It used to be thought that IQ was the main determining factor in workplace success. Some companies still operate under this belief!
But now we have evidence pointing towards emotional intelligence as a must-have for all workers, from the front line to the C-Suite.
Being emotionally intelligent can help you climb the workplace ladder, and enhance your work life. And maybe most importantly, there is strong evidence that emotional intelligence will protect you from a robot Taking your job. Whether you’re an executive, line manager or associate, you’ll benefit by understanding emotional intelligence.
Here’s why emotional intelligence in the workplace is as important as IQ.
Daniel Goleman, who popularized the term, says there are five main components that go into emotional intelligence. These are self-awareness, self-regulation, empathy, motivation, and social skills. People with high emotional intelligence thrive in these five areas.
Self Regulation is the ability to control yourself and your emotions. You can control when you get angry at a situation, and when to show positivity. You look at the reason for failure and work towards improvement rather than flying off the handle.
Unlike IQ there’s no surefire way to test your EQ. Emotional intelligence can be taught and perfected by anyone, whereas IQ is more concrete.
Googling “emotional intelligence test” gives you pages of quizzes to measure your EQ. Some of these may help determine how emotionally intelligent you are, but most aren’t science-backed or surefire.
The most trustable EI tests are made and distributed by qualified psychologists. One of these is the Emotional Quotient Profile, or the EQ Profile test. Managers give these to workers to test their EI, and many choose to take the test themselves for both career and leadership development.
The only real way to test your emotional intelligence though is to pay attention to how you handle yourself and others during stressful and complex times. An even better approach is the 360 multi-rater feedback.
Are you empathetic when you handle situations? Do you strive to motivate, and are you good at vetting others’ emotions? Do people tend to come to you with issues, and do your emotionally-driven solutions lead to good outcomes?
If so, you’re probably high in emotional intelligence.
The first step is assessing your emotional intelligence. Use one of the testing methods in the above section. Assess how you handle situations, and ask for feedback from others on how they perceive your ability to handle situations.
Be aware of every interaction you can. Work on handling situations with empathy and understanding. Don’t be cold and logical — find the balance between IQ and EQ.
Cooperate in meetings and ask questions. When you’re on the phone to someone, try and determine how they’re feeling and play off that. Empathize with them, relate with them, and offer them your honest sympathy and attention every second of the conversation.
If you’re met with criticism don’t fly off the handle. Be patient and take that criticism to heart. The most important way to grow is by turning criticism into improvement.
If there’s an area where you’re criticized, it’s likely that’s the area you should focus on improving.
Looking for job security, career growth, and a good life? It’s not always about intellectual smarts. Most often success comes from emotional intelligence, how you handle yourself in a given situation. Work hard to keep learning, grow your knowledge, and be emotionally intelligent. Individuals with a balance of average or higher IQ and high EQ are rare.
If you’re looking for help to hire and retain top talent, contact us to see how we can help. This is our expertise. We’re always happy to help.