others are living with the fear of an uncertain future. In this time of hardship, compassion is the driving force that fuels us to help each other — it’s what inspires us to get through this together.
How can we manifest compassion in our day-to-day lives? Primary examples might include accepting those around us as they are, exhibiting flexibility, offering help where it’s needed, extending patience, and simply being kind. In short, it is seeking to understand the difficulties — both visible and invisible — faced by those around us. Interestingly, compassion seems to be somewhat contagious. The more you exhibit it, the more you might find it extended your way.
At Greatway Financial, we believe that compassion is integral in this unprecedented time. As we recover from the pandemic and learn to adapt, it will be the strong knits that will tie our communities back together, encouraging us to carry each other through to the end.