To communicate in an emotionally intelligent way, you need to connect with whoever is in front of you. Active listening without judgment is always the first step, the one in which many people fail.
Emotional intelligence is a survival tool that allows you to know how to react to the unexpected. It is above all the art of connecting emotions and knowing how to put them always in our favor to improve coexistence.
On the other hand, while it is true that we have all linked the concept of emotional intelligence to Daniel Goleman, the reality is that it is another famous figure who introduced, invented, and developed this concept: Peter Salovey, a psychologist at Yale University. The latter made it clear from the start that this dimension had to be a complement to intelligence itself.
Each of us is emotionally intelligent, Salovey points out, and can connect with ourselves and others to shape more fulfilling and fulfilling lives. So let’s find out what communication skills are related to emotional intelligence.
The strategies used by a person competent in emotional intelligence
A person skilled in emotional intelligence is not born, he learns it by developing new strategies. Therefore, it takes will and commitment.
We emphasize this point for a very simple reason … In recent years, there have been plenty of courses to acquire this skill. And many of them are of questionable quality.
However, a diploma does not qualify anyone. No matter how well you know what empathy is, if you are unable to listen to others, that does not make you a competent emotional intelligence person. A real commitment to change is needed.
In addition, studies such as the one conducted at the University of Bahrain in 2018, highlight the need for any leader of an organization to be competent in emotional intelligence. It is then necessary to apply a series of tools in the field of communication.
Self-regulation of emotions: calm helps us express ourselves better
You have surely noticed it. When anger or frustration engages you, your communication becomes aggressive. You say things that you regret. And you can’t even be clear about what you want to say.
In essence, any intense and uncontrolled emotional state makes the act of communication difficult. The first step will always be to regulate the emotional state: a calm mind expresses itself better.
Motivation to communicate in a positive way
The person skilled in emotional intelligence is not only motivated to communicate: they feel the need to do so in a positive way. What does that mean? This implies that your will is to understand others, to make agreements, and not exclusively to impose your opinion.
Communicating positively is also knowing how to master non-verbal communication. Gestures, non-forced friendly smile, tone of voice … Everything must be oriented towards warmth and connection.
Empathy without emotional contagion to be able to communicate better
A person with good emotional intelligence knows how to manage the information that reaches him thanks to his capacity for empathy. This ability to perceive, understand and connect with the realities of others is the cornerstone of good communication. It allows you to articulate a response without being overwhelmed by emotions.
We need this empathy to understand the emotional reality of the other, but without being affected by their emotions. Say we are talking to a very angry colleague. There is no point in being at the same level and in the same state of mind. To properly argue, react and reach out to each other, we need to be calm.
Active listening: the gift of the person with emotional intelligence
Listen to understand and not just to respond. It sounds easy. However, this is usually the biggest problem in communication processes. We don’t listen to each other. If we are to become competent people in emotional intelligence, it is essential to apply adequate active listening.
This strategy was defined by psychologist Carl Rogers. It consists of integrating the following dimensions:
- Listen carefully.
- Being able to listen to what the other is saying without taking anything for granted.
- Trying to understand what others are explaining.
We often overlook the value of emotional connectors in the communication process. We refer to these small gestures to make the other see (and feel) that we understand him, that we validate his presence, his words, and his emotions.
How are these resources applied? Here are some examples :
- Repeat part of the other person’s message to show them that you have listened/understood: “I understand that things are more complicated in your service (…).”
- Add words that serve to validate the dialogue: “I understand you, it’s true…”
In short, becoming a follower of emotional intelligence and the art of effective communication takes time and effort. It is not easy to have absolute control over our emotions to be able to speak with confidence. However, there is no such thing as practice and willpower. We all can improve and develop these tools of life.
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