EQ, aka emotional intelligence or emotional quotient, is a buzzword these days for many aspects of our lives. Emotional intelligence is measured by an individual’s ability to empathise with others and to reflect on one’s own emotions in a measured way. Someone with a high EQ is adept at perceiving and responding adequately to others’ emotions, so usually has high communication skills.
Do you find yourself understanding others’ feelings and responding to them even before they explicitly express them to you? Do you consider others’ feelings and modulate your communications accordingly? If so, you are probably an emotionally intelligent person. This is helpful at home, in the workplace and in interpersonal relationships. Here’s how it can help you to get a great customer service from tradesmen, companies and freelancers you work with.
People like you more
When we feel understood by others, we tend to like them. They must be a bit like us if they can understand our problems and wishes, so trust is established. This is the start of a relationship. Ideally, taking people as they are and extending empathy to them means that friendships are more easily established. And when people like you, they want to do good things for you!
For instance, say you’re in a shop buying a present for someone, and you get chatting to the cashier about their day. They complain or make a comment about something, and you express understanding and mirror their expression of emotions. This will make them feel closer to you.
You never know what some emotional closeness can do for your working relationships!
When people like you, they treat you better. So establish great relationships from the get-go. Even if you’re doing quite a cerebral analysis of your choice of a contractor, for instance by comparing quotes, you still should make sure you treat companies and people with due respect and courtesies.
People will treat you better
Approaching new people from a place of curiosity and empathy, without preconceived notions or expectations, is the best possible way to get others to treat you with that same empathy and curiosity. No-one likes being judged, but we do it all the time. So even if you do have some judgy thoughts (we all have them from time to time), make sure they don’t influence your interactions with people.
You are more likely to have positive interactions with people when you empathise with them. For instance, say you hired a window professional to replace some double glazing in your home. If you think to yourself “they’ve been working for a few hours now, if I were them, I’d want a cup of tea and a biscuit”, and then actually offer that to them, you have just used your empathy effectively. In most cases, this window professional will be more likely to give your new windows that extra care they might not have offered a less empathetic client. This is not, however, transactional. You can’t expect things from others because you acted empathetically with them.
You will feel better about them
Yes, being generous actually makes you like them more, and makes you a happier person in general. Helping others and being generous is proven to improve our lives. This is something we often know intuitively, but are taught not to put into practice when others provide a service for us. After all, we’re paying them to do a job, right? So they are the ones who should be generous with us.
This attitude is very common but is not actually helpful for getting fantastic services. Establishing relationships based on trust, empathy and giving are much better ways of making sure you’re happy with the service you are given. So give a little in order to get a lot in return.