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Technology IQ vs EQ To Improve Customer Service

by Scott Lewis

Part 4 of 4

How do successful leaders manage their EQ state of mind so they do not get caught up in what I call the emotional cycle of madness? According to Susan David and Christina Congleton in an article published by the Harvard Business Review, Emotional Agility, they suggest that all human beings have a multitude level of emotions that would include both positive and negative thoughts. It is normal and a biological fact that humans go through cycles of emotions regardless of how they try to hide or manage them. The more they try to hide or manage them, those emotions will build and eventually come to the surface.

Through their work with many successful leaders, David and Congleton have developed four principles that they call Emotional Agility principles. These principles allow leaders and people to manage emotions in a value-driven process versus trying to suppress them.

• Recognize your patterns: The baseline to emotional agility is knowing when you have been caught and are on the hook of your emotions and your thoughts are being driven by emotion rather than fact. One of the signs that you have been caught, or are on the hook of your emotions, is that your processes to decision making have become rigid and repetitive. You get the feeling of doing the same thing time after time and having the same conversations again and again. The key here is to be able to identify when you are caught in this emotional ride and gain some perspective on how to make meaningful change to break that cycle of emotions.

• Label your thoughts and emotions: We have all heard the terms “I call them as I see them” or “Call a spade a spade”. This is basically the process of labeling our emotions. When you have been hooked or, are caught in the cycle of emotions, your mind becomes crowded and basically you put yourself in an emotional box where your mind doesn’t have enough room to process the emotions. Giving your mind the room to process these emotions can be achieved through the process of labeling. Just like calling a spade a spade, a thought is just a thought and an emotion is just an emotion. Don’t over simplify, but don’t make it more complicated than it has to be. David and Congleton believe that if you develop the ability to label your thoughts for what they are, transient sources of data that may or may not prove to be helpful, it will not only improve behavior, but it will also promote biological changes in the brain that will promote better EQ management overall.

• Accept them: David and Congleton believe that the opposite of control is acceptance. Take the EQ emotional ride you are on and don’t act out on every thought or give into the negativity, but instead, approach your emotional EQ status with an open mind. If you can pay attention to your EQ status and let yourself experience the EQ rise by accepting the emotional status you are now faced with, then you can better control the outcome of the interactions you are about to have with coworkers or customers. This process would be similar to when your mother asked you to count to 10 before you took any actions that you might regret or that might hurt moral in the workplace. This process for humans can be very difficult; you will fail more then you succeed. The more you practice these skills, the better you will become at recognizing your patterns, labeling your thoughts and emotions and accepting them. Over time you will create new behavioral patterns that support these objectives, however it can be a trial by error process that will need to be practiced over and over again.

• Act on your values: David and Congleton also believe that if you can unhook yourself from difficult thoughts and emotions, then you will expand your choices. Remember the counting to 10 process. Similarly, something I have started trying to teach myself is that not every situation needs to be handled right now, providing me room to give some thought to how I want to react to a situation based on my values. David and Congleton call this process workability, meaning thinking through how your response is going to serve you and your organization in the long term because it will steer people in a direction that serves your collective purpose. What I have learned in the research for this article is that emotions run continuously from the highest highs to the lowest lows. As David and Congleton point out, if you have a strong value system in place, it can act as a constant that can stabilize your thoughts and emotions and help guide you to making better choices and stabilizing your EQ.

There is so much to learn about IQ versus EQ: How it affects us as people as well as how that emotional roller coaster can drive great customer service and poor customer service within a service based company. Obviously, the topic is too great to cover in a single article. The first step in reaching for a higher level of EQ in a service business is the acknowledgement that many times we fall short in that effort but it can be improved upon. In writing this article, I have learned many things about myself. I have started to push myself to be more EQ aware and to practice the skills that help me recognize when I need to realign with my core values and have increased control over my EQ state of mind to ensure that I am making decisions that benefit my customers and my company. I’m sure there will be more to come.

1. Riggio, R. E., PhD. (2015, July 03). 12 Signs That Your Partner Lacks Emotional Intelligence. Retrieved from

2. Seltzer, L. F. (2014, January 2). The Anger Thermostat: What’s the Temperature of Your Upset? Retrieved from n

Scott Lewis is the president and CEO of Winning Technologies Group of Companies. Scott has more than 30 years of experience in the technology industry and is a nationally recognized speaker and author on technology subjects. Scott has worked with large and small businesses to empower them to use technology to improve work processes, increase productivity and reduce costs. Scott has designed thousands of systems for large, medium and small companies. Winning Technologies’ goal is to work with companies on the selection, implementation, management and support of technology resources. Learn more about Winning Technologies at or call 877-379-8279.

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