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WHAT’S THE BUZZ? EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE

When we think about what it means to be smart, we may think of people who do well in school, get high academic grades or have genius IQ. More and more, though, successful leaders are recognised for something arguably more important than a high intelligence quota. They also have the ability to identify, interpret and manage emotions in themselves and in other people. We call this emotional intelligence.

Why is emotional intelligence important?

Emotional intelligence can help you both at work and in your everyday life. Studies have shown that people with a high emotional intelligence quota (EQ) are more likely to kick professional goals in the workplace*. They also feel generally happier and healthier, with better personal and professional relationships.

How to boost your EQ

Unlike IQ which remains fairly stable throughout life, you can actually train and improve your EQ at any point in your life. Here are a few simple steps to follow on your EQ development journey.

 

Get to know you

Have a think about what sort of person you are, how you react to different scenarios and how others might describe you. Accepting your strengths and weaknesses is the first step to improvement.

Get to know those around you

Make an effort to chat to people you have contact with, even the ones you don’t necessarily get along with. Ask questions, listen to what they say and watch for any clues in their body language. Try seeing things from their perspective and identifying what their emotional needs may be.

Take responsibility

If someone’s doing something you don’t like, have a think about your emotional response. Take the time to pause, reflect and consider their viewpoint. That way you can respond thoughtfully and with responsibility, rather than impulsively. And, if you have upset someone with an emotional reaction, apologising immediately will give you the best chance to fix things up.

Something to remember:

“By teaching people to tune in to their emotions with intelligence and to expand their circles of caring, we can transform organizations from the inside out and make a positive difference in our world”

– Daniel Goleman

*The relation between emotional intelligence and job performance: A meta-analysis (2011)

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