Emotional intelligence (EQ) applies to all areas of our lives, i.e. both professional and personal. Emotional intelligence is different from intelligence quotient (IQ) in that emotional intelligence can help predict career success and can be improved over time, whereas IQ is stable over time.
Emotional intelligence consists of four main components:
– Self-awareness – this level of intelligence comprises the ability to understand one’s own emotions and reactions to those emotions;
– Self-management, i.e. the ability to manage one’s reactions and emotions;
– Social awareness, i.e. one’s ability to read body language and social cues to develop positive relationships both professionally and personally.
– Relationship management skills which require all of the three mentioned skills. This skill allows us to handle conflicts and get along with others.
“Once you are in the field, emotional intelligence emerges as a much stronger predictor of who will be most successful, because it is how we handle ourselves in our relationships that determines how well we do once we are in a given job.” Daniel Goleman
Now that we know that emotional intelligence (EQ) is important for success at work, at school, and in our personal lives, let’s discuss its four main components below:
– Self-awareness refers to a person’s ability to understand their feelings from moment to moment. It might seem as if this is something we know, but we often go about our day without thinking or being aware of our emotions that impact how we behave in work or personal situations. Understanding our emotions can help us reduce stress and make better decisions, especially when we are under pressure. In addition, knowing and recognizing our own strengths and weaknesses is part of self-awareness. Someone who lacks self-awareness may project stress on others. Higher EQ in this area might result in being calm, cool, and collected, able to motivate our team to focus and finish the project on time.
– Self-management refers to our ability to manage our emotions and is dependent on our self-awareness ability. How do we handle frustration, anger, and sadness? Are we able to control our behaviors and emotions? Self-management also is the ability to follow through with commitments and take initiative at work.
– Social awareness is our ability to understand social cues that may affect others around us. In other words, understanding how others are feeling, even if we do not feel the same way. Social awareness also includes having empathy for others, recognizing power structure and unwritten workplace dynamics. Most people high on social awareness have charisma and make people feel good with every interaction. People with higher EQ in social awareness spend a lot of time listening and observing in the meetings, to get a sense of how others feel. They may also directly ask people how they feel, this demonstrates high social awareness.
– Relationship management refers to our ability to communicate clearly, maintain good relationships with others, work well in teams, and manage conflicts. Relationship management relies on our ability to use the other three areas of EQ to manage relationships effectively.
Those who have low EQ in the area of relationship management may belittle people and have a difficult time being positive. They cannot be good team players, because they lack the ability to manage relationships. In a contrary manner, if you have high emotional intelligence you are good at reading people’s emotions and showing empathy for them, even if you do not agree.
The importance of emotional intelligence (EQ), as we have discussed throughout this article, is imperative to being successful in all aspects of life. As a matter of fact, the majority of successful people have both appropriate IQ levels for their job and EQ skills. Therefore by focusing on it and deliberately increasing our emotional intelligence skills we can significantly improve both our personal and professional relationships.