Cultivating Emotional Intelligence

New Projects Blog PostNew Projects

By George Marino CPC, CMMT May 25, 2022

When new work come in, we sometimes go through turbulent periods until the dust settles, communication channels are established, and vision and goals are shared. Mindfulness can help support the development of these projects through presence. How is that so?

First, recognize your own emotions and feelings as you embark on a new project. There is often a sense of excitement about the new business. And that is good. But as you know, today’s highs are tomorrow lows. By staying in touch with your sense of excitement and not getting carried away with it, you’ll be practicing mindfulness. It’s that sense of equilibrium at the center of the T account we have addressed earlier, which we call awareness.

Second, as you start to communicate within your firm and to the new client about the project, there will sometimes be disconnection or misinterpretations of roles and responsibilities, even with an engagement letter in the file. There will be individuals around you who are not conscious and will start to accuse and blame while feeling anxious and overwhelmed. What can you do? Of course, you can sit down with them and discuss the situation. However, these are moments when you will be tested. You’ll need to raise your antenna so that the light of awareness is shining on your own internal struggles about the breakdown, and also on the immediate environment and people around you, in an open, non-judgmental way. Many people skip over their own internal feelings and brush them away as part of normal everyday existence. Unfortunately, that is an unconscious way of approaching struggle, and it limits one’s capacity to expand awareness and tap into their creativity. This happens to just about everyone as the pain is too difficult. So, we cope in a way that makes it lighter, or at least we hope it will.

Third, when we share vision and goals with other team members, sometimes we get “buy-in” and sometimes we do not. You’ll know this when the first conflict comes up during the project. How one responds to conflict informs us more about the person than their reactions when things are going well. A healthy way to respond to conflict is based in trust, mutual respect, and civility. A healthy person will want to directly meet with another in a shared space of openness and connection where each person has an opportunity to speak and learn. The unhealthy way to respond to conflict is to close up and maintain silence, to send texts and e-mails as a means to establish a position. This approach, used too often in business settings, does nothing to build understanding and true resolution to matters that are important to someone in the conversation. Mindfulness is about connection and sharing in an open, non-judgmental way. We let go of our egos and realize we are here to go beyond balancing the books.

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