Education is one of the important things that parents strive to be able to provide for their children. In school, children are rewarded with praise and awards when they get high grades in their subjects and they are envied for their intelligence. Even as adults, intelligence is highly valued in job applications.
In fact, most job application exams have some form of an IQ (intelligence quotient) test. Because of the predominant value of having a high IQ, we often forget another important component to our success in life; our EQ (emotional quotient) or emotional intelligence.
IQ is recognised as an important component of success especially in terms of academic achievement. Since the classroom and society as a whole puts a high premium on children with high IQ or intelligence, these children usually continue to do well in school, get higher pay in their jobs, are able to live healthier lifestyles and remain respected by their peers throughout their lives.
But this is only half the story. Since intelligence is praised and rewarded even since they’re young; these intelligent children also develop their self-esteem and confidence much more quickly, which in turn affects their motivation to do well both in school and outside it.
Note that self-esteem and confidence are signs of a developed EQ. In short, the value placed on their IQ has helped them to develop their EQ because of the favorable responses that they got from the people around them.
However, while your IQ can open doors to a lot of opportunities in your career, your EQ is a major factor in how you will succeed or fail in your career, and in life in general.
What is EQ?
EQ or emotional quotient or emotional intelligence refers to an individual’s ability to feel or perceive emotions, as well as to evaluate, control and express emotions. There are some people with high IQ who have awkward social skills which deprive them of the opportunity for leadership positions. Thus, EQ is an important component of success but our education focuses more on IQ and less on developing emotional and social skills.
Testing IQ and EQ
We are all familiar with the IQ test where we have to figure out the next number or image in a sequence as well as some standard mathematical and reasoning problems to solve. This is one of the exams we usually take when applying for our first job. Based on the results of this standardized test, you get a number that measures your IQ.
On the other hand, there are no standardized tests to measure EQ. Few schools, if any include emotional and social skills as part of their curriculum for children. This has lead to highly intelligent but socially awkward teens and even adults.
Five Categories of EQ
A person’s EQ is manifested in these five aspects which affect their personality and how they relate to others.
People who are aware of their own emotions are more successful at controlling them. This means that they can also choose which emotions to tune in to so that they feel better and become better at what they do. This also informs how they compare and view other people’s emotions.
Being aware of your emotions allows you to control yourself so that you do not become stuck in a volatile and stressful situation. For example, in the workplace, you do not become aggressively competitive with your colleagues but you are able to develop a sense of healthy competition. In your personal relationships, you are able to soothe your anger so you can talk about issues instead of getting mad and resorting to physical attacks to vent your emotion.
Being able to boost your own confidence and contributing to boosting the morale of your team is a great skill in any career. Motivated individuals are more likely to succeed in any endeavor as they are always seeking out ways to improve themselves, their service and their organization.
Consider the Marshmallow Test. Your self motivation to pursue a more satisfactory result to your goals will help you to stay on track with your plans and delay gratification for small things that may distract you along the way. Being able to delay gratification is a good indicator of future success.
Empathy is when you are aware of how people feel and how your actions affect them emotionally. This allows you to understand other people’s feelings and in a team setup, this provides you with different ways to approach a hot topic with as minimal emotional stress as possible.
With empathy, you are able to help other people soothe their fears, calm their nervousness and rechannel their anger, among other things.
An important factor in life is having good social skills which also includes how well you communicate with others. How you communicate can make a situation better or worse so developing good communication skills is important in all aspects of life.
Developing your EQ is a large part of the 6 dimensions of wellness that will help you become a well-rounded and healthy person. An emotionally-balanced individual is better equipped to react and act on whatever obstacles and situations life throws at them.
Your IQ can be a source of pride but your EQ is what will help you sail through life with your pride and your values intact or transformed for the better.
EQ and Success
Being emotionally aware can have a great impact on your success in all aspects of your life. It informs the decisions you make in choosing a career over another; in choosing what to do about your financial situation and how to change it, even in choosing which people to keep as friends and which ones to stay away from.
It is helpful to you in sorting out your emotional stress. When you are new to a group, it guides you on what to do to relate to the group dynamics instead of alienating yourself. Your EQ enables you to successfully diffuse an otherwise heated argument at home or in the office. It will guide you in the best way to convince your crying niece that she should wait for the cake at the next store instead of buying candy at the first store.
Together with your IQ, your EQ serves as your internal guidance system in making the right decisions for every situation. Rather than being on auto-pilot, use your EQ to help you make good decisions and go thru the necessary changes that will improve your life.
How to Develop EQ
If you feel you are lacking in certain aspects of your emotional skills, here is what you can do to improve. Start by being observant of your emotions. Ask yourself where they are coming from; from fears or from positive intentions?
Observe how your words and actions affect other people. By being aware of how your emotions impact you and the people around you, you can have a better understanding of how to control them, how to motivate yourself and how you can better relate to others.