EQ on the Rise – By Carol Hamilton
Imagine someone asking you to write a technical report without the use of a computer. Sure the task can be accomplished, but there’s little argument that it would be far more difficult.
That scenario is the equivalent to a person being asked to lead others without having the tool of high emotional intelligence (EQ).
What exactly is EQ and why is it such an important asset?
To use the definition offered by Psychology Today, EQ is “the ability to identify and manage your own emotions and the emotions of others.
It is generally said to include three skills:
- Emotional awareness, including the ability to identify your own emotions and those of others
- The ability to harness emotions and apply them to tasks like thinking and problem solving
- The ability to manage emotions, including the ability to regulate your own emotions, and the ability to cheer up or calm down another person.
Those who develop their EQ tend to reap a litany of rewards from above average staff retention rates to increased productivity to higher earnings. Meanwhile, those with low EQ may struggle to work well with colleagues and often run into glass ceilings when seeking to be promoted.
The first challenge facing people with low EQ is recognition. As a coach, I often meet professionals who are confused and frustrated by their inability to move up despite their exceptional resumes. Many have tried to move beyond the stall by adding a degree or certification only to discover that their efforts have done little, if anything to change their situation – and that’s when the frustration becomes intolerable.
Fortunately, once someone identifies a need to raise EQ, there are numerous things one can do. In fact, the book Emotional Intelligence 2.0 lists 66 ways to raise EQ. Here are a few:
- Know who and what pushes your buttons. Recognizing who pushes your buttons and how they do it is critical to developing the ability to take control of these situations.
- Don’t be fooled by a bad mood. A negative mood can create an exaggerated dissatisfaction with your job, your colleagues and your accomplishments. Recognize you’re in a negative state and don’t let it lead you to making mistakes in judgment.
- Seek feedback. Others’ views can be a real eye-opener, showing you how other people experience you. By mustering the courage to look through a peer’s perspective, you can reach a level of self-awareness that few people attain.