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Adu Koranteng Writes: Let’s Manage Covid-19 with Emotional Intelligence

Adu Koranteng

A business and Financial Journalists, Kwabena Adu Koranteng, has called on the business community and government as well as religious leaders and the wealthy in society to apply emotional intelligence in the management of COVID 19 in a bid to reduce the rate of spread.

According to him, the application of emotional intelligence last year led to the professional management of the pandemic and experienced a sharp reduction.

He noted that in applying Emotional Intelligence, the business community and all stakeholders must strive to distribute Personal Protective Equipment’s (PPEs) freely to the general public as part of their Corporate Social Responsibility activities.

“PPEs like nose masks should be distributed for free to the general public especially, people living in deprived communities like NIMA, Dansoman Agege, Chorkor, Madina Zongo, Ashaiman and the various Zongoes and deprived communities across the country in a bid to curb the spread.

Hand sanitizers and soaps as well as tissue papers must be freely distributed to people in these deprived and marginalized communities to encourage regular hand washing, face washing the use of sanitizers among others”. He said.

“In this pandemic, we need the business community to support the government in the distribution of such materials to help support the poor in the quest to halt the spread. Government alone cannot perform this herculean task and we need all hands on board. The situation is bigger than government and all of us must support government to fight the malady from further spread.

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Emotional intelligence can also help relationships with others. Empathy begets empathy and we must do well to empathize with others in their poor situation. People go to the markets, churches schools with one facemasks all the time.

Some wear and wash their face masks and wear and wash them again for weeks until they are torn. This is bad. There is a need to discourage that since it can quickly spread the virus. We need to support such people. We need to take time and help others.

When you take time to carefully listen to your partner, your family, your friends, or your leaders -when you try to relate to their feelings–they will feel understood and support you or you support them. And when a person feels understood, they’re far more likely to reciprocate your efforts and try to be more understanding to you.”

Remember, you can’t always control how you feel. But you can control the way you process and react to those feelings. And doing so can help you immensely during this challenging time.

According to Timothy R. Clark, the tips for leading with emotional intelligence include Balance your thinking and feeling brain. Don’t allow your emotions to hijack your behavior. As sports psychologist Stan Beecham said, “If your emotions are in charge, you will never fully know yourself, and you will never reach your potential in a performance environment.”

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A crisis is a performance environment – try to avoid extremes. If you’re Spock-like in demeanor, people won’t know you care. If you’re effusive, the emotional display will come across as disingenuous. If you’re prone to escalating emotions, you can’t help others de-escalate theirs.

2. Create psychological safety. You don’t want groupthink. Nor do you want so much conflict that people can’t work together. A growing body of research confirms that emotional intelligence creates psychological safety in the organization, which, as a mediating variable, accelerates performance. View yourself as the lubricating oil of collaboration.

3. Welcome dissent. It’s your job to simultaneously increase intellectual friction and decrease social friction. You need diversity of thought, constructive dissent, and creative abrasion to solve problems and find solutions.

But you can’t do that if people feel threatened and can’t get along. If those you lead believe their vulnerability will not be exploited, they’ll be brave and anxious to contribute.

You need diversity of thought, constructive dissent, and creative abrasion to solve problems and find solutions.

4. Model empathy and remove the risk of ridicule. Ridicule is a fear-inducing behavior that shuts people down. It triggers the self-censoring instinct, which causes people to retreat into a mode of personal risk management.

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Nothing can quash productivity during a crisis faster than a small dose of ridicule administered at just the wrong time. If you forbid personal attacks and model empathy yourself, you will help your team engage and release its innovative potential.

5. Invite challenges and prepare to be wrong. Do you consistently invite others to challenge the status quo in order to make things better, and are you personally prepared to be wrong based on the humility and learning mindset you have developed? Do you show a fundamental receptivity to both people and ideas, a cognitive and emotional openness that others clearly perceive?

That kind of openness is a sign of superb emotional intelligence.
Remember the words of the poet Maya Angelou: “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

In the years ahead, your people will remember two things about the coronavirus pandemic: How they got through it and the leaders who led the way. How will they remember you?

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