Leveraging Emotional Intelligence Amidst COVID-19

It has been over a month since I posted Part 1 of my Covid-19 series. Since then, we have all experienced being either on lockdown or being on the front lines as an essential service provider.

While some states and provinces are loosening restrictions, we still don’t know the full trajectory of this viral spread. How long until we can gather in numbers in common spaces, work together in the same physical space, and socialize in each other’s homes?

Many of us have been challenged, likely quite unexpectedly, to develop new skills during this time of social distancing and lockdown. I suggest this is a time to pause and take inventory of the new skills, knowledge, and abilities we’ve gained these past few months. Opportunities afforded us to skill-up and dig deep to uncover grit, resilience, and talents we may never have known we had.

It has occurred to me that we have each been building our own coronavirus resume.

Mobilizing Resources and Developing New Skills

Talent Development and HR clients have told me about folks pitching in to help business areas they know little about. People who have never worked in customer service centers are now answering calls to assist with astronomically higher call volumes. Executives are even providing contactless warehouse services and community outreach. 

In my own neighborhood, I have seen new skills being developed. Landscaping and residential building services had ground to a halt due to not being essential services. As a result, I have seen neighbors learning to build their own fences and sheds!

I have been moved by stories like that of my friend, who is a lawyer. This friend assembled an army – a sewing army – to make over 5,500 masks in 31 days for healthcare workers and hospital staff.

On social media, I am also seeing growth in so many people in the form of demonstrated unique accomplishments. For example, people who typically used to eat out for most meals have learned to cook restaurant-quality dishes with the video guidance of accomplished chefs; homegrown and trained culinary artisans. 

In our home, my husband and I have been socially isolating with our adult children. In doing so, we have all shared in the care of my 16-month-old grandson. My university-student son has taken on the role of primary daytime caregiver for my grandson. This has been an opportunity for him to get in touch with his nurturing capabilities; having to be responsible for another life, and the joy of deeply caring for a child. 

At IHHP, we have seasoned, highly skilled facilitators who have honed their craft over many years in the classroom. After years of artfully educating program participants in-person, they have successfully transported these skills to a live online videoconferencing platform.

What is the Key to Developing New Skills?

All of these examples involve people accepting current circumstances.

During this time of unknowns, global concern, and uncertainty, they rendered themselves vulnerable, and leveraged the courage to take risks.

Also inherent in these examples, is a grounding in core Emotional Intelligence competencies of empathy, connection, and collaboration.

As we all continue each day doing the best we can to navigate these coronavirus times, let’s ask ourselves: what new skills, knowledge and abilities are we bringing forward? What will be your coronavirus resume? 


Cranla Warren bio sm

About the author

As a lifelong student of human behavior, a psychotherapist / family therapist turned organizational psychologist, Dr. Warren believes that a strong foundation of Emotional Intelligence (EI) builds great leaders, fosters employee engagement and creates great places to work. She has a wealth of knowledge and professional experience in the areas of collaboration, values-based leadership, coaching, and strategic business execution. Dr. Warren holds a Ph.D. in Organizational Psychology and a Professional Post-Graduate Certificate in Leadership. She currently holds the position of Vice President of Leadership Development at the Institute for Health and Human Potential. ​Connect with me on LinkedIn!​​​