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Emotional Intelligence

Emotional Intelligence: How to Master Your Emotions

11 min
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In the fast-paced world of sales, mastering emotional intelligence (EQ) is a game-changer. Sales reps who understand and control their emotions can build better relationships, close deals more effectively, and thrive in a competitive market. In this comprehensive session, we'll explore key strategies for sales reps to enhance their emotional intelligence and elevate their performance.

1. Reinterpret Your Symptoms: Harnessing Excitement Over Anxiety

When faced with nerve-wracking situations, like giving a speech or a high-stakes presentation, it's common to interpret physical symptoms as signs of anxiety. However, a groundbreaking strategy involves reinterpreting these symptoms. A 2010 study in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology demonstrated that reframing physical changes as signs of excitement, not anxiety, can significantly improve performance.

By recognizing that increased heart rate and other physical changes are signals of excitement, sales reps can shift their mindset positively. This newfound confidence allows them to perform at their best, leveraging the energy that comes with excitement rather than succumbing to anxiety.

2. Recognize Your Spectrum: Expanding Your Emotional Vocabulary

High emotional intelligence entails recognizing a broad spectrum of emotions beyond simple classifications of feeling good or bad. The emotional vocabulary, or the language used to describe feelings, plays a crucial role in this recognition. A 2001 study in the Journal of Cognition and Emotion highlights that emotional regulation is closely linked to the ability to distinguish specific emotions.

Sales reps can benefit by delving deeper into their emotional vocabulary. Instead of labeling a feeling as 'negative,' understanding nuances like embarrassment or humiliation allows for better emotional regulation. This, in turn, enhances self-awareness and the ability to navigate various emotional states effectively.

3. Diversify Your Experiences: Building Empathy through Perspective

The roots of emotional intelligence lie in experiences. Diversifying one's experiences broadens perspectives, fostering a deeper understanding of different lifestyles, opinions, and personalities. While not everyone can travel extensively, there are countless opportunities to collect new experiences through reading, watching movies, learning new languages, and trying different foods.

Beyond understanding others, experiences also play a role in defusing overthinking. A 2015 study from the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America reveals that experiences, especially in nature, positively impact mental states by reducing negative brain activity. Sales reps can leverage this insight to escape toxic thinking patterns and cultivate a positive mindset.

4. Reinforce Your Standards: Empowering Yourself and Others

Maintaining high standards for oneself and others is integral to emotional intelligence. Leaders with clear expectations bring out the best in their teams. However, the challenge lies in not bottling up emotions when those standards are not met. Sales reps should aim to support and encourage others when standards are not met, fostering a positive and constructive environment.

By empowering others, sales reps empower themselves, gaining better control over their emotions. This approach promotes a more confident and active role in both personal and professional life, aligning with the principles of emotional intelligence.

5. Limit Your Reactivity: Controlled Responses Over Impulse

Reacting impulsively to conflict can lead to regrettable outcomes. Sales reps with high emotional intelligence control their reactivity by taking a pause before responding. This deliberate pause allows emotions to settle, enabling clear-headed and thoughtful responses.

While it may be challenging initially, mastering the art of controlled reactivity enhances conflict resolution skills. Sales reps can neutralize conflicts, mediate compromises, and facilitate effective communication. This intentional approach not only avoids unnecessary conflicts but also contributes to the development of a robust emotional intelligence skill set.

In conclusion, mastering emotional intelligence is a journey that can significantly impact a sales rep's success. By reinterpreting symptoms, expanding emotional vocabulary, diversifying experiences, reinforcing standards, and limiting reactivity, sales professionals can enhance their EQ and excel in the dynamic world of sales.

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