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EQ Applied | Justin Bariso | Summary
This is a summary of the book, EQ Applied by Justin Bariso, with doableAction.
In 1995 Daniel Goldman wrote the book on EQ and influenced definitively - the way people think about emotions and human behaviour, especially at the workplace.
Twenty years later, it has become even more relevant today because of the mutual intolerance and mistrust.
Why EQ -
We live in a world where political ambitions feed on fear and anger. in the age of information, information has become a weapon of mass persuasion. On the slightest of disagreements, passionate followers are ready to judge others as stupid. Calm discussion has become impossible. EQ is need of the hour to address 'us vs them’.
Emotions always have great influence in anyone’s decisions. When we think for ourselves, using objective facts, we can make our decisions better. Sadly, we have also diminished our abilities to think for ourselves.
Self-reflection has been replaced by busy-ness on the smartphone. Spurred by anxiety and boredom, we are evolving into a Pavlovian addiction for instant responses, mindless emoji’s and intolerance for differing viewpoints.
Thinking for ourselves, is the first step to building our own EQ. It boosts our self awareness.
EQ can be used by others unethically. To selfishly influence and manipulate. A higher EQ gives you immunity from this.
You can use EQ to help yourself and to help others - to improve relationships. Make your emotions work for you instead of against you.
What is EQ -
EQ identifies 4 abilities -
Self awareness - of own emotions. Of how feelings help and hinder. Our tendencies.
Self management - to practice self control. To shape our own emotional tendencies.
Social awareness - founded on empathy. To put yourself in other’s shoes.
Relationship management - For persuasion, For building trust.
These are inter-related. Begin by exploring, where you need to improve first. What ties you down? Ask friends for feedback to decide better.
Remember, how people kept a diary and wrote letters to dear friends? They shared their feelings in words.
Sharing feelings after giving thought to them, sharpens the language we use. More importantly, it heightens our awareness of the feeling. When you think of a feeling, think where in the body you are feeling it? As what sensation?
This is self awareness.
Here are some doableAction -
Ask the questions below, to yourself - Reflect for 5 minutes before writing - Then write briefly about it | Revisit in a few days to review and edit.
How my emotions hinder me?
What is my communication style?
How do I make decisions?
How my mood affects my communication and decisions?
Use words to describe your feelings. If you are a loss for words, explore the why.
This one is from Mark Forster - the productivity Guru. Rate yourself several times at random during the days on a scale of 1 to 5 - ‘How happy am I feeling?’ See ’The most important thing, I’ve ever written’.
Justin is a big fan of the pause button. Before you open your mouth to speak, ask yourself these 3 questions in 3 seconds - 'Does it need to be said? Does it need to be said now? Does it need to be said now by me?’.
If you have regretted putting your foot in the mouth, then this will help.
On reverse, if your regret is missed moments - ask yourself in the moment, 'If I don’t say it now, will I regret it later?’
This is self management. Notice how it builds on self-awareness in the moment.
Sometimes hunger, low sugar, lack of sleep or a fight with someone earlier can give us a short fuse.
If you become aware of your body and mood, then you can fix it, before any damage is done. In addition to pause, we can use the mute button too, till these are fixed.
Over the longer term, we should work to replace our failures with better habits. Google for Neuroplasticity to know more.
Here are some more doableAction -
Imagine you have a pause button. Take time to stop and think, before speaking an acting. Practice using it. Examples - delay impulsive shopping with a coffee. count 1-10 before speaking. Take a break.
Imagine you have a volume control. Lower volume to ‘calm and collected’ when angry. Soften tone. Lower voice. See how partner follows lead.
You also have a ‘Mute’ button. stop speaking. let them speak uninterrupted. breathe deeply. notice how they calm down when done speaking.
While Mute - Use your ‘Record’ button. Listen to understand, not to reply. Works better, when you know how to use the ‘Mute’ button. Use ‘Rewind’ after all parties have cooled down to figure out where and when to speak
While Mute - ‘Fast Forward’ to the end. Think long term consequences of actions, while muted.
To get rid of a block - Simply get started by working on it for 5 minutes. Getting started is hardest. Then take a break, if you wish, and come back to it. This gets energy and momentum flowing
My guilt can point to people I love and what I want to achieve in life
Recategorise harmful anxiety as helpful anticipation (tell yourself) to do better
No spin - acknowledging situation as it is (and it passes) - helps cope better too. No pity party
Over the longer term, why not pick one of these as habit?
sports and exercise - they regulate emotions
write a journal - for traumatic catharsis
travel - get out of comfort zone
Applied EQ says, Empathy is the key. Do unto others, as you would them do unto you. Put yourself in their shoes. With some imagination feel their pain. Acknowledge it respectfully. If possible, come up with constructive action that remedies it, because actions always speak louder than words.
When you shed a secret tear for what is happening on the screen or sob from the music you are listening - you can be sure your emotion muscles are kicking just fine. If not, these are fun leisure activities for you to explore.
Please don’t expect to build Empathy overnight - but over time shape your emotional sensing with practice. Begin by treating all feedback as a gift.
Adverse feedback in not a personal attack - respond in a positive fashion. We are emotionally attached to our work. Instead, care without attachment (Bhagawad Gita, et al :))
doableAction for Getting the most from other’s feedback -
Train yourself to see criticism as learning opportunity. Ask yourself, 'what can I learn? how can I use to improve?'
Use feedback to fix your blindspots. But do NOT get fixated on negatives. Remember - doing more right is better than doing less wrong
Distinguish between praise and flattery. People can flatter you, as they believe flattery helps them. Watch out for this. If you can not answer to yourself, ‘Who do I need to thank for this?’ then it is more likely to be flattery.
Consciously ask for feedback. When did you last ask for it? Regular seeking makes more and better feedback available. This also influences how others see you (side effect)
Technique - don’t ask vaguely (any feedback for me?). Instead ask, ‘What is one thing that holds me back?’. Then tease out more specifics.
Here are some more doableAction -
As leader - reward honest feedback | focus on content not delivery
Seek validation of your decisions from peers. Doctors review their failures with peers all the time
Those who disagree with us, are the ones who make us go. Take someone like this, out to lunch, and listen.
Want doableAction for the 3 separate sub-categories of Empathy?
For cognitive (head) -
Practice making educated guesses, using background information, you already have.
Then, reflect on it after actual interaction
Recognise that you don’t have the whole picture of other person’s reality - their current emotional stress for example
For emotional (heart)
Share of own self; own feelings
Find something in yourself that is similar to other person’s concern | Find a way to relate | Use your imagination | but don’t blurt instant response
Listen carefully | resist urge to interrupt and judge | look for their how and why
Avoid saying, 'I know exactly how you feel’. You don’t! :)
When a person feels understood - they are more likely to reciprocate the effort
For compassionate empathy (hands - take action)
doing something - help however you can - ask directly ‘what I can do to help?'
what worked for you, may not work this person - don’t be a know it all
Down sides of empathy -
empathy can blind people to long term consequences of the actions
empathy can prompt you to provide quick fix
empathy trap - do not sacrifice your own feelings | psychological exhaustion (nurse of terminal patients) (constant exposure to problems of others on social media)
Emotionally intelligent empathy (making it work for you)
Find the right balance - understand but not at expense of your own needs (first secure your own mask)
Build self awareness first
Recognise Empathy can not be turned on and off. So, regulate your own social media exposure. Else you will waste it on trivial interactions and get bogged down.
Give space - do not empathise asap
Use your own misfortune as catalyst to initiate mindful change | act (compassionate empathy)
Golden rule - treat others in a way you want to be treated.
Emotional connections breaks down barriers and changes minds. We decide based on what we care about. It is an emotional process.
Every interaction is an opportunity to influence and get influenced. These depend on (dealt above) self awareness, self management and social awareness
Influence is act of influencing another’s behaviour or character without force . use principles of motivation and persuasion (short term) | change habits, instil values (long term)
doableAction for Methods of influence -
Show personal interest | treat others as interesting | ask questions from curiosity and listen attentively | modern technology has reduced attention spans - work to fix it
Show respect | acknowledge others | acknowledge their point, when you disagree | get the full story before action | set the tone as calm and reasonable (yelling sends their amagdyla into over drive)
Keep a balanced view of yourself | I am OK, you are OK | conviction of own view
Reason with empathy | personal attacks create like minded responses - they dig in - you accomplish nothing
Most importantly - Spend time and energy up front to do your homework - Prepare to
Find common ground . Then begin with it.
Find what matters to them. Frame your reasoning around their priorities
Continue learning by asking questions and listening. Ask them, why they think, the way they think, to genuinely understand.
Find who influences them. Revert back with sources they are likely to respect.
Know when to yield. People are emotionally attached to their beliefs. Remember to establish common ground and conclude conversation on positive note
Spread conversation to several sessions instead of just one. Strive to see the bigger picture (common ground) | actively continue to seek
Show passion. Enthusiasm is contagious | inspires others | focus on adding value
Use illustration and power of story telling | along with numbers and data (boring by itself)
Repeat | repeat | repeat - tell what you are going to tell them, tell them, then tell them, what you told them
The shortest distance is about building rapport first | common ground | their pain points | their communication style | their drivers
Some relationships can not be repaired. Let go of the guilt and anger. Simply forgive. It is not for the other person. It is for you, to move on.
I will bet, you knew most of these things already. The problem is putting them into practice, especially when you have deadlines and frayed tempers.
At that time - Who you really are and what matters to you, comes to the front, whether you like it or not. No one is saying, you have to pretend to be someone else. Only more aware of who you are. Only more aware of who they are. And respect them, even if you disagree.
The rest will take care of itself.
10 commandments of emotional intelligence
thou shalt ponder thy feelings | my emotions Strengths | weakness | communication style | mood | when emotion work against me?
thou shalt learn from other perspectives | no right wrong | take negative feedback | expose blind spots
thou shalt learn to pause | stop and think before act and speak |
thou shalt practice empathy | see things through their eyes | their pov | helps influence
thou shalt praise others | sincere builds trust | focus on good in others inspires them to be best
thou shalt apologise | develops humility and authenticity | draws others
thou shalt forgive | give yourself a chance to heal | move on
thou shalt be authentic | share true thoughts and feelings | realise imperfections; willing to show | not share everything | say what you mean | mean what you say | stick to values
thou shalt control thy thought - not feelings but thoughts can be controlled. helps not becoming slave to emotions
thou shalt not stop learning - how you handle mistakes and grow past them, especially as you get better