“If you try to fix a problem with the wrong tool you will make the problem bigger, not smaller.” – Jennifer Crowell Ferch

My true friend, the late Dave Tucker, was a master machine and wood-smith of the highest order. Mr. Tucker could build a house, fabricate a log splitter, superior to the finest model at the local store, design and make a bedroom set and build an award-winning 1947 Jeep from the junkyard up.

Dave Tucker’s machine shop and workshop were hospital clean and surgeon organized with the precise tool ready to go at all times.

Let’s not talk about the Crowell shop. It is non-existent. It’s a victory when I find the correct screwdriver. Ever try to drive a Phillips screw with a flat head screwdriver. Not fun.

Anyone reading to this point clearly understands the concept. The wrong tools don’t work. Correct tools work if they are in the right hands.

Pretty simple concept right? Wrong! If it were so simple people would use the correct tool in the machine and wood shop and even more importantly in life.

Let’s switch gears and address our life skills (emotional intelligence toolbox).

The most common tool is the anger tool.

Do any people have just one tool in their EQ toolbox?

While I was in China it became clear to me the culture is highly reserved. Everyone is Mr. or Mrs. I was repeatedly told the Chinese are not emotional. I found anger as common in China as I do in the USA.

Anger is an important tool but it should not be used to fix anger. Anger produces more anger.

Parents should use sadness when a child is angry. Same for coaches when teaching hotheaded players.

A sigh, a few soft words like, “You’re too good a player to act like this” often defuses anger.

What’s in your EQ toolbox? What skills do you want to add to your toolbox?

Since you are both a miracle and genius I truly believe that you can discover what tools you need to add to your toolbox.

I close with a funny story. Most of our funny stories were not funny at the time but later on become family favorites.

Dad decided to do a job he hated. Cut the grass. After pulling on the rope to start the mower, until sweat dripped profusely, he decided kicking the mower might jump start it. The pain on his face told his spectators (boys) his foot was hurting.

Out of Dad’s limited toolbox came his trusting hammer, which he used to beat on his lawnmower.

It still wouldn’t start. So dad went to the local hardware store to buy a new lawnmower.

What makes this story both amusing and humorous is I have done nearly the same thing trying to get a snowblower to start on bitterly cold days. Fortunately, I couldn’t find my hammer.