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Topic for 1/9/13 meeting: Emotional Intelligence

January 8, 2013

Today we discussed emotional intelligence. The sharp autistic mind often thinks about the words faster than the feelings in a conversation. One question to ask is what is this conversation really about? Notice what the other person is doing, how they are acting instead of what they are saying. This takes practice. If you can get in touch with your own feelings: the blush, the rush, the shake, the hot flash, the wiggle, your own speech rhythm and mood, then you are better equipped to recognize and deal with it in others. This is called empathy.

Active listening also helps: 1) listen, repeat back what the person said and then ask “tell me more” , 2) listen, repeat back what the person said and then ask “tell me more”, 3) listen, repeat back what the person said and then ask “tell me more” , 4) listen, repeat back what the person said and then ask “tell me more” 5) listen, repeat back what the person said and then ask “tell me more”. By the time #4 or #5 comes the person you are speaking to knows you are listening and they will be talking to you on an emotional level about how they really feel.

Your mood also helps. If you have any shame or self doubt which is common among our ranks, ground yourself, calm yourself, take time out, think of something pleasant, be your own parent, love yourself, be kind to yourself, think positive thoughts until your mood improves, then engage in conversation. Your emotional IQ will increase.

For more reading consider author Daniel Coleman’s book, Working with Emotional Intelligence. 

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