The thirteenth element of Emotional Intelligence is flexibility. Flexibility is defined by the EQi 2.0 as “your ability and tendency to adjust your emotions, thoughts, and behavior to changing situations and conditions, to adapt – to take in new data and change your mind or approach.” Flexibility is rooted in openness, curiosity, change, and adaptability. Understanding that there are situations where you need to adjust your emotions, thoughts, and behaviors is vital in the current social justice movement.
Those who are inflexible tend to hold firm to their beliefs even when new data is introduced to them. Someone who is flexible is able to change their mind when they are introduced to new data, and they are able to see the world differently when new information is presented to them. Someone who is flexible understands that there may be different sides to an argument and is willing to be open to understanding the other side.
With that being said, I wanted to share three ways we can work on our flexibility during this time:
- Actively listen to your colleagues or friends, take in new data and/or a new perspective, and push yourself to change your mind about something.
- On an issue where your position is fixed, try to think about at least two other positions that could be possible on the other side of the argument.
- Consider how coming curious to a conversation could be benefit you over coming fixed to that conversation. Even if you believe you are correct, explore being curious about other opinions.