Emotional intelligence (EI or EQ) is marked by a person’s ability to recognize and understand emotions (both his or her own and those of others), and to use that information to guide decision making. It includes demonstrating complex qualities such as empathy, sympathy, and compassion. For many, the tendency is to speak too quickly and without thinking. Correcting this tendency is easier said than done, but here’s a quick “three question rule” that will help prevent you from saying something you might regret:
- Does this need to be said?
- Does this need to be said by me?
- Does this need to be said by me, now?
Let’s check out a few examples below.
A driver cuts you off on the road.
Does something need to be said? Nope! Move on and save that energy for better use.
You get home from work and want to tell your spouse there’s been a change in plans and you have to cancel your dinner plans this weekend … until you notice they’ve had a bad day.
- Does this need to be said? Yeah, for sure.
- Does this need to be said by me? Definitely.
- Does this need to be said by me, now? Nope. Better wait until they’re in a better mood and when you have a plan to make it up to them.
The next time you’re in doubt, pause and use the three-question rule!
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