Evaluate Your Emotional Agility

Now here’s an intriguing little activity from the good old Harvard Business Review in an article by by Susan David and Christina Congleton. Probably not very scientific, but a good rough indicator you might find useful to get you thinking about how emotionally agile you are.

The more we know about ourselves and the way we function, especially under stress or duress, the better we can actively manage our behaviour. We all have some negative thoughts and reactions – the important thing is how we react when we feel them and what steps we take to challenge them.


How you feel is up to you.

During the course of the next few days, take particular notice of how you respond to the interactions you have. By that I mean interactions with people, obviously, but less obviously, your interactions with animate and inanimate objects, the weather, everything around you.

When you accidentally drop something on your foot, what’s your reaction? Swearing and cursing? Or an acceptance that it was accidental, and accidents happen. When the car won’t start in the morning, are you frustrated or furious? Or do you patiently try again several times and work patiently through the possible causes? When your partner accuses you of failing to put out the rubbish, do you retort defensively? Or do you accept responsibility for your lapse and apologise?

You’re probably saying “It depends on the situation.” And yes, to a degree, it does. Being in a tearing hurry would make the milder response to any of these situations the unlikely one. And off you rush, out into your day in a vile mood.

How much better to take a deep breath, remember that how you feel is entirely you own choice, consciously choose a more calm and pleasant response and then head out in a good mood to meet your day, or your week for that matter!