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Why EQ is the new IQ

If you’ve been a tad concerned over the years that you’re not smart enough, then don’t panic. In a world that’s yearning for real connection, it’s emotional intelligence that we’re looking for. Having ‘the smarts’ is so yesterday.

Emotional intelligence, otherwise known as EQ, is essentially the way you perceive, understand, manage and express emotions. It’s not only about the way you deal with your own emotions, but also in the way you interact with other people, and their emotions. As you can imagine, having high emotional intelligence is desirable in people in any sort of social context.

Those who’ve been in romantic relationships know the difference between being with someone who is emotional intelligent, and with someone who may have lacked it. Those with a high EQ are usually more authentic, likeable and easier to connect with. They are more tuned in to not only themselves, but also other people.

They just get it.

But it’s not just romantic or social relationships that require people to have a reasonably high EQ to be successful. It’s also advantageous in the workplace. Workplaces, after all, contain social beings, and run better when people are free to be themselves. High EQ in the people there facilitates connection.

So it’s understandable that organizations are on the look out for these qualities in their leaders and employers on the look out for high EQ in the people they hire. Nowadays, people with high EQ are more likely to get hired, promoted and earn better salaries.

Employers often prefer a higher emotional intelligence than they do a high academic intelligence. It literally pays to become more aware of your emotions, because when you do, you can be aware of the emotions in others. The flow on from that is that workplace stress is reduced, team conflict is lessened and job satisfaction improves.

So what does a person with high emotional intelligence have that makes them so appealing?

First and foremost, they have excellent self-awareness. They think about their feelings, they are aware of what they’re feeling and why they are feeling it. They know about their own mood and how it can affect not only their own behaviors but also the people around them. They are also aware of the feelings of people around them, seemingly intuitive in how they interact with people.

When emotions arise, whether they are positive or negative, people with high EQ can self manage them. They can relish in their positive emotions and feel passionate about what they love in life, but also can sit in the uncomfortableness of those emotions that are more difficult to feel. They don’t run away from them, but rather hold space for them.

Those with EQ are authentic; they know themselves well and can own their own strengths and weaknesses. They’re social skills are on point and of course, they have high empathy, with an innate ability to see the world from other peoples eyes.

For those who are concerned about their own level of EQ, it’s a very worthwhile intelligence to work on. Like reading books every night to raise your academic intelligence, you can also raise your EQ by working on it daily.

Firstly, take the time to get to know yourself. Get familiar with who you are as a person, and learn to understand and love all of your qualities. This means your strengths and those things you don’t usually don’t talk to people about.

Learn to regulate your own emotions. Work out what you are feeling and what could be causing it. Examine how you react in certain situations, and work out what you can do better next time.

Listen to what your body is whispering to you. Often it is already making you react in a particular way in certain situations. Your tense shoulders could be telling you that someone is triggering something, the knot in your stomach might be telling you that you’re overwhelmed and the headache could be saying slow down.

Your emotions have a mind of their own and they tell you to do things before you are even aware of it. Think about them before you act.

That’s what being smart is nowadays.

So next time you go to work, don’t just use your head, also use your heart.

You need both, and so do the people around you.

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