In the second of two articles, Paul Ekman discusses how recognising your own emotions can help you communicate better
- By: Paul Ekman
In the first article I discussed two skills that can help you in your professional relationships.1 The first is becoming aware of the emotions of others by reading the brief or subtle expressions on their face. The second is knowing what to do with this information--how should you react if you see subtle signs of anger or sadness in your patient or colleague? Box 1 gives an example of how to use these skills when you are being appraised.
In this article I discuss two further skills that can improve the way you communicate with others. These focus on your own emotional responses. The first, which I call attentiveness, is becoming aware of the emotions that you are feeling at the moment that they arise. It is a difficult skill to acquire, but it can be done in a number of ways. The second is being able to choose how