It is important to recognize emotions felt and how it leads one to act, which is known as self-awareness (Bardberry, Greaves, & Lencioni, 2009; Goleman, n.d.; Help Guide, n.d.). Patterson, Grenny, McMillan and Switzler (2002), analogized how emotions are formed by talking about emotions as if it were an arrow. The analogy goes that the facts are described as the feathers of the arrow and providing stability to the arrow. Note that some arrows may have many feathers and others don’t, but these feathers are tied to the shaft of the arrow, which helps build a story. This story that is built on the facts, guide us to the point of the arrow, which points in the direction towards the emotions that are felt. Everyone can have different facts to the same scenario, thus would form different stories. Thus different people would react differently emotionally to the same situation.
Therefore, it is important to understand and recognize what emotions are being felt and what are the stories that have led to this emotion (Goleman, n.d.; O’Niel, 1996; Patterson et al., 2002). Remembering to question the facts are a great way to diffuse certain emotional responses to make good life decisions, thus known as self-management (Bardberry et al., 2009; Help Guide, n.d.; O’Niel, 1996; Patterson et al., 2002). O’Niel’s 1996 interview also informed the readers that learning and emotions are strongly connected to the prefrontal cortex. Consequently, if strong emotions are felt and not dealt with, there is little bandwidth to focus on learning. Furthering the need to understand and being in control of one’s emotions.
I feel that I possess self-awareness and self-management of my emotions. I usually allow myself to have a 24-hour period to feel any negative emotion I want at that time. The goal is that after the 24-hours that I go seek out other facts to change my story or do other productive tasks. Plus, without self-awareness and self-management one cannot master social awareness and relationship management, because if one cannot understand themselves how that person can seek to understand others or be understood (Bardberry et al., 2009).
Social awareness by picking up nonverbal cues that other people usually send about the emotions they are experiencing (Help Guide, n.d.). Help Guide provides these following tips that one could possibly follow to improve this aspect of emotional intelligence:
- Focusing on the interaction itself by being present in the moment
- Being present in the conversation and employing active listening techniques
- Focusing my attention towards the other person in the conversation
Bradberry et al. (2009) suggest these following tips that one could possibly follow to improve this aspect of emotional intelligence:
- Greet people by their name
- Pay attention to people’s body language
- Develop a back pocket question for when there exists an awkward silence
- Clear away the things that clutter your mind during a social interaction, like putting away mobile devices
- Live in the moment
- Movies imitate life, so observe successful social interactions between actors in a movie
- Use active listening techniques
- Watch people interacting in a social location, like a restaurant or a coffee shop
- Seek out the whole picture from people, by asking probing questions
- Step into other people’s shoes
- Bardberry, T., Greaves, J., & Lencioni, P. (2009). Emotional Intelligence 2.0. San Diego: Talent Smart.
- Goleman, D. (n.d.). Emotional Intelligence. Retrieved from http://www.danielgoleman.info/topics/emotional-intelligence/
- Help Guide (n.d.) Improving emotional intelligence (EQ): key skills for managing your emotions and improving your relationships. Retrieved from https://www.helpguide.org/articles/emotional-health/emotional-intelligence-eq.htm
- O’Niel, J. (1996). On Emotional Intelligence: A conversation with Daniel Goleman. Retreived from http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/sept96/vol54/num01/On-Emotional-Intelligence@-A-Conversation-with-Daniel-Goleman.aspx
- Patterson, K., Grenny, J., McMillan, R., & Switzler, A. (2002). Crucial Conversations: Tools for talking when stakes are high. McGrawHill.