It is almost certain that you have heard of Emotional Quotient, EQ, and Emotional Intelligence before, but have you ever asked yourself if you are Emotionally Intelligent? If you have, do you know why it is so important? In this blog article, I will share more about emotional intelligence and its importance to every person, every workplace, every society, and even to the whole world.
What is Emotional Intelligence?
According to psychologists Peter Salovey and John Mayer, emotional intelligence is “the ability to perceive emotions, to access and generate emotions, to understand emotions and emotional knowledge, and to reflectively regulate emotions so as to promote emotional and intellectual growth.” In layman’s terms, it is the extent to which we are self-aware (able to recognize and understand our emotions), can self-manage (able to adapt and control our emotions and reactions), can motivate ourselves (taking the right actions to achieve a goal), can express empathy for other people, and possess social skills (ability to build positive relationships with others).
Emotional intelligence is measured through standardized tests and the result of these tests is called the emotional quotient (EQ). The higher your EQ is, the better. However, unlike the intelligence quotient (IQ) which it often fixed by the time you reach a certain age, most scholars and psychologists believe that EQ is malleable and can be enhanced and learned.
Why is emotional intelligence important?
EQ may not be as famous as IQ, yet many experts deem it as more important than IQ. Why? Studies show EQ is a better predictor of success, quality of relationships, and happiness of a person. It is evident everywhere and is critical in all aspects of life. Have you ever heard someone making statements like these: “Wow, what a positive person! He will surely achieve something great in life!” or “She is very caring and sociable. She is such a great boss.” These comments illustrate that when a person has high EQ (even when the person does not know it), people believe that the person will likely be successful. So, why is EQ important to everyone?
- EQ is absolutely an important part of forming, developing, maintaining, and enhancing personal relationships with others. It is undeniable that people who know how to build positive relationships with other people will most likely be successful in their fields. Workers with high EQ can work harmoniously in teams and adjust to changes. No matter how intelligent you are, if you have low emotional intelligence, you are unlikely to succeed or at the very least it will be very difficult. However, take comfort in knowing that you can still improve your EQ skills.
- Being aware of oneself means being able to handle constructive criticisms. You would probably agree that there is no perfect person in the world and in everything we do, the criticism of others helps us achieve and advance. If you have high EQ, you are self-aware, meaning you understand your strengths, admit your weaknesses, and know how your actions will affect other people surrounding you. Your high EQ allows you to take these criticisms as an opportunity to improve your performance. This is a crucial part of working in an environment with many stakeholders.
- Self-motivated people can inspire everyone. When a person is self-motivated, they can often motivate others just by their actions. A self-motivated person is someone who is optimistic and is driven by what really matters to him/her. Who would not want a self-motivated person around, right? Motivation is contagious and a highly-motivated household, workplace, or society will repeatedly outperform non-motivated ones. Low-motivation may be a sign that your emotional quotient is low in one or more of the key EQ areas as discussed above.
- EQ makes the world genuine. People with a high Emotional Quotient have compassion that allows them to connect with others on an “emotional level.” If a person is able to empathize with others, then he/she will work genuinely and attend to others’ needs with compassion and care; even during times of challenge.
- Having high EQ means being able to control yourself in all situations. Your fellow employee shouts at you angrily for some unknown reason. Given this scenario, would you be able to control your emotions and not act the same way he did? You see, EQ is connected to how we control both our positive and our negative emotions. Think back to some of the decisions in your life you are not proud of. Ask yourself how many of them relate to a lack of self-control or a lack of impulse control?
Have you been enlightened about what Emotional Intelligence and Emotional Quotient are? Do you agree that it is more important than being “book-intelligent” or having a high IQ? Can you see why EQ is the key to success? Now ask yourself, are you an emotionally intelligent person? If the answer is yes, you are on the right track! Continue along this path, strengthening your EQ skills as you go, and you could be well on your way to success. If your answer is no, do not worry. Emotional intelligence is a set of skills you can improve with focus and a sound strategy. Regardless of where you are today, you cannot go wrong investing in yourself and improving your emotional intelligence skills.
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