I know this sounds like a very odd question. You’re probably saying to yourself, “What do you mean? I’m a grown-up.” Well, sure you are.

But most of us will agree, we have our moments — particularly at work, when some crazy event, incident or person sends us back in time and we feel as if our teenage selves have invaded our bodies once again.

The workplace seems to be the perfect testing ground for adulthood (as demonstrated by the steady stream of employee training requests I receive for getting along, communicating better and managing conflict, to name a few).

It’s the laboratory of human behavior — the place to test whether we can maintain our perceived maturity and professional decorum or revert back to unedited reactions, attitudes, behaviors, and tactics that were boldly expressed during the years when technically we “didn’t know any better”.

And though I could go the more sophisticated route in this post and connect all this to emotional intelligence, I’d like this post to be quite simple in making a point by asking this question, “Are you willing to be a workplace grown-up?”

What’s a workplace grown-up you ask? It’s someone who takes 100% responsibility for who they are and how they act no matter the circumstances. Tough calling I know — but these days sorely needed, now more than ever.

In a recent study released by the Six Seconds Group – emotional intelligence is on the decline. Uh oh — who will be the grown-ups now?

An important side note — crazy makes crazier. In leadership and management language that means immature adults managed by unskilled managers heightens workplace dysfunction.

In fact, have you ever witnessed unhealthy behavior in an employee triggering counterproductive behavior in a manager? Yep — I have…I was the manager.

And therein lies the key to the solution. It goes like this — admit it – own it – grow muscles in successfully managing it. Muscles? I call skills related to self-management muscles, some are stronger than others — some more developed in others. In my EQ workshops, we talk about triggers and the need to identify and manage them. Learning to manage them I call developing “emotional muscles”.

Here’s the catch — in order to develop a muscle, it’s got to be worked (you know, like in the gym). That means repeated exposure to the thing — the weight — that will cause the muscle to grow. And this leads us full circle back to the title Are You Ready To Be A Workplace Grown-up? Are you ready for the heavy lifting it will take to develop emotional muscles in areas that may be weak?

How will you be able to gauge your muscle/strength development? The weaker the trigger (meaning the less influence or power it has over your reactions and subsequent behaviors) the stronger the muscle. If the trigger is still strong, the muscle is still weak.

In the larger view of life, emotional intelligence is an essential life skill to happiness and success in all areas. It’s worthy of your time, effort and attention, not only personally, but professionally — for individuals and organizations.

Consider bringing an EQ seminar to your organization. I consider it one of 6 Individual Employee Core Competencies in the workplace.

And for those decision-makers who doubt the value of the investment to introduce EQ into their organizational cultures — there is plenty of evidence that the return-on-investment is substantial. Check out this latest study done at Fed Ex reflecting performance growth among managers due to EQ development. – click here.

Here’s to growing those muscles!

Here’s a link to the Six Seconds Group to learn more about the study – click here
Website Resource Page – lots of good stuff on it …like EQ interview questions, additional studies