Career Advice Career Guidance and Counselling

Elevate your EQ

In today’s competitive and volatile job market, finding and maintaining a job is tough and studies show that employers are more inclined to retain employees that are  likeable.

Many subscribe to the mistaken belief that being likeable comes naturally and is not a skill or quality that one can acquire. However, research proves that being likeable has been associated with people with a higher emotional quotient (EQ).

Psychology Today defines EQ as “the ability to identify and manage your own emotions and the emotions of others.” Today, higher EQ is one of the determinative factors for success in business, relationships and life in general.

People with a higher EQ are less focused on characteristics like intelligence, extraversion and attractiveness, and are instead more focused on skills that are totally in their control – such as approachability, humility and positivity.

More than just charisma or personality, EQ is exhibited through adaptability, collegiality and empathy – and is practised through listening, remaining resilient in the face of problems, valuing and helping colleagues, and connecting and empathising with clients.

While most of us have spent much of our lives diligently studying and taking exams in a quest to be more intelligent, the average individual hardly spends any time working on their EQ.

As our careers develop, we tend to discover that our colleagues are just as smart and hardworking as we are – and that the key to success must be due to something more.

Recent studies have shown that people who possess higher EQ are not only highly likeable, but also outperform others by a large margin, and tend to be top performers in a company.

Most of us could benefit from making ourselves a little more “likeable” – especially in the workplace – so my advice would be to pay attention to your EQ and proactively work to develop it through self-reflection, feedback and coaching.

This article appeared in the Classified Post print edition as Elevate your EQ.