Are You Emotionally Intelligent?

Let’s talk EQ.

By now, most people have heard the term Emotional Intelligence or EQ. Emotional intelligence is the capacity to be aware of, control, and express one’s emotions, and to handle interpersonal relationships judiciously and empathetically. Emotional intelligence truly is the key to both professional and personal success!

Self awareness is precisely where emotional intelligence begins. Emotional intelligence is how I built my career. As difficult as it can be, recognizing my own emotions, as well as others, and how they affect specific situations and environments has been one of my greatest (and only) strengths.
While I consider myself to have an average to (maybe) slightly above average IQ, I am certainly no Einstein. I don’t have a Bachelor’s degree, no special skills and not much creativity. I never knew what I wanted to be “when I grew up.” Hell, I still don’t know to this day. What I do have is indomitable drive and more importantly, emotional intelligence. Those two traits have helped me overcome some major life obstacles, both personally and professionally.
My journey is a constant work in progress but despite lacking the education and skills that many “successful” people have, I’ve managed to build a decent career for myself at a relatively young age, with nothing more than the power within me. (and some great role models!) The good news is that you can do the same! Unlike IQ, which is an inherent trait, emotional intelligence can be acquired. You must be willing to do some soul searching. You must be able to consistently administer doses of humility to yourself (humble pie!). If you are willing and able to do those things, rest assured, the end results will astound you.
I personally believe that EQ trumps IQ in almost all settings. As an employer, I’ve noticed that those with emotional intelligence make the best, most productive team members. On a personal level, emotional intelligence has provided me the ability to build some powerful and fulfilling connections with people who have helped me grow in enormous ways.
Emotional intelligence is generating a lot of buzz these days and rightfully so. I thought I would share with you what components make up emotional intelligence in my world.
  • Empathy. Empathy is the driving force behind successful businesses and performers. When you display empathy to others, a level of trust is built. Emotionally intelligent people are trusted and well liked. People are WAY more likely to do business and/or engage with someone they trust and like. Most people are willing to pay a premium to interact with someone they trust. Myself included.
  • Authenticity. Be true to who you are. Recognize where you excel. Build your life around your greatest strengths.
  • EGO. Throw your ego out the window. If there is only one thing you take from this post, let it be this. Ego is a killer. It can destroy personal relationships and careers. It will absolutely stunt your growth. The sooner you learn to swallow your pride, the faster you will grow. We are all imperfect. We all have a ton of room for improvement. Embrace that. In fact, be excited for it. Growth is exciting! It’s all about perspective.
  • Open Mindedness. Feedback and suggestions from an outside perspective are essential for growth. When looking at ourselves, we tend to be myopic, focusing only on what’s directly in front of us. Outsiders tend to see an unbiased, broader picture. Let the people around you lead you away from the tree so you can actually see the forest. You’ll be amazed at everything you’ve overlooked.
  • Listening. This is crucial. There is so much to be learned by listening and asking the right questions. So often, we don’t actually listen. We’re too busy thinking about what we want to respond with instead of focusing on what’s being said. It’s best to listen to others’ opinions before sharing yours. The less you speak, the more you are listened to.
  • Restraint. The old adage of “Think before you speak” is so relevant to EQ. It takes time to process things, and it’s best to refrain from reacting until you have a clear understanding of what’s happening. Before you say something you can’t take back, sleep on it. Most times, you’ll be grateful you waited. We should be careful with our demeanor as those around us tend to absorb whatever energy we’re putting out. Having a positive attitude is everything. It’s hard as hell at times, but put on your game face every day. (Fake it til you make it!) It will pay off.
  • Altruism. Do what’s best for the greater good. Take care of others and it will come back to you tenfold. A cohesive environment is a productive environment. Selfishness will destroy efficiency and harmony.
  • Mindfulness. There is SO much value in awareness. Know exactly what you’re projecting, how you’re coming across and how others might be feeling (regardless of how you think they should feel). Don’t be clueless (yes, that is a choice) and get your head out of the sand!
  • Kindness. Soften your approach. You catch way more flies with honey than you do with vinegar.
  • Humility. Understand how small you really are in the grand scheme of things. Never stop learning.
  • Adaptability. Be flexible. The human psyche is far from cookie cutter. Cater to the specific needs of the individual you’re communicating with. By paying attention, listening and asking the right questions, you can handle any adverse situation appropriately. Being a step ahead is always beneficial and will make conflict resolution much easier.
  • Accountabilty. We all mess up. There is no better solution to a mistake than an action plan to fix it. Making excuses is one of the worst things you can do. Own it, fix it and move on.
Emotional intelligence is gaining a ton of momentum in the professional arena and is something almost everyone is capable of. Many companies seek out emotionally intelligent people as they typically make exceptional leaders and employees. You can set yourself apart from most by demonstrating emotional intelligence. It can give you a huge leg up when you are seeking a new position, promotion or raise.

Tap into your emotions and the emotions of those around you and you can totally elevate your career and/or relationships.

Would you consider yourself emotionally intelligent?

10 thoughts on “Are You Emotionally Intelligent?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s