Well Being

Emotional Intelligence Tip: Use <3s to Make You :-)

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Many see emoticons as a lower form of communication, best reserved for teens, geeks, and those lacking in knowledge of grammar and vocabulary. But emotional intelligence expert Daniel Goleman (who, by the way, is over forty and Harvard-educated, for anyone who cares) says emoticons could make us happier by improving email communication, which so often creates confusion.

According to Goleman, author of Social Intelligence, emails are perceived as negative by default, unless they're marked with emotional cues like exclamation marks and emoticons. (So even if the content of an email is neutral, it will likely be read as negative.) So even if they seem a little silly or immature, adding emoticons can improve correspondence by counterbalancing our predisposition towards reading emails negatively. Goleman says:

…a healthy school of thought endorses emoticons like these :-) :-( along with ellipses…and exclamation points! These visual aids definitely add a degree of nuance and a bit of feeling to the written page (and may partly capture some of the emotive capacity of handwriting). I see them as better than nothing, but nowhere near as rich as a phone call or face-to-face encounter.

Still hesitant to spice up your emails with :-)s? You could also try censoring your emails with ToneCheck, new software that quickly scans emails for emotional words or phrases. Or you could just put down your keyboard and pick up the phone.

via The 99% Blog

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