Guest Blog by Kim Gaskin
One of today’s most popular smart phone and Internet games can actually play out in our lives. Do you feel upset about things in your life or aggravated about someone doing something to you or taking something that belongs to you?
Angry Birds slingshot themselves across a playing field into structures to destroy pigs who’ve taken their green eggs. Out of pure anger, these birds sacrifice themselves to win. Have you ever sacrificed yourself to win? At what cost?
We all have angry moments. Anger is a normal emotion that can get out of control and become destructive. Stimulated by internal or external events, anger can affect your work, relationships, health and quality of life.
Here’s a fun, and I hope informative, comparison: Various communication styles, particularly when you overuse a strength, can cause you to show up like a self-destructive Angry Bird, or an Emotionally Intelligent bird.
- Red Birds – Likes control and to get things done through others. They like to exercise their power while valuing achievement and accomplishment. They love to WIN! If you’re an angry red bird, you may overuse your strengths and be too controlling, domineering and will do anything to win, including running over others, lashing out and creating harm.
- Blue Birds – “True Blue” in spirit, Blue Birds are concerned about others. They’re protective, genuinely helpful. They promote good will and harmony in all they do. If a Blue Bird overuses these gifts, they may turn their anger against themselves and become passive, slavish, easily dominated and controlled.
- Green Birds – Independent and self-sufficient, these birds like organization, order, planning and analysis; they value objective facts. When a Green Bird is angry, they may stall any process through analysis paralysis, get lost in the details and not see the forest for the trees. They can become argumentative and obstinate, unwilling to move and compromise until their need to know is satisfied.
No matter which bird you are – what your interpersonal style is – you have a choice to make. You can show up as an Angry Bird or you can be a bird that flies with high EQ. Birds with high EQ use the strengths of their style. Angry Birds, too frequently and often unknowingly, operate from their weaknesses. Any strength that gets overused can quickly turn into a weakness. For example, if you always take control and exercise your power, over time, people will likely experience you as too controlling and avoid you or not give you honest input.
Under stress or during tense situations, your style may change. But using your interpersonal style coupled with your EQ can ensure success. No matter how tough and unreasonable the situation, your emotional intelligence can help you manage your reactions and interactions in a positive and constructive way. Seeing situations through the lens of self-awareness, you will manage your emotions, think before reacting or put yourself in someone else’s shoes to understand their view. All of these tactics will help you better manage tense situations or conflict.
It’s important to recognize that the world around us will always have Angry Birds. Your job is to not be one of them. Use your emotional intelligence to help you find new ways to engage others, draw people to you, and manage any situation with confidence. No matter how angry you get, or when you interact other Angry Birds, you can make conscious choices so everyone wins. That will help you to stand out as an influential, powerful leader.