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6 ways to show your emotional intelligence

Lou Markstrom | May 24, 2016
Once we have dealt with our own emotions, then we have the opportunity to make a difference when engaging with the emotions of others.

The human side of the IT equation is more critical than ever before. Whether we are talking about engaging with the organisation, managing vendors effectively, achieving high customer service ratings, or building partner relationships, it all comes down to the universal trait of being able to deal with human interactions.

If we were to pinpoint the one item that makes these interactions difficult, we could easily argue that it is the ability to deal with emotions. And if we are looking at managing emotions in interactions with others in an effective way, we know that we must deal with our own emotions first.

Once we have dealt with our own emotions, then we have the opportunity to make a difference when engaging with the emotions of others.

The rule to remember is that as a person’s emotional state increases, their level of logical thinking tends to decrease. Different parts of our brain regulate emotions and logical thinking.

The following tips will help you stay engaged with your logical brain as opposed to your emotional brain.

1. Be aware of your mental and emotional states

Awareness is the starting point of being effective here. If you do not realise that you are in an emotional state, there is not much you can do about it.

Without awareness, we can very easily wind up being on auto-pilot when it comes to our emotional state. We have all experienced this when you have one of those situations where you say something in the heat of the moment, then a short time later when the logical side of your brain re-engages you wish you’d never said it.

2. Realise that people are not reacting to you

A very helpful tip to keep in mind when looking at keeping your emotions in check is to remember people are not reacting to you. We walk around thinking that the way people speak or interact with us is because of us.

But think about it this way: have you ever had two different people respond to you in different ways in the same situation? What people are typically responding to is their own “little voice” in their heard.

You know that little voice – the one that says, “I like them”, “I don’t like them”, “I agree”, “I disagree”, “They like me”, “They don’t like me”, etc.

Their little voice is typically reacting to whatever is going on for them in the moment, whether it be work issues, personal life issues, or even if they’ve just spilled their morning coffee!

3. Ask yourself a question

How do we bring ourselves out of an emotional state if we are caught up in a reaction? One of the quickest ways to do this is pulling your brain back to its logical side and this can be done by asking yourself a question that is based in logic.


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