Let us first understand – What is Emotional Intelligence (EQ)?
Imagine if you couldn’t understand when your co-worker was angry or when your friend was sad. This ability is referred as Emotional Intelligence. In the simplest terms, emotional intelligence (EQ) is the ability to perceive, control and evaluate emotions. There are several schools of thought regarding the origin of EQ. While some give EQ importance over IQ and suggest emotional intelligence can be learned and strengthened, others claim it is an inborn characteristic.
Peter Salovey and John D. Mayer have been the leading researchers on emotional intelligence since 1990. In their influential article “Emotional Intelligence,” they defined emotional intelligence as the subset of social intelligence. Later Daniel Goleman’s book on Emotional Intelligence described that to be successful EQ is more important than traditional IQ measures.
Emotional intelligence impacts many different aspects of your daily life, such as the way you behave and interact with your colleagues, customers, seniors and family. EQ matters more than our Intellectual ability (IQ) to effectively deal with these stakeholders as it helps in building stronger relationships, achieving career goals and success at work.
For better understanding we can say that there are two important aspects of EQ
– Your ability to identify, control and express your emotions
– Your ability to understand, interpret and respond to the emotions of others
So now we probably know why people who are academically brilliant could yet be unsuccessful at work or socially inept or fail at building good relationships. Even employers have now realised that skills like math, verbal, and logical reasoning are not enough to predict the ability of the employees.
While cognitive skills (IQ) can get you in the company, it is your emotional skills that help you thrive in the job.
So how we can improve our emotional intelligence?
Learn to recognise your emotions, understand their origin and segregate them into strengths and weaknesses. This will be the first step towards understanding your emotions. Your body language, facial expressions and other nonverbal signals gives important queues to understanding emotions. Self-awareness is the foundation of emotional intelligence.
Here you need to balance your emotions. For example, if in some situations you get angry, then make a conscious effort to control your anger or if there are situations where you need to be more assertive then pull yourself to make your point. An important part in controlling your emotions is being able to recognise stress triggers and bring yourself back to a calm and relaxed state.
It is about understanding others’ emotions and adapting as well as responding accordingly. For example, if your boss is acting angry, it might be because he is dissatisfied with your work; or it could be because he had a fight with his wife. In both these cases your response would be different. Being aware about your surroundings and the reactions of people is critical to providing a rational response to the situation.
Effective relationship management can largely define your success at work. So you need to give importance to building relationships, maintain existing relationships and managing conflicts effectively. Be open and agreeable to other’s suggestions, respect difference of opinion, accept your mistakes and show empathy to others. Successful relationship management is the key to building strong emotional intelligence.
To reflect the same on your profile is an even more challenging job, because it is always hard to express abstract qualities and hence qualitative information in minimal words. To do the same, once you’ve mastered the above 4 tips, you must get on to the task of doing a SWOT analysis on yourself, note down your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities & threats and then include strengths and opportunities in your profile! This way, you’d find yourself in a better position to have your EQ become complementary to your overall candidature and get you a step closer to your dream job!