Emotional Intelligence, the essential attribute to be a star performer at workplace!
Did you know that employees with an average IQ have a higher EQ compared to employees with high IQ scores? In truth, at the back of our minds, we have seen this trend before. We have had friends from school, college or university who were the top scorers; however they don’t seem to fare as well at the workplace. If you remember your friends who are charismatic, friendly and nice with average grades are some of those who are now doing very well in their career, and even have their own successful businesses. This shows that having a high IQ doesn’t mean you have a high EQ and vice versa.
Now before going further, you may be asking, what is the difference between EI and EQ? EI or Emotional Intelligence is the ability to understand, assess and manage the emotion of one self. Whereas EQ or Emotional Quotient is the way we measure Emotional Intelligence.
To illustrate further, we can take an example of two co-workers are arguing about work. One had a lower EQ (person A) and the other had a higher EQ (person B). When returning home at the end of the day, Person A with the lower EQ (less emotionally intelligent) would lash out onto his wife, creating an unpleasant atmosphere at home. He reacted based on his anger without managing his feeling in an emotionally intelligent way. On the other hand, person B with the higher EQ (more emotionally intelligent), reached home seeing that his children were making lots of noises while playing, did not reacted harshly because he was aware of his emotions, processed those feelings and behaved in an emotionally intelligent way.
Strong emotions have the power to override objectiveness and rational thinking. If one is not able to control their own emotions or understand others emotions, then they are not able to work well with others or get others to buy into their ideas in the organisation. At the workplace having high EQ will enable a person to be able to deal with others better, improved communication skills, proactive approach, leadership skills and many more.
There was a study carried out by TalentSmart.com concluded that emotional intelligence is the strongest predictor of performance, explaining a full 58% of success in all types of jobs. The findings are as follow:
- 90% of top performers are high in emotional intelligence.
- On the contrary, only 20% of bottom performers are high in emotional intelligence. One can be a top performer without emotional intelligence, but the success rate is very slim.
A question that usually people will ask about EI, is it a person is born with high EQ or is it a learnable skill? Unlike IQ, EI is learnable skill if only the individual is willing to work hard enough to change some personal characteristics. First and foremost, in order to have a higher EQ, the individual has to look at themselves first: self-reflection or self-awareness. If they are not aware of their feelings or emotions, there is no way that one can be able to be emotionally intelligent if you can even understand your own emotions.
So how do you learn EI and increase your EQ? Below will be a brief explanation on the four main components of EI, and what it takes to achieve a higher EQ:
- Self-Awareness: the most important of them all, the ability of understanding your own emotions and be in the know as they are taking place.
- Self-Control: being self-aware of your feelings is not enough; one will need to be able to control their emotions. Self-control is the ability of how you react after being aware of your emotions, which can then only lead on to relationship management with others.
- Social Awareness: basically it’s your ability to pick up and be aware of what is actually happening in your surrounding/environment, or what you would term as people reading skills or being “sensitive” to the surroundings. Once you are self-aware and then have more interactions with others, then you will be able to develop this skill.
- Relationship Management: the ability to use the awareness of yourself and the others to have clear communication, build better rapport, and able to handle conflict effectively. Once you are self-aware, able to control yourself, and have social awareness then you are able to build the relationship management ability.
One’s emotional intelligence level is the base platform in connection to many others critical skills which are learnable in the workplace. EI plays an integral part in whatever you say or do every day. Many employers may think that EI is not that important but it is the fundamentals of any skilled organization. Do not make the mistake of not taking EI into the workforce attributes.
Quote from Daniel Goleman “If your emotional abilities aren't in hand, if you don't have self-awareness, if you are not able to manage your distressing emotions, if you can't have empathy and have effective relationships, then no matter how smart you are, you are not going to get very far.”