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Emotional Intelligence and its effect in decision-making processes

Have you ever wondered the effect that your emotions (especially negative emotions) have in the decisions you make in your life? Or, how your reactions could have a tremendous impact in other people’s opinion toward you? If you do, there is something you should know. The way people manage their emotions and reactions play an important role in the decisions they make.

Making sure to use our emotions “intelligently†could be the difference between a decision made based on actual facts and a decisions made based on current human emotions. Just in case you are wondering if this “action†has a real name – yes, it does. This action is commonly known as the inclusion of the “emotionally intelligence†concept into all our decision-making processes.

Emotional intelligence (E.I.) is defined as the ability to understand, manage, and value our emotions and other people’s emotions at the moment of making decisions or establishing arguments. According to the article Emotional Intelligence in Health Care written by Kathryn Faguy in January 2012, the first definitive use of the term “emotional intelligence†is believed to be in a doctoral dissertation by Wayne Payne in 1968. However, Payne’s theory was never published. In 1983, psychologist Howard Gardner proposed seven different types of intelligence, including knowing one’s inner world and social adeptness. Those two notions together come close to capturing E.I. as it is currently understood.

It is not a secret that people sometimes behave, act, and react based on their current emotional stage but the truth is that allowing our emotions to take part during our decision-making processes (especially when making important and/or crucial decisions) is one of the bigger mistake we could ever make.

How many of you have made a decision in the “heat of the moment†just to later realize that it was a bad decision and that you should have thought about the consequences before making the decision? If you are one of those people who tend to let their emotions to have an active role in the way they make decisions, we invite you to continue reading. Below, are four important tips to help you incorporate the emotional intelligence concept not only into your decision-making processes but also into other aspects of your life.

• Identify and analyze the problem or the situation on hand: When facing a situation, problem, or when life puts you in the position of having to make an important decision, you have to develop an intelligent approach to it by identifying and analyzing the problem or situation to have a better idea on how you are going to manage it. By identifying the main idea of the issue, you will have greater opportunity to create an “attacking†plan without deviating from the actual situation.

• Develop an emotional self-awareness plan: Let’s face it. Most of the time, we know when a situation is about to makes us feel upset or to drive us straight into a frustration mode. The important part here is to learn how to identify those signs of desperation and discontent to be able to create a plan to help us in controlling them. A solid and well-established self-awareness plan is the number one resource of emotionally intelligent individuals. It helps us not only in recognizing our emotions and to be aware of the effect they could have in our decision but also in preventing us from making decision based in those emotions.

• Understand the reasons for your emotions and reactions: Understanding what is the real reason for you to feel the way you do is a very important process because it also helps you in matching your emotions with a real problem. Sometimes, people develop emotions and react in certain way, but they don’t know why so they blame their current emotional stage to the last situation that happened in their lives. This could push them into making erroneous decisions. Taking an impartial look to the situation and trying to identify the reasons for you to react the way you do will help you in putting a face to the problem and to deal with it the best way possible without letting your emotions get in the way.

• Go ahead – make a decision, but based them on fact; not on emotions: The fact is that once you learn how to manage your emotions and reactions and decide not to let them control or interfere with your life, you will be more than ready to make emotionally intelligent decisions.

People who understand their own feelings and emotions and don’t let them sabotage the way they make decisions can have a better chance in managing situations more effectively and proactively. It also helps them not only in making better and more successful decisions but also in learning how to take control of their lives by becoming emotionally intelligent individuals.

About the Author:

Marielys Camacho-Reyes is a career/life coach and the author of the book “Successful Coaching: 20 Tips for a Better Life and Career Performance.†If you would like to receive a one-time free coaching session, visit her website at www.mcrcoaching.com or email her at success@mcrcoaching.com

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