Harris Fanaroff

Racial Injustice, Emotional Intelligence & Problem Solving

Black Lives Matter.

I stand with the Black community in my commitment to speaking up against systemic, institutionalized, and internalized racism. There’s a lot of work to be done (especially for non-Black people like myself) and actionable conversations to be had to unwind the harm caused by centuries of racism in the U.S. and beyond. This will not happen in one day, one week, or one month, but it’s a full-time responsibility we have to commit to.

Every week for the past ten weeks I have been writing about Emotional Intelligence and how it relates to the Coronavirus. This week I will continue the trend of writing about Emotional Intelligence, but I have shifted my gear from coronavirus to the much more important issue of racial injustice in our country.

The tenth element of emotional intelligence is problem solving. Problem solving as an element of emotional intelligence can be quite confusing at first. It doesn’t seem like an element that easily fits into emotional intelligence, but it certainly does. Problem solving is defined by the EQi 2.0 as “your ability and tendency both to solve problems that involve emotions and to use emotions as an effective problem solving tool.” Problem solving is rooted in collaboration & compromise, engagement, discussion & negotiation, and difficult conversations.

As it should be, coronavirus has taken a back seat to the movement around racial injustice and black lives matter. Our most recent racial injustice reminders – George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Amy Cooper, Omar Jimenez, and many others have shined a spotlight into the horrific and despicable racial injustice going on in our country. There are major problems in this country that involve a ton of emotions, and it is our job as citizens to use those emotions as an effective problem solving tool and go towards the change that we want to see.

I wanted to share three things I’m committing to as it relates to problem solving with emotions and racial injustice:

  1. Step into the difficult conversations and be okay not being comfortable with a certain conversation. We are pushed to our growth edge when we get uncomfortable.
  2. Identify and acknowledge the emotions – both my own and others – when having conversations around racial injustice. Ask myself things like, “where is this emotion of frustration and sadness really coming from?” Do the inner work to understand myself and learn from others.
  3. Research, read, understand, and listen more about racial injustice. The more I can educate myself, the more I can be a strong ally and help our society become better from this incredibly emotional and important issue.