Emotional Awareness and Conflict Resolution

IDevice Icon Objectives
  1. Identify the goals for becoming emotionally aware of ourselves and others.
  2. Practice perception checking as a technique that helps prevent misunderstanding and conflict.

IDevice Icon Introduction

Woman looking intensely outward Emotion might be an obstacle in negotiation and in conflict resolution. Feelings can get in the way of understanding and in empathizing with the persons with whom you are interacting. However some scientists have recently found that emotion is a "an integral part of reason and decision making." Additionally, it was found that the absence of emotion can have a disruptive effect on decision making and suppressing emotion could impair cognitive ability and recall. (Fromm, 2008) Extensive research on using facial expressions to recognize basic emotions has been carried out. There are 32 action units (AUs) in the facial action coding system (FACS). (Eckman and Wallace 2002). For example, fear is expressed by raised upper eyelids, tensed lower eyelids, eyebrows raised and drawn together. Some of the other more familiar action units include tightening of eye lids or lips, wrinkling the nose, and clenching the jaws.

Emotional Awareness:

Emotional Self-Awareness: The emotions we feel provide us with important self-awareness.The emotions we display make other aware of equally important information that may be an incentive or a deterrent to behavior.

Emotional Other Awareness: Understanding the emotions of others and identifying feelings including those that are masked by other emotions.

Emotions are responses that have three components:

  1. physiological or biological
  2. psychological
  3. experiential or behavioral
An understanding of the physiological and behavioral changes associated with emotions allows us to recognize them and it increases our emotional awareness of their psychological components. (Fromm 2008) Reading facial expressions is a useful skill.

Hager, Joseph C.; Ekman, Paul; Friesen, Wallace V. (2002). Facial action coding system. Salt Lake City, UT: A Human Face.

Fromm, D. (2008) Emotion in Negotiation, Emond Montgomery Publications Limited

Check out the next section, Facial Expressions.

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