We have a hard time understanding variability. Why? Because we always want things that are predictably the same. Companies spend a lot of money and time to make things that are the same. The next sandwich we buy must be the same as the last one. Product testing & quality control works hard to measure variance and then figure out ways to eliminate it in Corporate America.
But what about ourselves? How consistent are we from day to day? Is our work always of the same quality? Were you out late last night? Did you have a fight at home? Is your husband sick? Did your mom fall and break her hip? Did you sleep 11 hours?
If you answered yes to any of these, what happens to your work the next day? Most likely it will change in some way. You may not think as clearly. Maybe its hard to focus. Could it be that I come to work moody? Did you have an incredible amount of energy to get things done today?
Our thoughts, actions, level of effort, focus, and impact varies from day to day. Our lives are full of variance. We are much more variable than we think of ourselves. Some days we can be very rational and other days much more emotional.
Emotional intelligence is a phrase used to describe people who can sense the variability in another human. People who possess this skill are very present and focused when talking to you. They can feel where you are on a given day. They see small things within your look, an answer, or your body language.
They understand who basically you are as an individual but they don’t stereotype you. Those that do this are lazy. They attach a label to a person and stop learning more about the individual.
You can begin to develop a greater amount of emotional intelligence (that would benefit you) by first understanding how much we vary from day to day. We are truly different in some way from day to day. We just are. Accepting the fact that we vary would be the second step to improving your ability to connect with others.
Just like a plant and its flowers, we too change and evolve as we age. It’s surprisingly wonderful when we can begin to see this in others and understand how much more alike than different we really are.