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Emotional Intelligence Quotient Is Key To Workplace Success

Published on Monday, 07 Mar 2016

Most people have been exposed to IQ, or Intelligence Quotient, which quantitatively measure, at some point in their lives. Its cousin, the lesser-known Emotional Quotient, or EQ, measures the more subjective elements of an individual’s skill set and isn’t as easy to understand. Not only does EQ indicate how well a person relates to others, it also measures how people recognise, understand, and respond to emotions, including whether individuals can control their own emotions in times of stress. This last factor can impact how we are perceived in the workplace and studies have revealed some common EQ behaviours that can help individuals climb the corporate ladder. The good news is that leaders with emotional intelligence are both born and made, and everyone can benefit from a little knowledge and practice.

According to studies, 90% of successful people have high emotional intelligence, and some of their achievements can be attributed to their ability to connect with others. EQ is incredibly closely tied to how an individual is perceived by his or her peers. Over time, how someone reacts to difficult situations, treats others, and forms relationships with peers, leaders, and friends, all shape that perception. Individuals who are well thought of in the workplace, deliver positive results, and inspire others towards greatness are often promoted ahead of others into higher positions and leadership roles. Hence, it is not surprising that leadership potential is tied to emotional intelligence. 

To help you develop your emotional intelligence and attain leadership roles in your career, we recommend that you study the behaviours and personality traits of leaders and successful people with high EQ:

  1. They are typically very curious about others and are interested in knowing more about other people. As a result, they are usually good judges of character. This can help in building a strong support system at work and understanding what motivates those around you.
  2. They generally know themselves very well, including their own strengths and weaknesses. This is incredibly important, especially for those in management. Being able to identify potential roadblocks to success can set you up for both short- and long-term gains.
  3. They learn from past mistakes and move forward with renewed knowledge. The key here is that mistakes are turned into platforms for enabling high achievement, rather than holding the individual back. 

Some well-known leaders with high emotional intelligence include Warren Buffet, who is revered for his loyalty and his leadership style, and John Donahoe of eBay, whose listening ability have transformed a struggling company into a thriving business with a loyal team and a healthy culture. 

Knowing that very influential people are high in emotional intelligence can be intimidating, especially if you are wondering how to develop it to achieve some of your personal or professional aspirations. The good news is that while some EQ is innate, and while thea natural ability to relate to others comes easy to some individuals, EQ can be developed over time through effort and persistence. Educators and researchers are increasingly integrating social-emotional learning in schools, which can help children manage stressful situations and navigate their emotions. Although this is largely pioneered with students, the goal is to train individuals to make people less susceptible to anxiety and therefore recover quickly from stressful experiences. 

Although emotional intelligence may seem as a broad, difficult-to-grasp concept, it lends a definition to that certain “something” you may admire in your role models, whether it may be charisma, appeal, charm, or admiration. What is key to effective leadership is often thought of as the ability to inspire others, but the core of motivating team members is relationship building. Those high in EQ are able to harness their strengths, including understanding of others, and willingness to grow, with a constant thirst to learn, and that ultimately makes the difference between good and great leaders.

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