(2 minute read)

In our last Blog, we outlined the key elements (domains) of Emotional Intelligence (EQ), while clarifying how it differs to an individual’s IQ.

To assist our application of EQ in the workplace – and in our personal lives – it helps to have an overarching, guiding question in our minds, What is the most desirable outcome?”

You see, there is a small component of our brain which has the potential to cause us to react to situations as rapidly as possible, outpacing our slower – and more rational – logical brain.

The amygdala (also known as our reptilian brain) is constantly on the lookout for potential threats and is wired to respond immediately. It is responsible for our fight, flight, freeze or fawn responses.

While it has served us well throughout our historic development – and continues to play a key role in keeping us safe today – the amygdala has the potential to hijack a situation, preventing us from thinking through a scenario and allowing us the time to consider the key question posed by emotionally intelligent individuals; “What is the most desirable outcome?”

The limbic brain (responsible for thinking, reasoning, and logic) requires time to consider all the variables involved in making informed and educated decisions. This contrasts with reactive or impulsive decision-making which often leads us to make poor choices.

How to apply this.

We can exercise and improve our EQ by allowing ourselves time to weigh-up the pros and cons of any decisions we are facing, empowering the limbic brain to apply reasoning and logic to our decision-making, further preventing impulsive or knee-jerk reactions to various situations.

In applying this process, and asking ourselves this question, we can decrease the likelihood of undesirable conflicts or arguments and making poor, reactive or impulsive decisions.


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