Published on December 17, 2022.
Image by Ant Rozetsky via Unsplash
Emotional intelligence, or "EQ," is the ability to understand and manage your own emotions. A high EQ helps with building relationships, reducing stress in teams, resolving conflicts, and being happy at work. This is why companies value "EQ" above "IQ" when deciding who to promote to managerial roles.
Emotional intelligence (EQ) is the ability to understand and manage your emotions.
EQ is linked to academic accomplishment, decision-making, and career success.
Emotional intelligence can be developed by everyone, regardless of their life stage.
Developing the ability to perceive, interpret, and comprehend our own and others' emotions is essential for fostering stronger interpersonal connections.
Strong social skills enable individuals to have meaningful connections with others and get a deeper knowledge of themselves and others.
Empathy, or the capacity to comprehend the emotions of others, is crucial to emotional intelligence.
The importance of emotional intelligence
Decades of research indicate that emotional intelligence is the defining characteristic that distinguishes top performers from the rest of the field. It is a potent method for channeling your energy with a singular focus that yields remarkable results.
One study compared emotional intelligence to 33 other essential workplace abilities and discovered that emotional intelligence is the most accurate predictor of performance, accounting for 58% of all forms of job success. People with a high level of emotional intelligence earn an average of $30,000 more annually than those with a low level of emotional intelligence. The correlation between emotional intelligence and wages is so strong that a one-point improvement in emotional intelligence increases yearly earnings by $1,300. It is unlikely that you will be a top performer without high emotional intelligence.
Benefits of high emotional intelligence
People with high levels of EQ find it easier to build and sustain interpersonal relationships, as well as to "fit in" in group settings.
They are also better able to gain insight into their psychological well-being, which includes the ability to successfully manage stress and a reduced likelihood of developing depression.
They are excellent at managing their own feelings.
Employees with a high level of emotional intelligence function better in teams.
They can recognize the impact of their emotions on others.
They have greater self-awareness and will accept feedback and use it to grow.
How to grow your emotional intelligence
Develop your listening skills
Active listening is an essential skill to develop rapport and trust with clients and coworkers alike. Pay attention to what is being said and demonstrate your interest by making eye contact, paraphrasing, and using other non-verbal indicators.
Develop an awareness of your emotions
You must first recognize your feelings to comprehend those of others.
If you are feeling a strong emotion, such as rage or anger, ask yourself to name the emotion you are feeling right now. Pause and consider why you’re feeling this way and what might have triggered such a strong emotional response.
Improve your empathy skills
The top leadership skill today, according to many recruitment agencies, is empathy, which is the capacity to comprehend another person's experiences and feelings.
At the end of the day, reflect on how well or poorly your meetings, projects, and interactions went. By writing down your thoughts, you can see patterns in how you act and how other people are reacting to you as well.
Ways in which emotional intelligence can benefit your career
Using your emotional intelligence will help you achieve workplace success. Here’s how:
People with strong emotional intelligence are typically self-motivated. The major source of their drive is neither status nor wealth. Intrinsic motivation, or a feeling of aspiration, is more important to this group.
Studies have shown that employees with a high emotional level have a high level of self-awareness. Their frustration or upset doesn't affect how well they do their work. They are willing to learn from their mistakes and are open to feedback and criticism.
Helps boost positivity
People with a positive attitude tend to confront difficult tasks and see failure as a learning opportunity. An optimistic outlook allows you to be more inventive, resourceful, adaptable, and receptive.
The ability to empathize with coworkers is correlated with improved working relationships, openness, and trust. It helps you understand your colleague's situation better, listen to them carefully, and respond in the right way. When people have empathy for one another, they are better able to collaborate on projects, form meaningful relationships with their coworkers, and ultimately succeed in the workplace.
EQ helps you embrace change
Emotionally intelligent people tend to welcome change rather than resist it. They've internalized the truth that the only constant in life is changes. They can also swiftly and successfully deal with the emotional and mental difficulties that come with transitions. They can effectively handle a lot of different tasks and requests from a wide range of people.
Improves social skills
Success in your career depends a lot on how well you can collaborate with other people. This is why social skills and the ability to build relationships are two of the most important soft skills for a successful career.
Looking at the top employability skills concerning the current business environment, resilience is now an essential quality. Employers need individuals who are very resilient in the face of challenges and significant developments occurring in the corporate environment.
Enhances leadership attributes
Emotional intelligence is a crucial characteristic of top leaders. When leaders have a high EQ, they can guide their teams through a variety of obstacles and crises. As a leader, you must foster team cohesion and ensure that everyone is on the same page. For this, you must have a deeper comprehension of their emotions and the factors that may bring them down. To flourish in leadership jobs, you must possess exceptional emotional intelligence.
When you suppress your emotions, they swiftly manifest as tension, worry, and anxiety. Unaddressed emotions cause mental and physical distress. Your emotional intelligence enables you to recognize and address challenging circumstances before they escalate, making stress more bearable. People who lack emotional intelligence are twice as likely to develop anxiety, depression, drug misuse, and suicidal ideation. The immune system is weakened by stress, worry, and depression, making the body susceptible to anything from the ordinary cold to cancer.
There is a thin line between being aggressive and being assertive, and emotionally intelligent people are the ones who understand this the best. They are good at standing up for themselves and setting limits, and they are also polite and respectful.
Enhancing your emotional intelligence will not only help you develop as a leader but also improve your ability to encourage and coach teams. In turn, you will have a stronger influence on your company by increasing morale, productivity, and communication, allowing you to simultaneously improve your career.
National Library of Medicine. The Contribution of Emotional Intelligence to Career Success: Beyond Personality Traits.
Researchgate. The Role of Emotional Intelligence in the Career Development of Employee in Public Organizations.
Researchgate. The Role of Emotional Intelligence in the Career Commitment and Decision-Making Process.