Emotional intelligence (EQ) is the intangible ability which can fast track our performance, success, and impact. It is that leadership trait that sets us apart and makes us interesting and trustworthy. EQ affects how we interact with others, address social challenges, problem solve, and prioritize listening and empowering others. To simplify EQ, think of it as the combination of your self-awareness plus your social awareness. The first one focuses on how you manage your emotions and your ego, and the second one how you understand others to build quality interactions and problem solve. Another way to think of EQ is the following one: IQ+Charisma+Personality.
TalentSmart tested emotional intelligence together with other key professional skills and found that EQ is the strongest predictor of high performance. According to other recent studies, people with high emotional intelligence make about $30,000 more per year as compared to people with lower levels of EQ. The same studies found that 90 percent of top performers are also high in EQ.
EQ is often neglected in early education, and gets replaced with more technical, scientific, and other job promising training. This is often done because the formal education system believes that hard skills like science, and math represent better chances of future employability. By focusing on the hard skills training, our education systems train our kids out of their EQ based creativity capacity. Thankfully, EQ is now credited to be indispensable to be successful and impactful in life and in business. This is also why top Silicon Valley firms are increasingly hiring candidates with literature and a philosophy training as these tend to have deeper understanding of emotions, and consumer decision making.
EQ is a strength that can help people in many ways. While EQ makes us more successful in business, it boosts mental health and longevity as it helps us integrate in our communities and work environment. EQ enhances our ability to help others and in so doing finding a personal sense of purpose. A recent longevity study from Harvard University, found that longevity was higher in those communities around the world where people interacted more dynamically where a communal sense of purpose existed. These were communities with high social interactions, empathy, and inclusion. These are all byproducts of EQ leadership.
So, what now?
EQ is the secret sauce of leadership and it’s the easiest path to success. The path to higher EQ is a journey where you are placing high value in the people you interact with. EQ helps you to listen, connect and empower others for the sake of their success. If you focus on building up your EQ skills you will reap many benefits, including lower stress, team longevity and increased wealth.
Getting a higher EQ takes time as you shift your focus from yourself to others. For some people the transition to a higher EQ does not happen naturally as it involves significant unlearning and self-reprogramming. This requires practicing empathy and placing high value in your daily interactions. If you find it difficult to grow your EQ, hire a good coach who can accelerate your self-exploration to better perform emotionally and thus help your business grow. As you gain new awareness, you will notice a change in the way you interact with people, and problem solve empowering others and delegating decision making. Make sure to integrate the behavioral change you experience into daily decision making and personal interactions. Then watch your income and happiness grow.
To become more EQ effective, you must deal with your ego first. Shift your focus to others and take steps every day to help make people around you successful and impactful. Support them reaching their goals and accomplishing their dreams. By paying attention to other people’s needs, and goals, you will generate trust and commitment resulting in higher performance and happiness level from people around you.
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