There’s a new buzzword in town. Emotional Intelligence. In reality, it’s not a new concept at all; mental health professionals are keenly aware of the importance of Emotional Intelligence and its profound effects. What is Emotional Intelligence, or EQ? It provides humans with the tools required to interact in society in a positive and emotionally healthy manner. Today, more and more employers are hiring based on EQ, not IQ.
Emotional Intelligence is a combination of four main attributes:
Self Awareness – The ability to identify emotions in one’s self and recognize how they affect thought and behavior. Example: You were just passed up for a promotion. You’re upset but maintain your composure, and do not lash out inappropriately.
Self-management – The capacity to control behavior resulting from emotions in appropriate and productive ways. Example: Using the scenario above, you recognize your disappointment and find a way to succeed, eventually getting the promotion the next time around.
Social Awareness and Interpersonal Intelligence – The ability to perceive and understand the emotional needs of others based both on verbal and non-verbal cues and the capacity to empathize and recognize social hierarchy. Example: You pick up on social cues and verbal and non-verbal communication. You know when to engage and what scenarios to avoid.
Social Responsibility and Relationship management –Ability to communicate effectively, interact with others in an emotionally appropriate manner. Example: You “play” nice with others in a variety of circumstances.
Currently, most schools push standardized tests and curricula based around STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) or Common Core, all wonderful! However, future success is not based solely on educational practices, and many private schools and colleges are beginning to realize the profound impact of healthy EQ. The benefits of a high EQ in school are immeasurable. Students perform better, earn higher grades, make more healthy life choices, make lasting friendships, care about others, and connect with their teachers better.
In the workplace, 85 to 90 percent of adults with high EQ, have a much higher success rate, work better in teams, adjust to change better, and tend to more flexible. Ultimately, this leads to better career advancement, and stronger more effective leadership skills.
No matter how many degrees a person may possess, if he or she doesn’t have specific emotional attributes, they are more unlikely to succeed. Qualities like knowing how to communicate, listening, accepting different points of view, making eye contact, admitting you’ve made a mistake, genuine happiness when someone else gets that promotion, etc. As the workplace continues to evolve, making room for new technology and innovations, EQ becomes increasingly essential. And for students, the ability to manage emotions is the single ingredient that can foreshadow their success long after college.
In other words, it’s not only about IQ anymore, but EQ — their Emotional Intelligence Quotient as well.