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Is Emotional Intelligence Important?

           Understanding the concept of Emotional Intelligence is absolutely vital to being successful in the IT Support field.  It’s arguably the most valuable asset to have in this industry.  Having the ability to put others at ease in a time of distress is what brings back lifetime customers.  That may seem to be a little over-exaggerated, but in reality it’s legitimate.  Now it’s safe to say using Emotional Intelligence would be far more difficult to do over the phone, with no body language.  On the contrary, meeting customers in person may be the job I get, so it’s focal to understand how to properly handle all sorts of situations.  Just like any other job that deals with some sort of service, IT Support will deal with every type of personality.  Some people may be incredibly passive, some angry and others completely uninformed.  It truly is an art itself to learn the proper ways to handle all sorts of personality types.  It’s obvious that the way you speak to an assertive individual will not yield the same results when speaking to a passive one.  In my personal opinion, perceiving and understanding the emotions a person is experiencing is the most important part.  If you reach the incorrect consensus, it will most definitely cause more problems, making the experience for all involved miserable.  Once you accurately interpret one’s emotions, the next step is to attempt to reason with the individual.  Everyone has experienced an extreme amount of emotion, and have most likely made irrational decisions because of emotion.  When a person acts on emotion, they don’t think critically, which is why it’s a dangerous aspect of humans in general.  The best course of action is to invoke critical thinking and other cognitive activity to avoid any unnecessary confrontation.  The next step is Understanding the Emotions of the individual.  This sort of coincides with what I stated earlier, you have to use appropriate responses to the appropriate emotions.  Understanding that if someone is angry, your responses should be something to put them at ease.  Speak to them on a person to person basis, refrain from explaining what is wrong right away because it may just overwhelm them, and have a calming undertone to everything you say. Keep in mind that EVERYONE reacts differently, so sometimes you may have to switch up the game plan mid-way.  Finally, Managing the Emotions of an individual.  Once you have the customer in a relatively calm state, you must maintain that to the best of your ability.  This is where managing one’s emotions becomes the main objective.  This is most likely where you can explain the issues at hand, the reparations necessary, and how long it will take.  I personally think discussing all business related topics would be safest when the customer is somewhat relaxed.  Understanding the importance of Emotional Intelligence is crucial to pretty much every service oriented job in existence.  To be honest, regardless of your profession it should be something you learn, because it will come in handy on multiple occasions in all walks of life.