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It’s expensive being a loudmouth. How about the Orange student fined $105,000 for badmouthing a teacher on twitter. Or the Sydney couple fined $15,000 for a facebook post that suggested a neighbour may or may not be related to Satan. And that’s just for starters.

 

The thing is being a keyboard warrior is a pretty dumb way of dealing with your personal issues. Because once posted those words are there for the world to see for a long, long time. And if you really p*ss someone off it can be very expensive.

 

With the world changing at lightening speed, now more than ever we need to develop emotional intelligence. And while teens with only half a brain really need to learn these skills, it seems quite a few adults do too. Because behaving badly online is just not smart. Not only won’t it sort out your problems, it can cause even bigger ones.

 

So what are some of the tools we can teach our kids?

 

What EQ tools can we learn for ourselves?

 

One of the most important tools to master is the GAP. Because when you’re being emotionally intelligent it means you take a gap before you act and consider the consequences. How the other person might feel for example. Or whether your words will come back to haunt you. Or what it might cost you in terms of your own reputation. Or how to work out a better way to deal with the issue. Emotional intelligence means you might stop to walk a mile in the other person’s shoes rather than just sledging them. Maybe they’re acting like a jerk because something is going on for them that you have no knowledge of. Or maybe you’ve just got the bull by the tail and haven’t got the whole story anyway. Being emotionally intelligent may mean that you deal with your dirty laundry privately and upfront. Rather than air it in front of the world. Emotional intelligence may mean that you find a way to forgive someone for being a jerk rather than let them get control over how you feel. After all, the way we choose to respond is always our choice.

 

Feelings come and go. But words sent out into cyberspace have the potential to stick around for years to come. Because mud sticks. And the only winners in the increase in online defamation cases are the lawyers.

 

Emotional intelligence is one of life’s greatest skills. Not only can it save you a lot of grief it helps you create a lot more happiness.

 

So how can you develop your emotional intelligence?

About Paul Blackburn

An internationally acclaimed author and leader in the human potential movement, Paul has instructed seminars for groups ranging in size from 6 to 600 and as a guest speaker has spoken to audiences of more than six thousand. He has taught in Australia, New Zealand, Great Britain and the US. Paul has appeared on talk back radio and television shows including Getaway; A Current Affair and The Midday Show. Paul has a tremendous educational message. He knows how to teach and motivate people to be more effective in every aspect of their lives. Due to his reputation as a world class presenter, the Adult Education Faculty of the Australian National University conducted a study of one of Paul's public seminars with a view to gain greater insights into their own teaching strategies. Paul has survived aggressive cancer, and successfully built four businesses, a strong marriage and a loving family. According to his wife Mary, Paul's strive for improving himself and helping others comes from "his love of life and his incredible love for his family in particular but people in general". She says he is committed to making a difference in the world, whatever it takes. And he does. Paul has a great ability to spark interest and inspire people from all walks of life. In the words of one of his students: "It is not possible to participate in one of Paul's seminars and resist change. Paul has the ability to inspire even the most negative person to change their life for the better." Time with Paul Blackburn may be all it takes to get a shift in thinking big enough to cause a life changing experience. His down-to-earth style is your guarantee that you will be hearing no nonsense, workable solutions to the difficult questions in life.

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