Most people would answer this question with “Of course I am”.

The reality is often the opposite! Unless the other person(s) give clear verbal or nonverbal feedback many people will misread their impact on others. The first two tenets of Emotional Intelligence (EQ) are Self-Awareness and Relationship Awareness.

To be consistently accurate in the assessment of your impact on others you must be intimately aware of your own emotions and how you react to outside stimuli. The part of our brain that receives outside stimuli first is the Amygdala, this is sometimes called the Lizard Brain, it is the Flight or Fight decision maker for all animals. Our Prefrontal Cortex, the Wizard Brain, is the logical and reasoning part of our brain, humans are the only animal that has one. It receives the stimuli a bit later.

Without training and practice to increase your EQ, a phenomena called Amygdala Hijacking can occur, when this happens you revert back to your base nature and either run away or you attack (usually verbally). One CEO that I work with has a “6 Second Rule”; when he receives an outside stimuli he has trained himself to be quiet for 6 seconds so his Wizard Brain can catch up and control his reaction.

Which Brain do you want controlling your reaction? Lizard or Wizard?