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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 question that I use for myself is, “Is what I am saying or doing appropriate?”

This forces me to analyse (think logically) the level of appropriateness of my actions and pulls me back to being rational. Of course it may not be an instant return to logic; very often there is a transition where my little voice will say something like, “It’s appropriate because they deserve it.”

4. Ask questions of others

In the same way you use a question to bring yourself back from an emotional state, it also works well with others. Has anyone ever asked you, “Can I ask you a personal question?”

When they do, when they ask the question that follows, we don’t react the same way as if they didn’t ask that question first. Used effectively, questions can place the brain in a mode of waiting in logic to receive a question, similar to a wicket keeper waiting for a cricket ball or a soccer goalie waiting for an incoming kick.

5. Recognise trigger words and phrases

Selection of proper language can make a big difference in whether an emotional reaction is triggered or not. Using words or statements such as “You need to” or “Why did you” are likely to trigger emotions.

The guideline to remember here is to focus on the behaviour or situation you would like to discuss and not a person’s personality or attitude.

6. Mind your non-verbal communication

Most of the impact of our communication comes from the non-verbal component (body language and our voice). We have all been taught to be careful what we say, but we also need to mind how we say it.

Our non-verbal communication is based on our emotional state, as a result of our thought or state of mind while we are communicating. Which brings us back to our first tip: Be aware of your mental and emotional states as it will also lead to the non-verbal components of your communication.


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