Workplace Emotional IQ

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Every once in a while, someone rubs us the wrong way. Whether it is rubbishing the work you have done or just  throwing an insensitive answer at you.

Now it depends on who has offended you and their position. If it is your senior, you can chose to let go of it quickly because it affects your work. If the individual is your colleague or teammate, the justification of an apology can sometimes be greater.

Truth is, in this life, we are bound to encounter people who do not agree with us. Some get their validation from demeaning others. You may even notice a pattern with these people. Yet, we all need to focus on the goal of getting a project done. It might be a deeper personality problem that the individual needs to deal with.

When such a situation happens- notice use of when and not if- because it will happen eventually, you need to have emotional intelligence. Emotional intelligence is the ability to identify and manage your own emotions and the emotions of others.

  1. Separate the individual from the project- the show must go on despite a bruised ego. Things must move and the faster you realize this, the better for your peace of mind as an individual.
  2. Know the battles to pick- some things are better ignored, because they end up consuming so much of your time and energy.
  3. Let the person know that they have offended you (after composing yourself). It helps to maintain a respectful working relationship. Nothing personal, this is work.
  4. Know when to let a matter rest and move on. Sometimes if you let issues drag too long, it results to pettiness.

A few months ago, someone rubbed me the wrong way. I have highlighted the lessons from this experience. (I started writing  this post on the day I was offended, but held on to it. I have edited most of it. I am learning that not  everything is worth the public’s scrutiny, even as I press the publish button.)

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Hope though false is worth clinging to.

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There are two two acronyms that people can not get their minds around. People automatically associate them with death. Yeah! I know many have died of HIV and AIDS related complications. Well, truth is, many have also succumbed to cancer, diabetes, and other conditions.

Other people associate HIV with a gold mine. They hear you mention these words and immediately someone wants to sell you their ‘natural cure’. I mean, if you can take ARVs for that long, you might as well be hooked on whatever other concoction they may hook you up on.

They tell you that ARVs have side effects that damage your internal organs. I am not a medic, but from the little knowledge I have, all drugs are toxic to the body. Even the supplements and herbs that we buy can be toxic to the liver.

The logic is, your life is worth investing in, right? People spend arms and legs together with whatever other extra limbs they have just to buy mortality. Fear of death is real, I dare say. The irony is, they end up buying their own death while trying to buy immortality.

Then there is the group that gets hyper religious when they hear you have the ‘plague’. People offer to pray and fast for your healing. Of course, I don’t want to come across as a faithless person. I know God heals. I am a Christian. I’ll just leave it at that, lest I say the wrong thing.

Speaking of Christians. Yes! Let’s just speak of a group of brethren. With pick up lines like ‘where do you fellowship?’ Before you know it, they want to come to your house. ‘Do you mean the flesh is still at work in you?’ they counter your argument against their ideas.

Once in your house, they just can’t keep their hands to themselves. Until you disclose to them that you are living positively with HIV.  They then go back yo their hyper spirituality, telling you to believe with them in your healing. They even abruptly turn into nutritional counselors. ‘Now you should avoid eating this and that, your diet should have this and that’. I’m like, “Get a hold of yourself, where were you all those years? I could have used your advise then”.

Then there’s the irksome type that preys on desperate, ignorant prey seeking prayer. Religion is in fact the opium of masses- Karl Marx. Promise anyone divine intervention to alleviate their impending suffering and they will give you anything. I mean, people have sold houses, vehicles even taken their hard earned life savings to these ‘men and women of God’ as seed offerings to pay for their healing.

Sadly, they did not end up so well. For some, it started with Tuberculosis, others Meningitis, while others, cancer, then eventually death.

So yeah, call me faithless, call me a skeptic, you can even call me a coward. I will run with this proverb, that he who fights and runs away, may live to fight another day.

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Back to Motivation, can’t run from a call

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This week I was invited to speak at Chosen Children of Promise Kawangware. A talk which had been postponed for a long time.

I wondered what to say to those young people. In fact, while walking to catch a matatu to Kawangware, I became so absent- minded just thinking of the right words to say that I tripped on the pavement and fell. Fortunately, there were two helpful ladies to help me get up. One went after my water bottle, while the other carried my laptop bag.

I was slightly injured, but that was the least of my concerns. “I hope the laptop has not been ruined”, I said. “Help me up”, was the next thing I said. Because chivalry is a rare thing in Nairobi, I thanked the ladies whom I did not know. In a hurry, I dusted myself as I walked to get a Matatu to Kawangware.

I reached the center at 2.30, half an hour late, but just in time for my turn to speak. Now, seeing the diversity in ages of my audience, I had to think of a tactic to keep them engaged.

Through experience, there are some talks I have had before that left my audience staring in shock, probably wondering, ‘how the hell is this person still alive to tell this story?’ 

I don’t enjoy traumatizing my audience with my story. It beats the purpose of educating a specific audience. I think that’s why I chose to go slow on the talks. I chose to go slow on a couple of other things, just to reflect on the benefits I was giving my audience. Such a break is healthy. It even promotes growth.

Anyway, so this speech was about a young girl called Jackie. She was just any ordinary teenage girl who was drawn by peer pressure to the seemingly good things in life. Her family lived in poverty, and could not afford to give her the things she wanted.

She met a man who promised her that he would take care of her. A man who was courteous enough to take her to her first movie date. A man who didn’t drink or smoke. A man that even though she was still a student, she used to dream of  marrying. A man who also changed her life for good.

At the end of the talk that was engaging, yet had a not so preachy message at a vocational bible school, I revealed who Jacky was. “The girl standing in front of you”.

Every time I talk to an audience, I learn a different thing. On this day, I was reminded that no matter how many times you fall, you do NOT stay down. You have to get up, dust yourself, and get on with the call. Sometimes you have to separate yourself from a story for it to have the desired impact. It is not my story anymore. It is HIStory.

Love,

Juls.

I can’t get over those Dimples

In shedding off my inhibitions, I have written a love poem inspired by a man’s smile. I think I should do more of this. Tell me what you think. Is it a hit or a miss?

Dimples

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A crevice into this heart, has been dug by those dimples,
Crevices that dig on your face with your smiles,
Why torture me with your smile so simple,
Gives me goose bumps as big as pimples,
Like a painting on canvas with different shades of purple,
The art, your smile remains in mind like a wrinkle.

Though I try as much, I can’t seem to wimple,
This feeling that has me acting like a cripple,
Neither can I disguise it with a simple wimple,
While walking in front of you I sometimes topple,
Ah! Those crevices on your face cause ripples,
Ripples of emotions I can’t seem to bundle.

In my pretense I eat pieces of pineapple,
So I may appear normal to other people,
God knows I’ve tried all including apples,
The phrase ‘apple of my eye’ still triples,
Toward you, maybe  we were meant to be a couple,
Those crevices, fixed in my mind with staples,
Are no longer just simple dimples.

Juliet Awuor ©2016

Touching base: We stay.

Hello Friends,

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I know it’s been a while since I wrote here. Thank you all loyal readers who have been visiting.

I didn’t stop writing. As a writer, that is kind of impossible. You just have to let words out no matter how silent you are. I wrote  poems to go with my emotions, of love, gratitude, sadness, happiness. I just  did not post them here. Why?

Writing is art. Picture a painter in his studio, doing his thing. You go and accidentally set eyes on this breathtaking piece of work. You applaud, maybe by commenting, “This is a masterpiece”.

The artist looks at you, obviously puzzled. “What do you mean? This is an unfinished painting. It’s terrible, cover it up.”

I would say that has been my story lately. Some writing I feel is not yet ready for the public. Sometimes just stepping from your computer to connect with real people also helps. I have done a lot of that too.

I commented to a friend that this was my safe space, where I get to be me. He smiled and said that the oxymoron was that my safe space was very public.

So this question keeps rearing its head. How much is too much information. I was also pondering on that during my break. I finally answered myself that if I don’t tell my stories, someone else will. They will be under no obligation to be as accurate as I would love them to  be.

I also started a new blog. You might want  to check it out. This is one of the reasons for my break. I was even contemplating pulling down this blog, so that I concentrate on the new child.

But then again, parents don’t neglect their firstborns just because they have birthed a second born. Do they? Incidentally, some people like this first born better. I love all my children equally.

What would I do without julieinspire? Sometimes I just want to be that little girl, that crazy woman and so on.  Writing is therapeutic you know. So julieinspire stays.

Love,

Juls

It doesn’t always feel right yet it sorts you out

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Hand reaching out

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Giving up is easy, anyone can give up. I have felt like giving up quite often. I have asked, “what’s the meaning of this life?”

Then I meet someone in a worse state than myself. Well, not that my state is bad. It is just bad according to the lens I am using at the moment.  Sometimes it’s good to just step out and look at situations from God’s perspective.

Today I have just seen  a text from one of the  many friends I made after being  on TV. The text read in part that she is still carrying the painful cross, waiting for Jesus to come. After texts like these, I am jolted to sense. I have a greater purpose than to mope about the little challenges I encounter.

Sometimes just encouraging another person, is all it takes to lift your spirits. Sometimes your spirits are low because you are not adding value to another life.

A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed. Proverbs 11: 25 NIV

Your generosity can be in form of the small encouragement you have. It doesn’t have to be a lot. I personally have had friends who have reached out and been a blessing to me. We are created to be relational beings, first to relate to God then to each other.

Three weeks ago, I offered to host a young girl in my house, thinking that she needed a roof over her head. I noticed she was living in the office. She told me that she doesn’t feel the pressure now, because she is doing some projects that need the internet.

First she thought I wanted to reproach her for using the office as her house. But when I offered to host her, she really appreciated my kindness. I saw her desperate situation, she saw her opportunity to work. In the next 5 years, she probably will be having her own company.

Maybe that was God teaching me a lesson on perspective. How do you view that situation you are in? How can you be a blessing to someone? Would you follow a prompting even if it doesn’t make sense?

As I write, I am speaking to myself. I hope someone also finds light in whatever tunnel they may be in.

Ask my shoe of our love affair

In love with heels but baby, we've got to part.
In love with heels but baby, we’ve got to part.

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I am a typical woman. That statement is loaded with qualities that only women would understand. You know, like having a closet full  of clothes and not being able to find anything worth wearing? Anyone?

Today I’ll not talk about the fullness of my closet  or inadequacy thereof. Today we are all about footwear. You see, I have these gorgeous toenails that need a trendy pair to go with. Someone once told me never to wait for validation from elsewhere. “Celebrate yourself”, he said. So, here’s to me celebrating me.

The thing is I never get shoes that I can walk in comfortably. Just like clothes, my shoe rack is a cemetery of sorts for shoes. It’s either grown too big for my right foot to hold or too small for my right foot, yet while buying them, they seemed to fit perfectly.

Then there’s this problem I have with heels. I know they are gorgeous on my feet, and make me look elegant in photos. I have resigned to be practical. What’s the use of having six inches heels when you can’t find your balance while walking in them?

I know that my birthday is still a long way to come, but just some heads up. Hint hint! Should you feel like blessing this lover of shoes with a pair, please keep off the thin six inches things. We are just avoiding some unpleasant eventualities.

How I miss the good old days when I used to walk in sandals and open shoes. Now, if I dare put on anything without straps, I will kick it while walking and meet it ahead. My right foot cannot hold shoes. It needs support. Which begs the question why there aren’t sandals with straps that hold feet. Why aren’t there slippers for adults with straps? Just thinking out loud.

I look for fashionable flat shoes with straps, and fail to get the right fit. maybe it’s because I am a number 7. My shoe problem is combined  with the big footed girl problems.

Speaking of which, today I just feel like throwing away the pair I am wearing. It is pinching my right foot. I just can’t wait to get home and off these shoes. It was a different story when buying them. They were the darling boots that you’d have to be really blind not to notice. My right foot doesn’t understand that. My right toes cannot fold themselves as my foot expands.

Sometimes I get that pair that fits well. I make it my best friend. I wear it every day. Problem is, the right shoe gets damaged, leaving the left intact. Sometimes I look at my shoes and ask, “are they worn by the same person?”

There’s a bright side in every situation. I get to give away most of my shoes. Sometimes I buy a shoe, walk in it for two three days, when it starts saying, “Darling, I think we need to part.” I oblige. I have learnt to accept things as they are and move on. May be, just maybe, one day I’ll find a shoe that loves me back as much as I love it.

With love from,

Juls.

How fast a reader are you?

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So today I bumped onto a speed test for readers on Dickson Otieno’s blog and thought I must share this.

First, I took the test and failed miserably. I did 72 words per minute. I am 71% slower than the average UK reader.  That means I would read the book- Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by JK Rowling in 19 hours and 49 minutes. Or Nineteen Eighty Four by George Orwell in 20 hours and 35 minutes. Here is a book I have not yet completed, The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck, I would read in 39 hours 14 minutes. Ooh!

Here is the App, try and test your reading speed.

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Source: Staples eReader Department

I think I might just resort to audio books at this rate. The thing is, no matter how slow, I’m in love with books. Yesterday my neighbour came to my house and on seeing my collection, she asked, “When do you get time to read all these books?” Yeah, I guess I’ll stick to my title- Bookaholic.

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Alone in the midst of many

Just found this poem that described my state of mind back then. No, I am not depressed, so everyone, relax and enjoy the read. I am just a person who loves playing with words. This poem is part of my unpublished book.

Juls
Photo: Wilson Mrema

They laugh, some smile,
Talking, I smile back,
Though the language simple,
T’is yet complex.

They are laughing, some are smiling,
Talking a language, I smile back,
The one I seem to not understand,
Tears hidden in this broad smile,
The brave smile that always comes,
To keep tears at bay, lest anyone knows,
The secret is for me and mine,
Though deep inside, I scream aloud,
Telling is no option of mine,
Time alone will tell the secrets,
That cannot hide themselves.

————-

Juliet Awuor © 2014

This week in perspective: A roller-coaster of emotions.

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Black woman hugging her knees Image credit: infochristo.com

 

This week has been a mixture of emotions to me. First, it started with losing a friend to cancer. Then as if that was not enough, I met a nephew to someone I cared for in hospital, who eventually died of cancer.

The nephew seemed to be ignoring me, so I acted like I did not know him. After all, it was working hours and I was on official business. I picked the document that I had been sent to pick and went ahead to a function to celebrate the International Women’s Day.

All through, I was wondering what hostility existed between us that this person was still ignoring me after all these years. I concluded for the moment to let it be as it is and move on. After all, when his uncle died, they never told me anything. I only discovered three weeks after his burial from a friend of his whom I met in hospital. This was through a phone call I made after being worried about the uncle.

Going home, the thought kept bugging me. I decided to text the nephew and reintroduce myself. You must have forgotten me… I am so and so.

To my surprise, the guy genuinely did not recognize me. His uncle tried to arrange a meeting between us when he was in hospital, but he was busy at work. The uncle even gave me the nephew’s number. That explains why I had the number. For someone who used to see me 15 years ago, before I had the disability, it would be understandable. “I am happy you looked good,” he said. “I hope you are keeping well,” he added.

The next day I met a friend whom I nearly married. I noticed he had a wedding band on his finger. I asked him why I was never invited to his wedding. “It happened too fast,” he said. I was happy he found the right one and was happy with her. Later that evening, he sent me a text apologizing for having disappointed me. “You have not disappointed me. It was just never meant to be,” I replied. “May God bless your marriage,” I added.

This same week I received a call from Elza, mama Earnest. I was so happy to have finally connected to her. I have been looking for her like crazy. It just so happens that she has also been looking for me. We are yet to meet, but I know we have a lot to catch up on.

What I learnt this week is you have to take initiative to reach out. Never make your own conclusions. And what is meant to be, will be.

With love from,

Juls

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