You know the term emotional intelligence—using your emotions, feelings, moods and those of others as a source of information that allows you to make better decisions and navigate through life more effectively. For the last few months, I have been helping individuals in many Fortune 500 Companies develop and apply their emotional intelligence in the context of the corporate ritual, performance appraisal.
If ever it was time to apply your emotional intelligence, it's when you have your performance appraisal. After all, when was the last time you said to a friend or your partner, "Gee, I can't wait until tomorrow--I have my performance appraisal." For most, PA triggers all sorts of anxieties and often the process promotes defensiveness peppered with anger with results of disappointment, dejection, and even depression, not the best for inspiring improvement. You can turn it around by using three components of your emotional intelligence--mood management, interpersonal expertise, and self-motivation. I'll walk you through each.
Mood Management refers to many skills but here it is your ability to manage your emotions. Start by recognizing that emotions are a composite of your thoughts, physical arousal, and actions. Together, these factors form your emotional operating system, each influencing the other. Your goal is to make each work for you rather than against you. Take your thoughts first. Telling yourself, "This performance appraisal is going to be terrible," is apt to increase your heart beat and promote defensive behavior. Thus, increase your awareness to your thought talk so you can tell yourself, "This is an opportunity to learn how I can be more effective." This line of thinking will keep you cool, calm, and collected and receptive to the evaluation that is coming your way. Next, use your self-awareness to help you breathe slow--it will keep you relaxed and allow you to listen better. Managing your thoughts and physical arousal as suggested will help you manage your behavior so you don't say things impulsively that will get you in trouble.