Byte of Prevention Blog

by Jay Reeves |

6 Ways to Raise your EQ

IQ vs EQ You might think Emotional Intelligence is something you either have or you don’t.

But the latest research suggests it’s something you can develop – even if you weren’t born with it.

The potential EQ payoff is tremendous, especially in professions like the law that depend so heavily on social interaction.

Studies show that EQ is the strongest predictor of success on the job. Ninety percent of top performers are high in EQ, while only 20 percent of bottom performers have high EQ. This means emotionally gifted workers tend to rise to the top, and they get paid more as well.

The good news: your EQ can be improved through practice and awareness.

“Emotional intelligence taps into a fundamental element of human behavior that is distinct from your intellect,” says Dr. Travis Bradberry, a Fortune 500 trainer and author of Emotional Intelligence 2.0. “There is no known connection between IQ and emotional intelligence. You simply can’t predict emotional intelligence based on how smart someone is. Intelligence is your ability to learn, and it’s the same at age 15 as it is at age 50. Emotional intelligence, on the other hand, is a flexible set of skills that can be acquired and improved with practice. Although some people are naturally more emotionally intelligent than others, you can develop high emotional intelligence even if you aren’t born with it.”

Four Components of EQ

When Emotional Intelligence (EQ) first surfaced, it was considered something of a missing link. Psychologists and brain researchers said it helped to explain why people with average IQs tend to consistently outperform those with much higher IQs. The reason is that when it comes to everyday job performance, EQ trumps IQ.

Bradberry says EQ is all about being aware of your own emotions and those of the people around, and then managing your behavior in order to respond effectively and improve the quality of your relationships. To some, this comes naturally. Others have to work at it.

Bradberry breaks EQ down into four components (see a graph of it here):

  • Personal Awareness. This is your ability to accurately perceive your emotions and remain aware of them as they happen.
  • Personal Management. This is your ability to use awareness of your emotions to stay flexible and positively direct your behavior.
  • Social Awareness. This is your ability to accurately pick up on the moods, emotions and motives of other people and to understand what is really going on.
  • Relationship Management. This is your ability to use awareness of your emotions and the emotions of others in order to respond effectively and improve relationships.

The two “awareness” components relate to what you see. The two “management” components relate to what you do.

How to Boost Your EQ

Like anything else, the best way to improve your EQ is to practice, practice, practice. Here are six tips:

  1. Stop during the day to sit quietly and check in with your internal thoughts and feelings. This will promote awareness of yourself.
  2. When communicating with someone, try to listen as much as you talk. This will promote awareness of others.
  3. Respond, don’t react. A reaction is triggered by outside stimuli. It can be harmful and self-defeating. A response is generated internally. It can be calm and measured.
  4. Put yourself in the other person’s shoes. Empathy is a valuable EQ asset.
  5. Request guidance. Ask someone you trust and respect for feedback on how you handled a difficult situation. Ask for suggestions on what you might have done differently.
  6. Don’t take things personally. It’s not always about you.

Source: LinkedIn Pulse

About the Author

Jay Reeves

Jay Reeves practiced law in North Carolina and South Carolina. He was Legal Editor at Lawyers Weekly and Risk Manager at Lawyers Mutual. He is the author of The Most Powerful Attorney in the World, a collection of short stories from a law life well-lived, which as the seasons pass becomes less about law and liability and more about loss, love, longing, laughter and life's lasting luminescence.

Read More by Jay >

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