Emotional Intelligence: Why is EQ Very Important?
Being emotionally intelligent is important in many aspects of your life, from making friends to succeeding at work. However, emotional intelligence has long been thought of as something that you either have or don't and isn't necessarily influenced by intelligence quotient (IQ). This assumption no longer holds, however; new research suggests that the IQ you do have can affect your emotional intelligence, even if the way it does so isn't what you might expect.
What is Emotional Intelligence
Emotional intelligence, otherwise known as Emotional Quotient (EQ), is the ability to identify, assess, and control the emotions of oneself, others, and of groups. People who have high emotional intelligence can healthily manage their feelings and understand how to react appropriately in different situations. They tend to be more resilient when dealing with challenges and can remain calm under pressure.
In contrast, people who have low emotional intelligence might struggle with keeping their feelings in check or understanding why they're feeling a certain way. For example, someone with low emotional intelligence may feel embarrassed about forgetting an important work meeting at work and let their anger get the best of them instead of trying to find out what caused them to forget the meeting in the first place.
The Importance of Emotional Intelligence
Emotional intelligence is often overlooked in the workforce because most people focus on intelligence quotient (IQ) to measure success. However, emotional intelligence is just as important, if not more important than IQ. Emotional Intelligence gives people the ability to understand and identify with other people's emotions and intentions, in addition to their own. Without this skill, you'll have a hard time understanding how others feel about you or what they want from you. It also affects your motivation and decision-making skills
Emotional intelligence is important in all areas of life, but it has especially been shown to impact workplace success. Those who rank highly in emotional intelligence are more likely to be successful leaders, hold more job satisfaction, and be motivated. Additionally, people with high emotional intelligence are better at problem-solving and can influence people better than those with a lower emotional intelligence quotient.
The 4 Pillars of Emotional Intelligence
As mentioned above, emotional intelligence is the ability to identify and manage our emotions to achieve our goals. There are 4 different pillars of emotional intelligence: self-awareness, motivation, empathy, and social skills. We each have a unique combination of these pillars.
Self-awareness means being able to understand your thoughts, feelings, and motivations as well as how they affect others. Being self-aware is essential for emotional intelligence. Without it, you cannot take responsibility for your actions or be aware of the impact of those actions on others around you. You also have less empathy and are more likely to make mistakes that could have been avoided with self-awareness.
To become more self-aware, try journaling or writing a list of pros and cons before making any decision; ask yourself what can go wrong if you choose this option instead of that one. Understanding where these emotions come from (cognitive appraisal) is key in understanding why people react the way they do to situations.
Motivation is the force that drives you towards your goals. It can be spurred by both positive and negative events. Managers need to know what motivates their team members so they can make sure everyone is on board with their initiatives. If people are not motivated, it affects their productivity and output.
There are many different types of motivation: intrinsic, extrinsic, and Self-Determination Theory (SDT). Intrinsic motivation comes from within while extrinsic comes from outside factors such as paychecks or rewards. SDT is an advanced theory that views motivation as a more complex process driven by a person's self-concept and mastery of activity or subject.
Empathy refers to understanding another person’s perspective or point of view, as well as taking into account their needs and feelings. People with high levels of empathy are often those who excel at coaching and mentoring.
Studies have found that high empathy individuals have a more positive outlook on life, less depression and anxiety, better self-esteem, and less loneliness. They also tend to be more successful in the workplace because they are more adept at recognizing what people need from them to succeed.
Social skills, on the other hand, refer to how adept one is at managing relationships and building connections. These skills are crucial for success in school and life. Fortunately, social skills can be learned or improved by practicing them regularly with those who have a good understanding of emotional intelligence - like parents or teachers!
The Relationship Between IQ And EQ
It is generally accepted that EQ is a measure of people's ability to manage their emotions and social skills, while IQ is a measure of how well someone can perform on tasks that involve thinking. As you might expect, there is some correlation between IQ and EQ. Many factors play into this relationship between IQ and EQ.
For instance, the more intelligent you are, the better your memory will be. In turn, the better your memory will be, the easier it will be for you to understand things like emotional triggers. In addition, if you have a higher IQ level than someone else in conversation with them and they insult or anger you with something they said or did, it may not affect your emotions as much because of your intelligence level and memories.
However, people with high IQs may not be good at managing their own emotions or understanding the feelings of others because they don't have the experience needed for these things. On the other hand, those with low IQs may not be able to complete tasks that require much thought because they lack the intellect needed for these activities.
3 Ways to Improve Your EQ
EQ is, essentially, the capability to manage your emotions and healthily interact with others. Here are some ways to improve your emotional intelligence:
- Engage in Self-Care: Research has shown that positive self-care activities such as laughter, deep breathing, exercise, spending time outside (especially in green spaces), praying, or meditating can all help increase happiness levels.
- Exercise: A study found that adults who participated in physical activity for 30 minutes three times per week experienced an increase of 10% in their EQ scores over 12 weeks.
- Practice Gratitude: Studies have shown that practicing gratitude can result in a higher mood and greater satisfaction with life. Take a few moments each day to think about what you are grateful for.
The development of emotional intelligence, or the ability to identify and understand your emotions, can be affected by a person's IQ. The higher a person's IQ level, the more they can self-reflect and manage their emotions. So, to develop your emotional intelligence, it may be best to work on improving your cognitive abilities first. With an increased understanding of what you're thinking about and feeling, you'll also have a better idea of how to deal with these emotions in constructive ways.