Wellness — May 30, 2020 at 12:00 pm

EQ > IQ?

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Since the publishing of Daniel Goleman’s book, Working with Emotional Intelligence you’ve probably heard a thing or two about the subject. In his book he suggests that emotional intelligence comprises roughly 67% of the traits associated with being a successful leader and even went as far as to say that EQ is twice as important as IQ or a person’s Cognitive Intelligence, which is now being supported by a great deal of studies.

So, what is emotional intelligence (EQ) exactly? It is the ability to manage and identify not only your own emotions, but also those of others. Someone with a high EQ can understand and manage their own emotions, perceive how those emotions can impact others, and can help others with regulating their emotions. These skills may come naturally for some but thankfully for others, they can also be learned over time. There are 5 specific components related to emotional intelligence: self-awareness, self-regulation, social skills, empathy, and motivation.

Self-Awareness is knowing your strengths and weaknesses, reading your emotions and understanding how these things affect those around you. Benefits of being self-aware include knowing how best to delegate tasks based upon your knowledge of strengths and limitations, as well as being able to provide and handle constructive feedback. If this is not a quality you currently possess you can try to work on it by noting specific situations that have caused either yourself of others to react as well as what your thoughts were during those times. By doing this you should be able to identify triggers and work around them in the future.

Self-Regulation is knowing how to manage your emotions based on a situation. For instance, if you were stressed due to not meeting a deadline it wouldn’t be beneficial to yell at your coworkers and then take the rest of the day off when you could take a few deep breaths and then create a list for exactly what tasks need to be done to meet the deadline and work on them step by step. When people aren’t self-regulated it can seem like they are unprofessional or have an explosive personality. Someone who can keep calm under pressure however will often be respected and looked upon as reliable. Some ways to improve self-regulation are to try calmly thinking about a situation before reacting to it as well as owning up to mistakes you might have made instead of placing blame where it doesn’t belong.

Social Skills involve knowing how to manage relationships with everyone you meet. Someone with proficient social skills can interact with a group of people or an individual comfortably and tends to be very good at communication. When those around you feel at ease it is simpler for them to discuss issues and new proposals. Also, by regularly interacting with associates you can learn about their abilities to make sure they are engaged in the ways that work best for them. If you struggle socially you can try things like listening more than speaking to get a better understanding as well as trying some exercises on cooperation to boost moral and a sense of community within the workplace.

Empathy is understanding how someone else is feeling. In psychology they can test someone’s empathy by showing images of a subject’s face and having the person guess what the subject is feeling. Empathy is important because it shows care and compassion. If you can genuinely respond to the issues of another with concern it makes that person feel valued. The best way to develop empathy is to put yourself in someone else’s shoes. If you imagine yourself in their position you can get a better understanding of how and why they may behave the way they do. Another tip is to try to reserve judgement and instead show understanding which allows you to often get more of a story than you would have initially.

Motivation is the final factor and involves working towards goals that are not motivated by status or money. If you enjoy what you do it typically doesn’t feel like work at all, does it? By keeping motivated you tend to be more focused and less likely to procrastinate. Your motivation, especially if it’s positively reinforced, can also affect those around you. To help build motivation set realistic goals and celebrate them once achieved or return to why you started this job in the first place and go from there.

What do you think, is emotional intelligence greater than or more important than cognitive intelligence? Do you struggle with any of these factors and do you think trying to improve upon them would be beneficial to you and your business? We’d love to hear your thoughts!

Written by Maegan Carrasquillo, Staff Writer

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