Being smart in academia is not enough to become successful. High IQ must be accompanied by high EQ. Unfortunately, EQ is not listed on any of the classes at school. In some situations, EQ is even more important than IQ on the road to success, so what is it exactly and how can we improve it?
What Is Emotional Intelligence? 5 Components & 4 Dimensions.
Emotional Intelligence (Emotional Quotient, or EQ) is the ability to recognize emotions of oneself and others as well as manage and identify them accurately and to use that knowledge in guiding one’s mental processes and behaviour. Feeling of empathy, deep conversations, conflict resolution are only possible due to an awakened emotional intelligence.
According to Daniel Goleman, psychologist and author of a bestselling book Emotional Intelligence, EQ consists of five components:
• Self-Awareness – being able to identify one’s own emotions. This is the foundation of EQ because to regulate one’s own emotions and be empathetic to others, one needs to recognize their own emotions first.
• Self-Regulation – being able to show and manage one’s own emotions. That includes expressing emotions appropriately and regulating them.
• Motivation – having the will to work towards the goals due to one’s personal reasons. Those high in EQ are motivated intrinsically – they have their own internal reasons for doing things rather than simply working to become wealthy or successful.
• Empathy – being able to see how others are feeling and understand how one would feel in their shoes. Looking at things from another person’s perspective and being able to feel what they are feeling is an integral part of Emotional Intelligence.
• Social Skills – being able to successfully communicate with others. People high in EQ achieve their aims more effectively and reach their desired outcomes when interacting with others.
Salovey and Mayer, psychologists who were first to introduce ‘Emotional Intelligence’ to the world, developed the following four dimensions of EQ:
• Perceiving emotion – being able to recognize emotions and physical and psychological states of others, appropriately express one’s own emotions and differentiate between honest and dishonest feelings.
• Using emotions to facilitate thought – being able to produce emotions for better judgement, prioritize thinking based on feelings, use changes in one’s mood to view things from different perspectives.
• Understanding emotions – being able to see the connection between different emotions as well as emotions’ causes and consequences.
• Managing emotions – being reflective about one’s emotions, being able to accept both positive and negative feelings, detach from an emotion and manage one’s own emotions and those of others.
Find Out Your Level of EQ.
Answer the questions below to see where you are on the scale of Emotional Intelligence.
For each of the questions, choose a letter from ‘a’ to ‘f’ and write it down, where
‘a’ - Totally disagree
‘b’ - Mostly disagree
‘c’ - Partially disagree
‘d’ - Partially agree
‘e’ - Mostly agree
‘f’ - Completely agree
1. Both positive and negative emotions teach me how to make decisions in life.
2. Negative emotions help me understand what I need to change in my life.
3. I keep calm when there is external pressure.
4. I can observe the change in my emotions.
5. When it’s necessary, I can be calm and focused to act in accordance with what’s going on.
6. When it’s necessary, I can bring out a wide range of positive emotions such us fun, joy, elevated mood, humour.
7. I keep an eye on how I’m feeling.
8. I can easily cope with my feelings when something disappoints me.
9. I can listen to other people’s problems.
10. I don’t concentrate on negative emotions.
11. I am sensitive to emotional needs of others.
12. I can have a calming influence on others.
13. I can make myself rise up to the challenge over and over again.
14. I try to have a creative approach to life challenges.
15. I react appropriately to moods, intentions and desires of others.
16. I can easily become calm, ready and focused.
17. When the time allows, I turn to my negative feelings and figure out what the problem is.
18. I can calm down quickly after a sudden disappointment.
19. Knowledge of my true feelings is important for maintaining a ‘good shape’.
20. I understand emotions of other people well even if they are not expressed openly.
21. I can detect an emotion based on face expression.
22. I can easily chase all negative feelings when I have to take action.
23. I easily spot signs in communication that show what others need.
24. People think I understand other people’s feelings well.
25. Those who are aware of their true feelings control their life better.
26. I can lift somebody’s mood.
27. I can give advice on people’s relationships.
28. Other people’s emotions resonate with me.
29. I help others use their intentions to reach personal goals.
30. I can easily disconnect from worrying about problems.
Now, total you score by adding all your answers, where:
‘a’ is -3
‘b’ is -2
‘c’ is -1
‘d’ is +1
‘e’ is +2
‘f’ is +3
Based on your calculation, your level of EQ can be the following:
70 points and above – high level
40-69 points – average level
39 points and below – low level
How To Boost Your EQ – 6 Tactics You Could Use
• One of the most effective practices is Mindfulness Meditation as it enhances self-awareness and self-regulation. You can learn more about this technique here.
• Becoming an observer can improve your EQ by teaching you empathy. Try to pay attention to emotional states of others and how you respond to them, make a serious effort to put yourself in someone’s shoes.
• Practice reflective thinking by evaluating your emotional strengths and weaknesses and creating an honest picture of yourself. Notice your emotions and psychological states and try to identify where they come from and what they lead to. Label your emotions by giving them names, don’t be vague. Start a journal if you feel it’s hard to keep track of all your emotions.
• When you find yourself in a stressful situation, remember to stop for a moment and notice your reaction. Ask yourself ‘How do my emotions right now affect my thoughts and decisions?’ Work with your emotions to stay calm and under control.
• Do not fight away negative emotions. Remember that there are no ‘bad’ feelings, we are allowed to be sad or angry and it’s completely normal. Do not suppress them but think of where they came from and write them down in your journal.
• For a deeper change, you can visit workshops or courses that teach EQ and even become certified.
If you want to expand your knowledge on Emotional Intelligence even more, you can find great books on EQ here.
It doesn’t really matter what score you got on our Emotional Intelligence test today. The important takeaway is that EQ can be learned. If you are just starting your journey as an emotionally intelligent individual and seek improvement and even if you already feel quite confident within the sea of internal and external emotions, continue working on your EQ and you will be astonished by the great changes at all levels of your life.