What’s your relative EQ (Emotional Quotient)

If you are about to tackle a tough conversation with a family member where conflict may arise, using some emotional quotient (EQ) tips may help the talk go more smoothly.

  • Start with an agreement: start your discussion with the common ground you share. Sometimes just agreeing that the discussion will be hard is a good place to start.
  • Ask the person to help you understand his or her side: people want to be heard – if they don’t feel heard, frustration rises. Ask the other person to share their point of view. Asking for input shows that you care and have interest in learning more about how the other person feels.
  • Resist the urge to plan a “comeback” or a rebuttal: your brain cannot listen well and prepare to speak at the same time. Keep a check on your “inner voice” and focus on the person in front of you.
  • Help the other person understand your side, too: Describe how you feel, your thoughts, your ideas, and the reasons behind your thought process. Communicate clearly and simply; don’t speak in circles or in code.
  • Move the conversation forward: Find some common ground again. Make a suggestion and then ask for feedback from the other person.
  • Keep in touch: More attention is needed after a tough conversation. Check back in and see if the other person is satisfied with the outcome.

In tough conversations with people you care about, prepare to take the high road, not be defensive, and remain open by practicing the following strategies. Sometimes, you will be surprised at the results!

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