When people become overly flexible, they may be viewed as fickle, compromising their value system, or even as manipulative. Flexibility as an emotional intelligence skill, however, does not mean that the individual ignores his or her own value system to please people in authority, writes Annette Prins.
by Annette Prins
As CEO and co-owner of the company Talent and Wellness Management, Annette Prins has developed a series of workshops in the people skills arena, focusing on, among others, emotional intelligence, assertiveness, stress management, conflict resolution, happiness, optimism, and personal strengths. She has also been accredited to present psychometry-related workshops on the Meyers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), the Neethling Brain Profile (NBP) l, and Emotional Intelligence according to the BarOn model (EQ-i). She presents workshops within the tertiary sector and the corporate environment, and has run a part-time private practice since 1992.
In terms of publications, in 2001 Annette co-edited Counselling in Southern Africa: A Youth Perspective, in which she contributed three chapters. In addition, she penned three chapters in the 2009 updated reprint, entitled Handbook on Counselling Youth. At the request of an international publishing house, her PhD appeared in print in 2010 under the title Emotional Intelligence and Leadership: A Work Wellness Perspective. Annette has also published articles in a number of accredited and non-accredited journals, and has presented papers at both national and international conferences.
Flexibility Flexibility represents the “ability to adjust your emotions, thoughts and behaviour to changing situations and conditions. This component of emotional intelligence applies to your overall ability to adapt to unfamiliar, unpredictable, and dynamic circumstances. Flexible people are agile, synergistic, and capable of reacting to change without rigidity. These people are able to change their minds when evidence suggests that they are mistaken. They are generally open to and tolerant of different ideas, orientations, ways and practices. Their capacity to shift thoughts and behaviour is not arbitrary and whimsical, but rather in concert with shifting feedback they get from their environment. Individuals who lack this capacity tend to be rigid and obstinate. They adapt poorly to new situations and have little capacity to take advantage of new opportunities (Stein & Book, 2000:161-162).
Inflexibility Typical of inflexible individuals is an unthinking habit, a fear of failure, the inclination to do just the minimum, postponement, and reliance on old ways and methods to solve problems (Watson & Idinopulos, 2007). They avoid challenges and opportunities because of their fear of failure. The less they do, the less able they are; the less they attempt to do things, the more avoidance is practised; and the lowers their self-esteem becomes. This circle of behaviour therefore has an immobilising effect on the individual.
Inflexible individuals are resistant to change. They struggle to adapt or are incapable of doing so at all. “They cling to old behaviours in novel situations, even though their actions are clearly insufficient and ineffective” (Stein & Book, 2002:165). Flexibility is also securely tied to reality testing. An individual who cannot accurately read or assess his or her environment will not be able to pick up the signs leading to an appropriate and adaptable response.
In its most extreme form, inflexibility is seen in the catatonic schizophrenic, marked by a catatonic stupor with decreased reactivity to the environment together with a reduction in spontaneous movement and activity, at times also including mutism. Catatonic negativism includes a seemingly motiveless resistance to both instructions and attempts to be moved; a rigid posture against all efforts to be moved; and even catatonic posturing, reflecting in inappropriate and bizarre .posture, This seemingly results from anxiety and an attempt to keep the environment “as is”. »
EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE -Tipping Point in Workplace Excellence Dr Annette Prins, Prof Eugene Van Niekerk and Annette Weyers
This workbook will help readers develop a deeper understanding of the effect and advantages of emotional intelligence on own and organisational behaviour.
Critically reflect on the changing world of work and the new requirements for successful functioning at work.
Explain how plasticity in the neural circuitry allows for the acquisition of skills such as those propagated by emotional intelligence theorists.
Discuss the important role of affect (both mood and emotions) in human behaviour.
Reflect on research and the role of theories in support of the role of emotion in human behaviour.
Describe the historical roots of EI and its related concepts.
Reflect on the development of EI.
To enhance knowledge of the emotional intelligence construct.
Emotional Intelligence skills, ddemonstrate the acquiring of EI skills according to the Bar-On model to:
assist the readership in developing skills and competencies related to the emotional intelligence construct.
effectively manage own and interpersonal relationships over different life domains.
The primary purpose of the book is to synergistically marry theory and praxis. This feature distinguishes this workbook from most of the competing books in the market that tend to either provide a theoretical overview of the emotional intelligence construct or focus on the acquiring of the associated emotional intelligence skills
Readers will learn that emotional intelligence:
positively impacts own and job success
contributes to increased life and job satisfaction
eventuates in a higher overall level of functionality.
Viewed systemically, emotional intelligence translates into efficacious living and work behaviour (including better teamwork) contributing to a more conducive organisational climate.
The workbook takes cognisance of adult learning principles and allows for the absorption of learned principles and the acquiring of skills. The following learning experiences will be included:
introductory perspectives illuminating the constructs involved and reflections on how they hang together
and other participatory exercises so as to interface theory and praxis.
All this articulate the broader backdrop of systemic thinking and include, amongst others, cutting edge developments in the broader field of Emotional Intelligence such as the constructs of Flow and Mindfullness. The workbook also distinguishes the present work from its predecessors and further enriches and expands the depth and breadth of the Bar-On model.