Emotional intelligence (EI) is a person’s ability to control their emotional reactions when dealing with a potentially volatile interaction. In other words, utilizing your EI will help you keep calm by using a measured approach toward reacting to a situation to avoid further conflict and reach a reasonable resolution.
Here are some basic steps to employ that will utilize your emotional intelligence to diffuse a “heated” situation from getting out of control.
- It is a cliché but listen more and talk less.
- Respect that other people have different and possibly competing perspectives to yours.
- Value other’s opinions and various approaches towards problem resolution.
- Make a mental note of the person’s specific points and grievances.
- Try to understand their perspective.
- Avoid reading into a situation or someone else’s thoughts.
- Try not to make assumptions about what someone is thinking.
- Don’t get stuck on one specific statement or perspective.
- Keep the communication simple and not overcomplicated.
- Organize your thoughts and take your time before reacting.
- Think before you speak. Another cliché, however, it is paramount towards controlling how you react to the situation.
- Communicate your thoughts in a rational, methodical and polite manner.
- Maintain your composure and do not react negatively to the other person’s reaction if it is not positive or neutrally grounded.
- Be prepared to break away from the conflict, collect your thoughts and rethink your approach on how to settle the matter.
Please note that we mentioned breathing as a tool to control your emotions. This will help calm you down, slow your thoughts and bring composure to your mindset to avoid negative or irrational thoughts that may invoke a negative response that you cannot retract later. Remember, staying silent will not hurt your position. However, it will give you the break you need to exercise your Emotional Intelligence.