Using Emotional Intelligence to Improve Communication

Posted on: May 25, 2007

Using Emotional Intelligence to Improve Communication

Emotional Intelligence is the most popular of the four topics taught in the Anderson & Anderson model of anger management. The other three topics are all critically important in increasing one’s emotional intelligence and enhancing interpersonal relationships. These areas are anger management, stress management and assertive communication.


What are the principal methods of communication?
Sending and receiving. Speaking, watching, listening, observing activity (of others), i.e. how people react in certain circumstances. Other senses e.g. gut feelings or intuition

Why is sight the most effective means of communication?
It most often gives a common/general interpretation of what is being communicated.

· What is meant by behavior clues?

With practice, when you are sending the message, it is possible to pick up clues about how your message is being received and then to modify or rephrase what you are saying, i.e. you get feedback and adjust the communication to make it more acceptable. Emotionally intelligent persons are able to sense the mood, feelings and needs of the speaker and respond accordingly.

· What channels of communication should you regularly use and maintain in a business organization?
Face to face, telephone (land line and mobile), fax and email, text messaging, marketing DVDs, video conferencing and direct link through computers, company intranet, memos and reports et al. This is changing all the time as IT systems become ever more sophisticated. In my experience, the most effective method by a long way is personal contact. The most difficult or challenging in communicating by e-mail.

· What are the most essential skills we need to develop to be effective communicators? It is generally agreed that there are six. These are:
Understanding ourselves and others, telling people, asking someone to do something, listening, observing and being convincing in what you say.

· Why is telling often an ineffective method of communication?
It lacks feedback from the recipient, i.e. how will you know if they understand what is required or whether they are capable of carrying out the task?

· Why is asking such an important skill in communicating?
When you ask, you obtain the information that our (subconscious) mind needs to help solve your problem.

· What sort of attitude should we have towards asking?
Ask relevant and pertinent questions that are likely to earn respect. The value in asking largely depends on your ability to listen. This helps to form good relationships and encourages others to be more open in their communications with us.

· Why is listening with your hearts such an important skill in effective communication? Listening with your heart implies that you are focusing on more than the words used by the speaker. You are connecting with his or her feelings associated with those words.

· What do we mean by observing in a communicational sense?
It helps us pick up visual clues from people’s reactions to what we are saying to them. We can see how they are responding behaviorally (body language clues) which is valuable feedback. It helps us to refine our senses to interpret how others are responding to our line or style of communication.

· Why is it vitally important to be able to understand what is going on when we are communicating to others?
Anything we perceive, by any of our senses, is only helpful if we are able to decode the messages that are being picked up by our intuitive mind. This information needs to be understood to be of any use. This is what is meant by understanding, i.e. it occurs when the (conscious) mind correctly interprets the meaning of what is perceived. In contrast to IQ, EQ or emotional intelligence is a set of skills that any motivated person can learn to improve his or her overall communication skills as well as all other aspects of managing one’s behavior.

George Anderson, BCD, CAMF

George Anderson, MSW, BCD, CAMF

Diplomate, American Association of Anger Management Providers


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