Twitter Facebook LinkedIn Flipboard 0 While emotional intelligence addresses how we perceive and understand our own emotions and the emotions of others, Behavioral Emotional Intelligence (BEQ) is the evolution of that awareness; it is our ability to use EQ to manage personal behavior and relationships. BEQ skills are objective, measurable benefits associated with increased sales, better recruiting, effective leadership and customer service. The good news is that BEQ skills can be learned, and in fact, by focusing first on BEQ, our EQ will subsequently increase as a result. Below are some actionable items you can do to immediately improve you interactions at work (your BEQ). 1. Control your behavior by understanding your emotions. Learn and understand your emotional triggers — the things that result in losing behavioral control. This is invaluable for understanding the situations and emotions that you experience just prior to losing control of your behavior. Understanding emotions is important for learning how to manage your behavior. 2. Mentally rehearse common situations that set off your emotional triggers. Research shows that when you mentally rehearse scenarios, you are activating the same neural circuitry that is activated when you are actually in the scenario. Instead of responding the way you typically have in the past, imagine yourself acting in a more productive way. Develop a mental “movie” of yourself and clearly imagine yourself behaving in the ways you want. This will help prepare you for when these situations actually occur. You will have a script to follow. 3. Force your brain into action by solving a problem. Actively distracting yourself is an effective way to maintain self-control. If you are suddenly in a situation where you are feeling anger or frustration, for instance, shift your focus from the other person or situation to a mental problem. Make the problem challenging. For example, work out the solution to 15 x 18. This will force your brain to focus on the math problem and away from the stressful situation. The old adage that you should count to ten is not effective. The reason is that it is too easy and, therefore, does not actively engage the brain. Distracting yourself with a difficult problem is an effective strategy for avoiding an emotional reaction. It is not important to solve the problem correctly. The point is to engage the brain region that solves problems, thereby preventing the emotional center of your brain from flooding the bloodstream with adrenalin and other stress hormones that cause strong emotional reactions. 4. Engage in healthy escapism. If it is too hard to find a mental problem to solve, another form of distraction is to actively let your attention shift to a pleasant memory. You can sing a song in your mind, think of your favorite place or activity, a funny TV show, whatever works best for you. Similar to solving a problem, this will engage your mind and prevent the amygdala from taking control and causing a strong emotional reaction. Think of this as a healthy form of mental escapism. 5. When it comes to email, the “send” button is not your friend. Ask a friend or trusted colleague to review questionable emails before you send them. Research shows that as many as one-half of all emails are misinterpreted by the recipient. If you think something sounds neutral, it might be interpreted as offensive or rude. Carefully consider your message and the recipients. What type of people are they? What are their behavioral styles? How are they likely to interpret your email? In what ways could your message be misinterpreted? Just as important, if you are feeling angry or frustrated when writing the email, this is a red flag. It is too easy to hit the “send” button, so develop a habit to always wait at least 30 minutes before sending an email when you are feeling emotional. 6. Walk away from tense situations. If you are in an emotionally heated conversation or situation, say, “I need time to think about this before I respond,” or some other appropriate response that allows you to leave the situation. Not everything has to be dealt with immediately, especially if tempers are high. Separate yourself from the situation. Allow adequate time to pass so you, and the other person, can calm down. When feeling more controlled, you can then respond to the person. Remember that in these situations the amygdala is in control of your mind. It takes time to calm down and for your prefrontal cortex to resume control of your thoughts and actions. Leaving the situation is not escapism; it is a healthy and productive action that will result in a better outcome. 7. Make a conscious decision to speak clearly and with decorum whenever you are in an emotionally charged situation. This is an effective strategy for avoiding the urge to blow up and lose control. Think of the language you will use; make sure it is respectful and calmly delivered. Like all habits, practice will enhance your effectiveness and it will become more natural over time. If you know that you will be in an emotional discussion, rehearse ahead of time. Determine exactly what you will you say and the language you will use. For further BEQ Training Tips, download TRACOM’s white paper, “Behavioral EQ: Putting Emotional Intelligence to Work” Twitter Tweet Facebook Share Email This article was written for Business 2 Community by Kane Pepi.Learn how to publish your content on B2C Author: Kane Pepi <p>Kane Pepi is an experienced financial and cryptocurrency writer with over 2,000+ published articles, guides, and market insights in the public domain. Expert niche subjects include asset valuation and analysis, portfolio management, and the prevention of financial crime. Kane is particularly skilled in explaining complex financial topics in a user-friendlyView full profile ›More by this author:VoIP Basics: Everything Beginners Should Know!Bitcoin Investment, Trading & Mining: The Ultimate Guide for BeginnersIs This a Better Way to Set Your 2020 Goals and Resolutions?