A critical component to becoming a successful employee is now known as emotional intelligence or EQ. Emotional Intelligence begins with being able to read other people’s signals and body language and react in an appropriate manner. The concept of EQ was first introduced in 1990. Since then over 3,000 scientific articles have been published!
As our economy and world have become more globalized, it is important to develop skills that require us to empathize, understand, and negotiate with others. Reading others emotions and body language is a major step in negotiating, making a sale or even conveying our thoughts in a professional manner.
An objective analysis of our behavior in social situations can be difficult; however, it is important to understand that our thoughts can have a greater influence on how we do, than what we do, than what we think we are doing. As we get better at controlling our emotions, we become better at being able to disguise our true feelings.
A side effect of being emotionally intelligent is the desire to be a perfectionist. However, they know when to take a step back, examine the situation and go in with a new outlook.
The five components of EQ are self-awareness, self-regulation of emotions, motivation, empathy, and social skills. Luckily, these are all traits that can be learned and improved over time as we endure and adapt to new situations. An important aspect to remember is that our EQ tends to increase as we age.
Some qualities of those with High Emotional Intelligence:
1) They are not perfectionists
2) They know how to balance work and play
3) They embrace change
4) They don’t get easily distracted
5) They’re empathetic
6) They know strengths and weaknesses
7) They’re self-motivated
8) They don’t dwell in the past
9) They focus on the positive
10) They set boundaries
Strong emotional intelligence can backfire and be used negatively. A side effect of being emotionally intelligent is the desire to be a perfectionist. However, they know when to take a step back, examine the situation and go in with a new outlook. Another downside is that those who have a strong emotional intelligence have the ability to disguise one side of emotions while showing the other for personal gain. This would help give them a favorable impression but can manipulate other people. A leader in any setting must have the ability to differentiate their emotions between motivating and managing those whom she is overseeing.
For more information on the topic, check out this informative video by Daniel Goleman on Understanding EQ.
Graphic by Jasmine Meurer