For a long time, employers have been talking about hiring intelligent people, people with a high IQ, or intelligence quotient. But in the past two decades, focus has shifted from IQ to EQ, or emotional quotient. Employers now seek people who are not only intelligent, but emotionally intelligent. EQ has now become the buzzword, not just in the corporate world, but in every profession: be it teaching, medicine, engineering, law! No matter how good you are at your job, you still need to be emotionally intelligent to be able to excel at what you do!
What is this emotional intelligence?
It refers to our ability to deal with emotions and feelings in others, and ourselves. It is the basis of all human relations, and psychologists today believe that EQ is a better predictor of success than IQ. After all, our feelings and emotions are amongst our most potent resources. It is through our emotions that we connect to others and to ourselves!
Following are some major components of EQ (emotional quotient) .
- Self-Awareness: Knowing your emotions, recognizing feelings as they occur, and being able to discriminate between them
- Mood Management: Handling feelings in a manner that is appropriate to the situation at hand.
- Self-Motivation: Directing yourself and your emotions toward a specific goal, despite self-doubt, inertia, and impulsiveness.
- Empathy: Recognizing feelings in others and tuning into their verbal and nonverbal cues
- Managing Relationships: Handling interpersonal interaction, conflict resolution, and negotiations
It is thus vital to know what our EQ level is. Interestingly, unlike IQ, which cannot be “increased”, we can work on raising our EQ. We can learn to become more aware of our own feelings and emotions. We can learn to control and modulate our emotional reactions.
How Can One Become Emotionally Intelligent?
- The first step is identifying emotions.
- Second is using emotions. This refers to the ability to use emotions to get desired outcomes, resolve difficulties, and achieve goals.
- The third step is understanding emotions. If we understand what causes certain emotions in us, we can use this knowledge to modulate our emotional reactions.
- Finally, we come to managing emotions: in ourselves as well as in others. How you manage emotions in yourself and others can have a profound impact on your job success and satisfaction.
Of course we have to realize that emotional intelligence is not the sole predictor of workplace success. It is one of many important components. It should never be thought of as a replacement or substitute for ability, knowledge or job skills.
Here are some ways in which we can use emotional intelligence at the work place.
- You can use your understanding of emotions to know what motivates people, understand other people’s points of view, and understand and handle team interactions
- You can stay aware of your emotions, which have valuable information, and use them to solve problems.
- You can try to understand your stressors, and effectively resolve them.
- Being empathetic to your team members results in better team morale and a healthier work environment.
- Resolving conflicts becomes easy if you have emotional intelligence.