I have a problem, what do I do? Use emotional intelligence, which is the ability to recognize own and others’ feelings and use that understanding to know how to manage our own emotions and learn to control emotionally charged situations. Contrary to popular belief, emotional intelligence can work to improve it, but like everything else, requires practice and knowledge of certain techniques that often have to be guided by a professional of emotions: the psychologist.

One technique for improving emotional intelligence are techniques called troubleshooting aim to develop the following skills:

  • Identification of the source of the problem: the negative emotional responses.
  • Ability to generate alternative solutions.
  • Evaluation of the best alternative.
  • Ability to make decisions and implement them.

The troubleshooting techniques are based on finding solutions as effective as possible before a problem by:

  • Perspective taking: the cause of the problem is not the situation itself, but we give the inadequate response before a situation (eg, shouting).
  • Decomposition of the problem in realistic subgoals: the general objective is usually related to personal well-being rather than the objective situation.
  • Analysis of real-purposes: to find alternatives for each of the sub-goals. You have to sort the information and resources available. If I damaged the car a solution is to buy another, of course, but may not have money to buy a new one … what if I fix it?

The technique D’Zurilla and Goldfried

The troubleshooting technique proposed by D’Zurilla and Goldfried (1971) is a two-way process divided into 5 phases of training:

  1. Problem orientation.
  2. Definition and formulation of the problem.
  3. Generation of alternative solutions.
  4. Decision making.
  5. Solution implementation and verification.

1st Orientation towards the problem.

First we need to identify the problem, understood as an inadequate response that occurs in a given situation. That is, the problem is detected by negative emotions it generates. I ask yourself: how do I feel in a given situation? (Work, family, economy, family, health …). If the answer to this question is: evil, angry, sad, angry, scared, confused, tense … we have a problem we will have to accept as part of our life situations and we must face reflectively.

2nd definition and formulation of the problem.

The next step is the analysis of the situation, its detailed description generated by the negative emotional state. The questions to be performed: Why is this situation ?; where it happens?; What happens people ?; It occurs when? What do I do when it happens? The answers to the questions will guiding us to some emotional goals we take to achieve the ultimate goal: the emotional well-being. Write the objectives that meet your questions.

3rd Generation of alternative solutions.

Conflicts can be resolved in various ways, which must generate all possible ideas. Conduct a brainstorming (brainstorming) staff for each goal or sub-goal, the more ideas the better. The amount will generate the quality of the final solution and diversity of ideas will increase the potential for adjustments thereof, even combining them to the optimal solution. Nope !, have to defer final judgment until complete this process, it is a mistake to come to appreciate the ideas that are generated until they finish the phase very foolish or impractical they may seem. All ideas can provide input into the final decision. Have at least 10 ideas for each objective would be an appropriate figure.

4th decision making.

Now is to analyze the possible consequences of each goal, the best alternatives to those raised. First, a screen is made so they are about 3-4 alternatives, analyzing the advantages and disadvantages of each. We must take into account the consequences for oneself face the consequences for others, estimated that this alternative and the real likelihood that it can carry out effective probability. It is to bring quantitative and subjective evaluation. Always alternatives affecting oneself always have double value. We can use for it some scale (0-10) or you score that generates a “classification” of alternatives to make the decision. Those with more positive points than negative consequences that will have to be selected. To know that we have chosen a useful solution we can ask these questions:

  • The idea is practical and can be carried out?
  • Is it realistic?
  • Is it too expensive?
  • How long it does?
  • Can it be implemented by yourself or requires other people?
  • Anticipate the consequences of their implementation are you taking to solve the problem?

5th Solution implementation and verification.

It was time to put up the chosen solution. First of all we should do a little planning steps to be evaluating what works best and worse and relizar a progressive implementation of the action plan. The model can be used is the control theory and cognitive behavior of self-contro conception, ie:

  1. Execution: implementation.
  2. Self-observation: observe the conduct itself and the results obtained.
  3. Self-assessment: compare the results with the expected anticipated results.
  4. Self-reinforcing: if the results are similar to those provided it’s time to be proud of a job well done, otherwise do not give up and review the process of the previous phases.

This type of technique has proven useful for solving marital conflicts, labor disputes, social phobia, problems with children, primary care, depression, pain-related problems, drugs, anxiety or various personality disorders. Anything improve your emotional skills will benefit your personal well-being.

If you come to read this far you probably think something like, “Okay, yes, all very nice but I’m not able to do it.” Certainly there are people who have more or less emotional skills, and not why people are better or worse. There are people who stays in shape by performing exercise itself and one that needs a trainer to improve and go to a gym. If you are not able to improve your emotional skills, why not go to a psychologist to help you exercise them what? As you join the gym you can also point to a psychologist. Perhaps eventually you get it cheaper. And do not eat anyone;).


Bibliographic references

Ruiz Fernandez, Maria Angeles, Diz Garcia, Marta Isabel; Villalobos Crespo, Arabella. Manual techniques of cognitive-behavioral intervention. Ed. Desclée De Brouwer (2012)

Iván Pico

Director y creador de Psicopico.com. Psicólogo Colegiado G-5480 entre otras cosas. Diplomado en Ciencias Empresariales y Máster en Orientación Profesional. Máster en Psicología del Trabajo y Organizaciones. Posgrado en Psicología del Deporte entre otras cosas. Visita la sección "Sobre mí" para saber más. ¿Quieres una consulta personalizada? ¡Escríbeme!

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