A few weeks ago, I touched on this subject; now I aim to elaborate on it.
What is EQ?
Well, just about everyone knows what IQ is – Intelligence Quotient. This is a score derived from a series of tests aimed at, basically, determining an individual’s intelligence.
EQ is a much more obscure and little known construct, even though it is, in my opinion, even more important. Emotional Intelligence is the ability to be aware of one’s own emotional state and needs, while also empathising with and attempting to meet the emotional needs of others. Emotional Intelligence is not simply being aware of your own needs and what it takes to sate them and make you feel better – it requires insight, and the ability to express your needs while considering the needs and emotional reactions of someone else.
Why is EQ important?
The answer to this is pretty obvious. Once you seek out ways to negotiate with and understand others, you can tailor your reactions appropriately, and attain success in whatever it is you’re dealing with, from fights with your spouse or children, to differences of opinion at work.
This said, EQ is not just handy in relationships, but in the context of business too. This ability to read people and react appropriately can increase cooperation and motivation, while leaving the other party with the definite sense that their needs have been met.
How do I increase my EQ?
Several issues are at play when it comes to EQ – first, as mentioned above, it requires the ability to be self-aware; someone still at the beginning stages of their journey to self-discovery will battle with this, because in order to respond appropriately to others, you have to be aware of how certain things affect you, and truly aware of your own feelings on a topic. Hand in hand with this is the ability to be assertive and sure of your own worth.
The next important factor involved in EQ is the ability to be empathetic, to discern what is going on beneath the surface of the individuals you interact with. Once you are aware of this, you can react appropriately. This also requires people skills, of course.
The ability to self regulate cannot be separated from EQ – it means being able to control your own emotions, not letting them get the better of you, and not acting on impulse. Of course, we are only human. There are going to be occasions when we simply cannot control our feelings, and this is perfectly alright. The key is to never stop trying. Eventually, it will become the exception instead of the norm.