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The way that individuals behave is largely influenced by the situation that they find themselves in; as an example, we naturally change our behavior based on whether we are at a sporting event, concert, supermarket, home, work, etc. An individual’s personality and emotional intelligence will also change how someone behaves in a given set of circumstances. Emotions can be triggered when our values, beliefs expectations or preferences are violated and the depth to which we experience these will depend on our personality and how we let these affect us will depend upon our emotional intelligence. Not all emotions are negative; some are wonderfully positive.

Emotions Triggering Behaviors

Some of the emotions that have been identified by psychologists are Anticipation, Anger, Disgust, Fear, Joy, Love, Remorse, Sadness, Surprise and Trust. Each of these emotions has different types of actions associated with them. When an individual experiences them, they might be triggered to engage, fight or flight. For instance, let us consider that an individual was approached by an angry boss they might see this as a threatening event and conclude that they are in danger. As a result, the individual could feel the emotion of fear. This emotion will trigger an instinctive behavior of fight or flight response. However, fighting or running away might not be the best course of action given the circumstances. Most adults would use emotional intelligence to handle the situation in a way to yield the most positive outcome possible. Our emotional intelligence is informed by our experiences whether these are formal or informal experiences.

Our Personas

We can consider that we have three personas; our underlying, our every day and our overextended persona. These personas underpin our behaviors in given circumstances.

Our underlying persona is our most natural and most motivational as it resonates with our core. Our everyday persona is how we tend to show up for, and behave at, home and work. If your underlying persona is very different from everyday persona then you will experience more stress that someone who can use their natural persona as their everyday persona. Our overextended persona shows up when we are under stress, tired or struggling to cope with unwanted or unexpected events.

Behaviors On-The-Job

Positive behaviors help to foster healthy interactions and relationships while negative behaviors can incubate unpleasant and even toxic cultures. Positive behaviors include:

  • being active, caring, compassionate, conscientious, curious, disciplined, fair, logical, on-time, open, organized, precise, ready, respectful, and willing.
  • working to achieve results, communicate effectively, deliver quality, find solutions, meet deadlines, set goals
  • when appropriate, being ambitious, cautious, coach others for success creative, helping others, maintaining confidentiality, and sharing resources. 

Negative behaviors are pretty much the opposite of positive behaviors but also include being careless, discriminatory, intoxicated, lazy, tyrannical, and volatile!