I recently took an online test about Emotional Quotient (EQ) to see where I stood and where I can make improvements. EQ, also known as Emotional Intelligence (EI) or Emotional Intelligence Quotient (EIQ), is defined as one’s ability to recognize, understand, manage, and reason with your own emotions and those of others. I like to think that EQ gets you through life, whereas IQ gets you through school. Unlike Intelligence Quotient (IQ), which science is still unclear about whether or not you can actually improve it, there are several ways to increase your EQ.
So, why would someone want to improve their EQ? Researchers have determined that the higher your EQ is, the more successful you’ll be in life and the workplace. Here are some skills to practice to strengthen your EQ:
Self-Awareness – practice recognizing your moods, emotions, and feelings and how they influence others around you as well as how you react to others. Learning how to appropriately cope, manage, and express your emotions can have lasting impacts on your mental and physical well-being. Having an optimistic mindset at work and seeing the “glass as half-full” can help to inspire and motivate your coworkers. It’s also important to think about your body language – is it positive or negative? Smiling, uncrossing your arms, and maintaining eye contact are just a few forms of positive body language that high EQ people use to attract others and communicate effectively.
Empathy – we interact with a multitude of people on a daily basis. When you can understand how a person feels and why they are feeling that way, it will help you to respond accordingly. This is especially important to focus on when non-verbal cues could be missed because facial expressions are hidden behind masks or more conversations are held over the phone rather than in-person. In the workplace, if you come across as judgmental, colleagues will avoid collaboration and sharing new ideas with you.
Social Skills – employees with good social skills communicate better, are great team players, and make stronger leaders. Be an active listener and ask thoughtful questions. Don’t get caught up in office gossip and instead have meaningful conversations with authentic interest. Remember people’s names and use them often and most importantly, spell them correctly!
So, start off the year bettering yourself by taking an EQ test and practicing the skills mentioned above in the workplace. I guarantee you – it will help you be more in tune with yourself and others and result in building rapport with your colleagues, improving work performance, and finding success in your career.