Recognize negative emotions as signals to transform to the positive
Chapter 4 p.3
Emotional Awareness consists of five basic building blocks:
Building block number 1: Self-Awareness
- The keystone of Emotional Awareness is the ability to recognize a particular feeling as it occurs.
- Developing self-awareness requires “tuning into your gut feelings” and a deliberate effort to become more aware of them.
- Being able to recognize and identify a feeling, enables you to consciously deal with it, and to change it if necessary.
- Emotional self-awareness is the building block of the next fundamental aspect of Emotional Awareness, namely, being able to shake off a bad mood.
A rude encounter often leaves me annoyed for hours. I usually hide my feelings and I would be surprised if someone were to comment on my state of mind. If I had consciously evaluated my feelings I could have become aware of how I felt deep down and how it offended me… Not doing it, is emotionally un-intelligent!”
Building block number 2: Mood Management
We often have little control over the emotions which sweep over us, but we can have some say in their duration.
Various techniques can be used to help us manage our moods, for instance:
- Rearming – consciously re-interpreting a situation in a more positive light. Any situation can be viewed from a different perspective if we consciously try and look at it differently. It is usually possible to find a positive angle to any situation.
- Even deep breathing and consciously deciding to go quiet within yourself for a few moments can alleviate anxiety, depression and anger.
- Refer to The Glad Game and Association and Dissociation in this book which describe additional techniques that can be used to manage moods.
Building block number 3: Self-Motivation
- To motivate yourself in order to achieve requires clear goals and an optimistic ‘can-do’ attitude.
- Positive motivation – feelings of enthusiasm, zeal and confidence are paramount for achievement.
For a pessimist rejection often means “I’m a failure”. Optimists tell themselves “I’m using the wrong approach” and are thus motivated to try again.
Building block number 4: Impulse Control
- The essence of emotional self-control is the ability to delay impulse gratification (in other words immediate satisfaction or short-term pleasure) in the service of a longer-term goal.
- When faced with an immediate temptation of whatever nature, remind yourself of your long-term-goals.
Now sleeping late will never be the same again!
Building block number 5: People Skills
- We transmit and receive moods from one another on a subtle, almost imperceptible level.
- The better we are at discerning the feelings behind other people’s signals, the better we are at controlling the signals we send.
Remember, even the way someone says ‘Thank you’, can leave you feeling dismissed, patronized or genuinely appreciated.
- Knowing how to fight fair
- Using the Win-Win model for negotiating compromise
- Observing yourself and recognizing your feelings
- Understanding relationship between thoughts, feelings and reactions
- Monitoring ‘self-talk’ to catch negative messages such as internal put-downs
- Realizing what is behind a feeling
- Finding ways to handle fears, anxieties, anger and sadness
- Learning the value of exercise, guided imagery, relaxation methods
- Understanding another’s feelings and concern
- Taking their perspective
- Appreciating the differences in the way people feel about things
- Stating your concerns and feelings without anger or passion
- Talking about emotions effectively
- Becoming a good listener and question-asker
- Distinguishing between what someone does or says and your reactions or judgment
- Sending “I” instead of blame messages
- Examining your actions and knowing their consequences
- Knowing whether thought or emotion is ruling a decision
- Valuing openness and building trust in a relationship
- Knowing when it is safe to risk talking about your private feelings
- Feeling pride and seeing yourself in a positive light
- Recognizing your strengths and weaknesses
- Being able to laugh at yourself
- Taking responsibility
- Recognizing the consequences of your decisions and actions
- Accepting your feelings and moods
- Following through on commitments
- Identifying patterns in your emotional life and reactions
- Recognizing similar patterns in others
- Knowing when and how to lead and when to follow
I am now quite sure that many of the “difficult situations” I have encountered in my relations with colleagues and clients stem from a lack of emotional awareness on both sides.
What hints can you give me which I can practice and use to enhance my EQ?
EQ is a multi- faceted concept and your overall EQ is determined by a combination of factors which all play a role in your interaction with others, including colleagues and customers.
The diagram below shows you these different factors and dimensions. The diagram also provides guidelines on how to enhance your emotional awareness in each dimension.
EQ will affect your contribution to the company in several important ways, including: You become solution focused. You take responsibility for your yourself and your tasks.
Management time is freed as a result.