Stretch and Get Flexible

Stress management is the final area that contributes to emotional intelligence. This is about how well we cope with change, the unfamiliar, and our daily challenges.

These competencies make up the stress management area of the model:

  • Flexibility
  • Stress Tolerance
  • Optimism

Let’s begin with the first competency under the Stress Management Composite, Flexibility. Flexibility is the ability to easily adapt when the situation is unfamiliar and unpredictable. Being flexible means you are able to deal with the emotions you are feeling when faced with change effectively and appropriately.

“Go with the flow,” a phrase that is said and heard often. If someone has said that to you stop and think to yourself, “Why are they saying that? What is holding me back from going with the flow?”

Often times it is because our emotions, thoughts, and behaviors are unwilling to adapt to different situations. Thankfully, flexibility is a skill that can be learned and practiced over time.
I have crafted three simple and effective tips on increasing your flexibility.

1. Outline your end goal and know your limitations

Once you have a defined goal, it will become easier for you to see where you are willing and able to be flexible and where you are not. Being flexible means you are able to reallocate your resources more effectively.

2. Manage stress levels when you can control the outcome

There are certain situations that you can and cannot control. When you learn to differentiate between the two, you will instantly become better at managing stress.

3. Open your mind and explore the alternatives

The act of exploring alternative solutions is the foundation of showing flexibility. When what you have planned for is not turning out quite right, allowing yourself to discover and act on new ideas will certainly increase your ability to be flexible.

So there you have it, three simple tips to becoming more flexible.

1. Outline your end goal – know your limitations
2. Manage your stress levels when you can control the outcome
3. Open your mind and explore the alternatives

If this post has you curious and you’d like to learn more, watch my video on my Leading with Emotional Intelligence training programs (training programs are available in both face-to-face and online delivery formats).

Join me next time as I begin to break down the final emotional intelligence area, Stress Management, and explore the second competency in this area, stress tolerance. 

Learn more about emotional intelligence in my previous blogs:


Carolyn Stern

Carolyn Stern specializes in helping professional women get unstuck, maximize their potential and achieve more. She is a successful entrepreneur, self-development professional, author, university professor, corporate trainer and coach, as well as a Certified Emotional Intelligence Facilitator/Instructor.

See all posts by Carolyn

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