When to Use Emotional Maturity Levels When your interlocutor’s request is not clearly worded because it is masked by the verbal, para-verbal, or non-verbal expression of an emotion [1].

The 7 degrees of emotional maturity[2]

The 7 degrees of emotional maturity, derived from emotional intelligence, can help you clarify your interlocutor’s request. In turn, strong emotional maturity requires the ability to:

  1. Understand the emotions and give them meaning. You have to be aware of it, name it and relate the trigger to the emotions and the need to be satisfied.

For this purpose, the transactional analysis distinguishes 5 basic emotions:

  • Fear: It is related to the perception of a danger, an unknown situation (trigger) and informs the person about their need for protection.
  • Anger: It is generated by an obstacle that prevents the person from achieving their goal (trigger) and informs them of the need for change.
  • Sadness: It is associated with a loss (trigger) and provides information about the need for comfort.
  • Joy: It is triggered by a success (trigger) and provides information about the need to share.
  • Wish: It is linked to a hope (trigger) and provides information about the investment requirement.

2- Express your feelings and needs clearly.

3- Write a clear request to the person.

emotional maturity

Adjust your type of intervention according to your level of emotional maturity

You identify the level of emotional maturity and intervene to help your interlocutor clarify his request.

Grade 1: Denial of the emotion and the trigger.

Manifestations: your interlocutor is unaware of the features of the situation and the emotions that it evokes in him.

Intervention mode: You have the described situation and ask about the emotion it could evoke.

Grade 2: retention of expression of emotions.

Manifestations: Your interlocutor is aware of the trigger and the emotions it evokes in him, but has difficulty naming these emotions.

Intervention mode: you reformulate what you perceive of the emotions of your interlocutor. You can hypothesize the real emotion and check your hypothesis: “I have the impression that you are angry …”

Stage 3: Expression of a substitution emotion

Events: Your interlocutor is aware of the trigger and has contact with a feeling of substitution that prevents him from coming into contact with his need and therefore from making an inquiry.

Intervention mode: You can help him make the connection between the trigger and the authentic emotion.

Grade 4: Inappropriately expressing real emotions.

Manifestations: Your interlocutor is aware of the trigger and the authentic emotions that he expresses disproportionately in relation to the situation.

Intervention mode: You listen and ask questions about the emotion, the necessity in the current situation

Level 5: Expressing emotions without formulating needs.

Manifestations: Your interlocutor expresses his emotions, but not the corresponding need.

Intervention mode: You ask your interlocutor about his needs.

Grade 6: Expression of emotions and needs.

Events: Your interlocutor expresses his emotions and needs, but without formulating a clear request.

Intervention mode: you question him on his request.

Level 7: Expression of emotions, needs and formulation of the request.

Events: Your interlocutor takes responsibility and is confirmed in the expression of his emotions, his needs and his request.

Intervention mode: You answer his request.

The contributions of the CNV

Inspired by the 4 Levels of Nonviolent Communication – NVC – designed by Doctor Marshall B. Rosenberg[1]you can help the other person express their feelings effectively:

1. Have the specific behavior affecting wellbeing describe and the facts: “What is going on? “,” What are the facts? “.

2. Ask the person you are speaking to express their feelings about this behavior: “How do you feel about this situation? “, ” How do you feel ? “”

3. Have their needs expressed: “What do you need? “”

4. Finally, clarify the demand for specific measures that your interlocutor expects to regain well-being: “What do you expect from me? “.

To take the posture

To be effective, you need to:

  • Practice empathic listening to identify feelings that are not being clearly expressed.
  • It is important to show kindness and empathy towards the feelings of the person you are speaking to
  • After all, it is in your best interest to proceed with reformulations and hypotheses. Only the person knows what is happening to them.

Would you like to learn how to deal with stress, gain better self-esteem, or know the keys to personal leadership? A range of personal development training courses can be found on Cegos.fr.

[1] American psychologist (1934-2015), creator of a communication process called “Non-Violent Communication” (NVC)

[2] In “The Leadership Toolbox,” J. Lafargue, JP Testa, and V. Tilhet-Coartet; 2nd edition, in Dunod, 2017


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