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In recent research, Schweitzer and associates induced emotional states in subjects and found that angry people trusted least, and happy people trusted most, and sad people were in between. They found that “emotions which are irrelevant to judgment task … influence trust judgments in predictable ways.”
“Predictable” is key phrase here, because it gives us power. When we’re negotiating with someone, we want to control as many of variables leading to a “yes” as possible.
Because decisions are not based solely on reason and logic, emotional intelligence is clearly important to success. There are two things for sure: there is never enough data, and data is always ambiguous. Let’s say you have $100,000 to invest. Is real estate best long-term producer, or is stock market? It depends on who’s talking to you, what they’re selling, and what chart they show you. I’ve seen it “proven conclusively” both ways. And for each of you readers who silently mouthed “But it’s real estate, because …” there was another mouthing “stocks, because …”!
And who was at fault when patient died on surgery table? Was it hospital, internist, surgeon, anesthesiologist, nurse, manufacturer of shunt, or HMO? There will be an expert witness for and against each position.
We like to think we’re making a rational decision based on facts, but studies show, and common sense affirms, that emotions play a role, and one that you can’t afford to ignore. How can developing your emotional intelligence help you succeed? Here are some examples:
·The savvy businessman across table wears a mask to conceal his emotions so he’ll have advantage in negotiation. Can you read telltale nonverbal signals? Some nonverbal reactions that are very informative, such as Adam’s Apple Jump, are beyond conscious control. ·You must choose one of two candidates for next head of regional sales and their ability to perform will make or break your company this year. Can you keep a clear head about their qualifications and expertise and not be swayed by subtle and not-so-subtle maneuvers they perform to induce you to choose them?
·You’re a fundraiser and you know who you want to ask for funds, and how you’re going to do it, but do you know when? Can you tell when they’re in right frame of mind?
·Time has run out and you must go in right now and ask for raise. You know your boss is angry because your associate just lost a contract/sad because her son just got turned down at Harvard. Do you know it’s important to change her mood, and do you know how to do it?
·He’s trying to sell you car and you’ve had best hour you’ve had for weeks. He’s made you laugh, he’s complimented you, and you’re feeling great. In other words, he’s a master at “non-task communication.” Are you aware of what’s going on emotionally? Are you able to hold line on good times and make a rational decision about this car and this price? Studies show that if you’re aware of emotional factors you can manage around them.
You’ve got degrees, credentials and experience. Is your emotional intelligence competitive?
©Susan Dunn, MA, The EQ Coach, http://www.susandunn.cc . Coaching, business programs, Internet courses and ebooks around emotional intelligence for your personal and professional success. I train and certify managers, HR personnel, therapists, coaches and trainers who want to teach EQ. Mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org for information on this fast, affordable, comprehensive, no-residency program.