Emotional intelligence or Emotional Quotient, more commonly referred to as EQ, first crept into the general population’s consciousness in the mid-90’s with the release of psychologist and science journalist Daniel Goleman’s book “Emotional Intelligence – Why it Can Matter More Than IQ”.
In his book, Dr. Goleman says that our Intelligence Quotion or IQ does not solely drive success and personal excellence and that it comes down to a person’s EQ. To quote:
If your emotional abilities aren’t in hand, if you don’t have self-awareness, if you are not able to manage your distressing emotions, if you can’t have empathy and have effective relationships, then no matter how smart you are, you are not going to get very far.
But what does EQ even mean? Emotional Quotient refers to people’s capacity to recognize not just their own emotions, but other people’s as well. Individuals with a high Emotional Quotient are able to distinguish between different types of feelings and appropriately identify them. They can then use this emotional knowledge to guide the way they behave and think.
While Dr. Goleman did not originally discover the concept of Emotional Quotient, he was the first one to pursue it further and relate its impact to real life settings. He was able to link a direct connection between the EQ of a company’s employees and the success of the company.
In his studies, Dr. Goleman was able to conclude that team members who exhibited a high EQ are very self-aware giving them the tools to understand their co-workers better and satisfy work requirements such as deadlines. They are also able to separate personal feelings from professional criticism, either coming from clients or superiors, so they remain focused on results and work. Finally, if two potential employees have the same level of Intelligence Quotient or IQ, the persona with the higher EQ has a higher likelihood of really fitting in with the company.
What portrays a sense of emotional intelligence?
Unlike IQ, emotional intelligence isn’t determined at birth and it can be developed especially in very young children. So what are the traits of individuals with enhanced EQ that you’d want to develop? We present you seven of these qualities:
- They’re Not Afraid of Change: People possessing a high emotional intelligence aren’t daunted by change and understand that it’s just part of life. They’re not only accepting of change but they readily adapt to it.
- They Possess Self-Awareness: Individuals who have high EQ are able to recognize their strengths and their weaknesses. And they don’t let weaknesses get the best of them, instead they have a willingness to learn to better hone skills where they know they’re lacking. They’re also aware of what they need to be able to perform better.
- They Can Achieve Work-Life Balance: A high EQ allows individuals to recognize how important it is to have a healthy balance between their professional and persona lives. And not just recognize, they know how to maintain it. They make sure that they lead a healthy lifestyle by eating well, having the right amount of sleep and enjoying interests that don’t have anything to do with their work.
- They Have a Healthy Amount of Curiosity: A healthy amount of curiosity means that people with high EQ are more open to new possibilities and welcome alternative solutions to problems. They are also not afraid to ask questions, opening up more learning avenues. This also makes them less judgmental as they’re more accepting of differing opinions and behavior.
- They Know That Perfection is Not Possible: Just because people with high EQ are motivated, it doesn’t mean that they are easily deterred by problems. They don’t expect everything to be perfect, as they know that nothing is perfect. Because of this they don’t break down when a problem comes up or something doesn’t go their way. Instead they adjust to changes and rally for new solutions to resolve issues.
- They Have Empathy: High EQ individuals know how to empathize with the people around them. They can relate to others and put themselves in others’ position. Because of this they have a better understanding of their colleagues, superiors and clients and can adjust to work with them better and skip misunderstandings and personality clashes.
- They Focus on the Positive: People with high emotional intelligence focuses on the positive things in life, no matter how small. They always find something to be grateful for, allowing them to see the world in a better light and giving them more motivation throughout the day. This lets them better fend off any negativity that could come from other people or situations, letting them focus on being productive. This is why they’re such invaluable assets to any workplace.
Even if you don’t naturally have these traits, you can still try to practice them in your everyday life and develop your own emotional intelligence.