creating sustainable results in growth and performance
EQ = emotional IQ. It means understanding your own and other
people’s emotional makeup well enough to move yourself and others in the
direction of accomplishing your own goals as well as that of your organization
Not only that - EQ also determines levels of happiness in personal life. Or
rather, your level of competence in utilizing your EQ is crucial for success in
both business and life, and damaging when the factors are missing. Here is a
list of 15 ways to examine your thinking, and thus improve your EQ, based on the
work of Aaron Beck.
1. Identify Distortions – write down the
negative thought and identify how it fits under the
ten forms of distorted
thinking. Once we see that our negative thoughts and beliefs are not
realistic, it’s much easier to replace them with thoughts that are more positive
2. Substitution – simply ask yourself if you can think of a more positive and
realistic thought and substitute that one every time you catch yourself thinking
the negative thought.
3. Cost-Benefit Analysis – list the advantages and disadvantages of a negative
thought, belief or behaviour – for example, the advantages of getting angry or
upset in various situations. Ask yourself “how will it help me and how will it
hurt me to think like this”.
4. Evidence Examination – ask yourself - what is the evidence that this thought
IS true? What is the evidence that it is not true? Instead of assuming that a
negative thought is true, examine the actual evidence for it.
5. Survey Method – do a survey to find out if your thoughts and attitudes are
realistic. For example, if you believe that public speaking anxiety is abnormal,
ask several friends if they ever felt that way.
6. Experimental Method – often you can actually do an experiment to test the
accuracy of your negative thought – ask yourself “how could I check to find out
if this thought really IS true?”.
7. Double-Standard Technique - talk to yourself in the same compassionate way
you might talk to a dear friend who was upset.
8. Pleasure-Predicting Method – predict how satisfying activities will be, from
0% to 100%. Then keep a check on how satisfying they actually turn out to be.
After a few days you will get a good idea of how good your fortune telling
talents might be.
9. Why – ask why it would be upsetting if it were true.
10. Shades of Gray Thinking – instead of thinking about your problems in black
and white categories, evaluate things in shades of gray.
11. Defining Labels – when you label yourself as “inferior” or a “loser”, ask
yourself what you really mean by these labels.
12. Specific Method – stick with reality – those are statements of FACT - and
avoid generalized judgments about reality.
13. Semantic Method – substitute language that is less emotionally loaded for
“should” statements and labelling.
14. Re-attribution – instead of blaming yourself for a problem, think about ALL
the factors that may have contributed to it.
15. Acceptance Paradox – instead of defending yourself against your own
self-criticisms, find truth in them and humbly accept them BUT without beating
yourself up for them.
to Explore Your Belief Systems
Click here for the
Six-Step Change Model for changing your thoughts
and increasing your happiness
here for the ABC Change Model for learning optimism