In the previous entry, we unveiled some secrets about EQ (Emotional Intelligence). This time, TRG Talent draws for you the starting line to improve your EQ.
Recall a situation in which you were emotional and answer the following questions:
- What is that emotion? (ex: happiness, sadness, anger, disappointment, frustration, etc.)
- Do you remember how you acted? (ex: suppressed or expressed, lost control or kept calm?)
- Do you remember what you thought after acting that way?
- Could you identify the main reason causing that emotion?
- At this moment when you are recalling it, do you feel that emotion?
- What did other people say about your actions in that situation?
The above questions aim to measure your ability in identifying emotions and choosing the best possible options to opimise value or minimise damage. It is the basis of the practice of Emotional Intelligence.
Emotional Intelligence refers to the ability of understanding and managing the emotions of oneself and others. To begin, you need to learn how to accurately identify and manage your own emotions. How do you rate yourself in this ability?
People usually consider themselves excellent at managing and hiding their real emotions. Unless the observers are very close to them, there is no way they can discern their real feelings. But it is not true! Our brain automatically scans for subtle cues and signals representing a person’s emotions to act accordingly. An eyebrow raised, a corner of the mouth raised, a shrug, etc. all are invaluable cues to one’s real emotions. Some people not being good at reading the others' emotions might miss those cues but some other might even misunderstand those signals.
So what matters is “Are you expressing your emotions accurately?” or “Do other people understand my emotions correctly?”. Imagine in a meeting when the situation is dire and really needs a solution right now. Everyone is concentrating on finding it and the air is filled up with “anxiety”, “nervousness” and “tension”. If you don’t show any emotion (and you don’t have any good solution!), it is very likely that people will consider you as “indifferent”, “uncaring” or even “irresponsible”. They will not think of you as a “calm” person as you expected. So what should you do to practice and improve the way you show emotions?
The answer exists in many places that you visit everyday. The mirror! Looking into the mirror is a daily activity of most people. There is though an opinion saying that it is feminine and should be discouraged for men. A study has shown that limiting this activity will reduce anxiety about the self-image in one’s and others’ eyes. The advantage is that the less people look into the mirror, the less obsessed they are about their observable imperfection. But the risk lies in the fact that they also care less about others’ opinions and feelings.
Therefore, you may have never realized how you look when you disagree with someone. Maybe you did show all the negative body languages such as crossed arms, tight lips and frowning. And maybe you have never understood why people keep avoiding you whenever you just want to have a discussion about something. Look into the mirror and you will see what others see!
There are 7 universal emotions that you need to learn to realise:
Eyebrows down and together, eyes glaring and lips narrowing
Nose wrinkling and upper lip raised
Eyebrows raised and pulled together, eyes opened wide to show the upper white and lips slightly stretched back to ears
Crow feet’s wrinkles, cheeks pushed up and lip corners raised
Drooping upper eyelids and slight pulling down of lip corners
Eyebrows raised, eyes widened and mouth open
Lip corners tightened and raised on only one side of face
Try to imitate these 7 emotions in front of a mirror and recall a situation in which you experienced such emotion. When your facial expressions change, your emotions will change and vice versa. If you feel more familiar with one of the 7 emotions, it means you show that emotion very often. If you are unsure, ask a friend or relative to identify your most often expressed emotion. If it is not a positive emotion, beware!
In conclusion, you should express your true emotions with moderation, acknowledge it and try to turn a negative emotion into positive actions. Showing no emotions is not good, let alone only showing negative emotions. Remember: emotions are contagious!
Stay tuned for the next entry explaning further about the 7 universal emotions.