Stop Listening to Your Brain

Changing Behavior to Change Your Emotional Response

My brain is always talking (sometimes yelling) to me.  It stresses me out with thoughts ranging from “traffic is horrible today” to “am I really prepared for today’s meeting?”  Your brain likely yells at you as well.  Thousands of times an hour our brains send out signals that trigger our emotions and often our behaviors.  Most of these thoughts are negative and can lead us to feel stressed and actually reduce our job performance and happiness.

Developing emotional intelligence (EQ) can help head off this negative response.  TRACOM’s Behavioral EQ training is built on the latest understanding of how the brain works and most importantly how people can learn to turn raw emotions into productive behavior.  And while both brain processing and our emotions are quite complex, there are some relatively easy techniques from Behavioral EQ that we can use to improve outcomes.  In fact, making some simple behavioral changes can modify your mindset.  In this case let’s look at how we can listen less to our emotional brain and improve our listening with other people.

Using EQ to Boost Listening Skills

Effective listening is important for most people in the workforce.  Effective listeners don’t allow themselves to be distracted when interacting with others.  They interpret the underlying feelings and intentions, in addition to the content, of what others are expressing.  Here are three behaviors anyone can practice to increase their listening:

Concentrate fully on the person you are talking with.  Put away your phone or other distractions and focus solely on the other person.  Think about both what they are communicating and how they are communicating it.  Giving people your full attention makes them feel appreciated and understood.  Similarly, letting others speak first helps you understand their viewpoint before you share your own.

Slow down and reserve judgment.  When interacting with others, pause and consider their perspectives before offering your own opinion.  It’s human nature to make quick decisions and it takes work to overcome this, especially in emotional situations.  It can be helpful to take notes which forces you to slow down and be more deliberate.

Practice empathetic listening.  These skills help you clarify what the other person is saying.  Repeat back both the words and the feelings to confirm you understand others’ perspectives and help them recognize that you hear them.

Developing these listening skills takes a conscious effort and practice.  But you likely have dozens of opportunities each day to work on your listening skills.  Practice them regularly and they will soon be automatic for you.  Building up your listening abilities is an important part of emotional intelligence.  And by listening more effectively to others you will find that you have a more rational response to that emotional voice in your head.

Learn more about the Behavioral EQ Model >>>