There are quite a few definitions floating around that aren’t always intuitive. And when people start abbreviating, things get confusing quick. We are not in the business of confusing – we’re in the business of playful teaching. Everyone knows IQ and why it’s so important, but what is EQ (emotional quotient), and what is it good for? We put together an explanation of what emotional intelligence is, and why it’s so important.
I hope you’ll enjoy your read,
Silja Litvin – Psychologist and Founder of eQuoo
What is Emotional Intelligence? – The 5 Skills You Need in Life
Emotional intelligence is the ability to recognize, understand and manage our own feelings and the feelings of others. To put it simply, emotional intelligence is being smart about emotions. It represents our ability to read other people’s signals and then react to them properly.
People with a high EQ know what they are feeling, why they are feeling that way and how their feelings can affect others. Therefore it’s no wonder that for most people emotional intelligence (EQ or EI) is actually more important in achieving success in professional and personal life than their intelligence (IQ).
Emotional intelligence includes five main skills: emotional awareness, self-management, empathy, motivation and social skills.
Emotional awareness is recognizing when certain feelings are present in ourselves or the other people and acknowledging them.
This segment of EQ includes the ability to manage emotions. It is the ability to regulate our own emotions and influence other people’s feelings as well. This part of EQ means that you are can connect emotions and then apply them to different tasks like problem solving or creative thinking.
Empathy is ability to recognize and understand other people’s feelings and use that understanding to communicate to others more effectively.
This represents our ability to connect our emotions to motivate ourselves to work towards reaching our goals.
Social competence represent our skills to communicate with other people. High EQ social skills include the ability to understand our own and other people’s verbal communication, body language and gestures. Social competence skills range from ability to understand feelings and thoughts of others to being a great leader or negotiatiator.
Why is Emotional Intelligence Important?
According to emotional intelligence experts, our EQ is more important than our IQ. They believe that EQ is way better predictor of our professional success, quality of our relationships and happiness in general. Actually, emotional intelligence is vital for every aspect of our life.
Emotional Intelligence Affects Our Personal Life
Personal qualities such as self-control, perseverance or empathy help us build healthy relationships. Better understanding our feelings enables us to express them in a constructive way. Similarly, the ability to ‘put ourselves in someone else’s shoes’ helps us understand other people’s needs, feelings, desires and motives. And understanding other people’s emotions and needs is definitely the road to thriving relationships.
For example, a good friend of yours said something that hurt your feelings. As a person with highly developed EQ, you would try to understand your friend’s feelings and find the reason for their behavior, as opposite to simply get upset and stop talking to your friend.
As different research show, EQ correlates to our positive attitude on life. It can minimize our mood swings and decrease anxiety. Furthermore, the ability to recognize and understand others’ feelings helps us resolve conflicts in a constructive way.
EQ Can Greatly Impact Your Career
According to Dr. Travis Bradberry, a world-renowned expert in emotional intelligence, EQ is responsible for 58% of our job performance. 90% of top performers have high EQ. In addition, people with high degree of emotional intelligence make $29,000 annually than those with lower EQ, Dr. Bradberry says.
Relating to others is essential in a workplace today. One of the main characteristics of great leaders is a high degree of emotional intelligence. The high ability of self-regulation, self-awareness, as well as highly developed motivation, empathy and social skills are something that distinct the great leaders as effective and excelling.
For example, a manager notices that one of the employees has not been meeting targets lately. A manager with a high degree of emotional intelligence will look at the reasons behind the decline in the employee’s performance as opposite to a manager with a lower degree of EQ who would just assume that the employee is lazy and not hardworking.
Your emotional intelligence can make you a great asset to any job position. According to a study by the U.S. Department of Labor, EQ plays a great role in a candidate selection process. As per their study, throughout the hiring process, employers are looking for candidates who are good listeners, have a great ability to work in teams and have solid leadership potential.
In addition, research shows that employers are looking for candidates who are flexible and adaptable. So, if you strive for professional success, developing your emotional intelligence may be a good career strategy.
How to Boost Your Emotional Intelligence?
Reflect on your emotions and find connections. Analyze your feelings. Try to connect them to earlier times when you felt the same way. Also, try to make connection between your emotions and your thoughts. When you experience intense emotions, always ask yourself, “What do I think about that?”
Pay attention to your body. Learn to recognize the signs and sensations that your body sends you. An increased heart rate, a knot in your throat or stomach may be signs of stress and anxiety.
Concentrate on your unconscious emotions. These are feelings that we are not aware of. To unlock them from unconscious, analyze your dreams or try free associations. You will do that by relaxing and letting your thoughts freely drift.
People with a high degree of EQ are the ones who inspire others and serve as role models. Emotional intelligence is vital for our everyday life. Understanding our own and other people’s emotions and being able to manage them helps us lead happy and fulfilled life. Being able to motivate ourselves and keep up successful relationship is a key for personal and professional success.
Written by Natasha Tanic