You are a person with high emotional intelligence if you have an understanding and effective control of your emotions. When your EQ is in check, your mood is upbeat, and your performance — personal or professional — is on the upswing. When you feel peaceful, in love, contented or motivated, your EQ is at its peak. On the other hand, if you feel unsettled, troubled, on edge, anxious, culpable and annoyed, your EQ is at its valley.
In the workplace you encounter these opposing conditions. And just like the Law of Attraction supposes, “love attracts love” and conversely, “hate attracts hate.” Possessing a high EQ is a surefire trait that can move you up the corporate ladder quick. Do a cursory check of your organization and you’ll discover that the most successful people are those with more than average communication and emotional intelligence leadership skills.
A high EQ is a distinct advantage as well in your private life. Great relationships, for example, are built when family members have great EQ among them. When emotions are in check at all times, peace, harmony, understanding and helpfulness are pushed and maintained. When you experience authentic chemistry with people you deal or interact with, that chemistry is called emotional intelligence. EQ has been extensively discussed in various platforms. I first encountered it reading Daniel Goleman’s best-selling dissertation on the subject. Without a doubt, it is a major factor for success.
For perspective, there are four emotional intelligence skills that are paired up under two primary competencies — personal and social. Personal competence is made up of your self-awareness and self-management skills, the focal point of which is you as an individual rather than your interface with other people. It is your ability to be in touch with your emotions and to deal with your conduct and inclinations. Social competence is made up of your social awareness and relationship management skills. It is your ability to understand other people’s frame of mind, behavior and intentions in order to perk up the quality of your relationships.
• Manage your emotions and don’t let them get the better of you. This is self-awareness. You accept difficult business news with a momentary scowl, but quickly snap out of that negative reaction, and with your partners and team members, find solutions to improve the situation. You remain calm, cool and collected even in situations where you know you feel aggravated and are fuming. You have an intense desire to make change, only after a careful evaluation of the circumstances and the people involved in them. Self-awareness is so important in job performance that 83 percent of people high in self-awareness are top performers.
• Conduct yourself with stretched tolerance and utmost consideration. If you behave in this manner, particularly during impassioned, emotionally charged encounters, your self-management skills are unassailable. You are receptive and straightforward. You listen actively, set a high standard of conduct, and firmly believe that there is no excuse for rude behavior. You communicate well, think on your feet and have the aptitude to separate emotion from logic, making you an effective crisis response administrator. Real results in authentic self-management come from putting your fleeting needs on hold to chase loftier, more important goals.
• Read the emotions of others soundly. The uncanny ability to easily adjust to varying situations and build relationships with almost anyone is the mark of a socially aware persona. You are effective in facilitating meetings and discussions, and can lead conversations without making the parties involved feel like they are being controlled. You are inspirational and motivating, and can uplift people and put them at ease.
The purest form of social awareness is the work being done by anthropologists. They make their living watching others in their natural state without letting their own thoughts and feelings disturb the observation. In a work situation, though, you will not be 100 yards away watching events unfold through a pair of binoculars. You have to spot and understand people’s emotions while you are in the middle of a transaction, interaction or dialogue.
• Build the bond with others over time. This is the essence of relationship management. You are careful and empathetic, non-judgmental and give people the benefit of the doubt. You respond to a question kindly but with authority. You know when to approach an issue sensitively, and know when to be generous with praise and encouragement. You have the skill to see the overall picture and provide counsel in a compassionate and truthful manner. You are a superior negotiator, always finding the best way to connect with others, even when there’s an atmosphere of resistance, confusion, or outright conflict. The positive result of relationship management does not come overnight. It comes with the quality, depth, and the time you spend interacting with people.
The process of honing your EQ skills has been made even more convenient in the book Emotional Intelligence 2.0 written by Travis Bradberry and Jean Greaves, award-winning authors and cofounders of a global think tank and consultancy group. The tome delivers a step-by-step program for upgrading the four EQ skills that enable you to achieve your fullest potential. “Emotional awareness and understanding are not taught in school,” the authors write. “We enter the workforce knowing how to read, write and report on bodies of knowledge, but too often, we lack the skills to manage our emotions in the heat of the challenging problems that we face,” they add.
The book has an accompanying online component that can be accessed using a code provided in the book. It brings you a cutting-edge emotional intelligence test called the “Emotional Intelligence Appraisal,” which can determine where you are in your EQ scores today and how you should act to take full advantage of its rewards without delay. The evaluation system is founded in groundbreaking research involving more than 500,000 responses that properly identifies aspects of your personality that are often difficult to self-detect. And, once these aspects are identified, they help you maximize those aspects to achieve success.
The book also contains 66 proven emotional intelligence strategies culled from a 10-year process to accurately measure emotional intelligence and pinpoint which of the available strategies can increase your EQ the most. After taking the online assessment, you are likewise aided in looking for ways to address your limitations.
In your present business life, you spend more time on computer keyboards, BlackBerries and conference calls than you do on face-to-face communication. You’re expected to piece together interrupted conversations, puzzling voicemails, and abbreviated and often misspelled text messages to figure out how to carry on. In this increasingly intricate mesh, emotional intelligence becomes even more valuable.
“Just as you can work hard to lose weight over the summer only to pack these pounds on again over the holidays, you can sharpen your EQ skills only to see them dull again,” stress Bradberry and Greaves, and quickly add that with 90 percent of top performers high in EQ, and EQ twice as important as IQ in getting where you want to go in life, who can afford to ignore it?
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