Why Emotional Intelligence Is More Important Than IQ

Why Emotional Intelligence Is More Important Than IQ

Learn why your EQ matters

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Growing up, we believed that doing well in school was the key to success. Good SAT scores and a high GPA will get you into a good college, which will lead to a good job and a successful future, right? Not necessarily.

While being book smart may open doors, it doesn’t ensure long-term success or happiness. Studies show that your intelligence quotient, or IQ, only accounts for 20% of your success in life.

So, what’s the difference between IQ and emotional intelligence?

IQ is measured by your quantitative reasoning skills, working memory, short-term memory, and visual and spatial processing.

Emotional intelligence, or EQ, measures your ability to identify, manage, and express emotions. It is based on how you evaluate your own emotions and the emotions of others.

Wondering if you have a high EQ? Daniel Goleman, the pioneer of emotional intelligence research came up with these five main components.

  1. Self-awareness
  2. Self-regulation
  3. Motivation
  4. Empathy
  5. Social skills

Why Your EQ Matters

High emotional intelligence leads to a happier, more fulfilling life overall.

In his book Emotional Intelligence, Daniel Goleman, writes “people with well-developed emotional skills are more likely to be content and effective in their lives, mastering the habits of the mind that foster their own productivity; whereas people who cannot marshal some control over their emotional life will fight inner battles that sabotage their ability for focused work and clear thought.”

As a result, people with high emotional intelligence:

1. Build stronger personal relationships

Whether it’s a family member, friend, coworker or significant other, communication is the cornerstone of any successful relationship. Deep down we all want to be heard and understood, and having high emotional intelligence enables you to not only listen, but to appreciate, care about and respect what others have to say.

2. Find more success at work

Picture you are interviewing two candidates for a job interview. One graduated with a 4.0 GPA from a prestigious college, but didn’t make a good impression in person. The other is slightly less book smart, but is a hard worker, enthusiastic and will get along well with your team. Who are you going to hire? Most employers will choose the second candidate because they can envision working with them.

3. Effectively handle life’s challenges

Dwelling on negative feelings for a long period of time will only amplify them. Emotional intelligence involves the ability to look within, while remaining present in the world around you.

While some of us naturally have a high emotional intelligence, many have to develop it. The good news is, unlike IQ, emotional intelligence can be learned and improved with practice.

4 Ways To Develop Your Emotional Intelligence

1. Reflect on your emotions and write them down

Observe yourself without judgment. What are the feelings that you have every day? Just allow whatever needs to be revealed come into your awareness. Make a list. Writing is a great way to express your emotions in more depth. By learning how to observe your thoughts rather than getting sucked in, you will feel less overwhelmed and more in control.

2. Take negative feedback and transform it into something positive

Nobody likes to be criticized, but being able to handle criticism in a mature way is a sign of emotional intelligence. It requires a deep sense of self-awareness to react without being defensive, upset or anxious. When you are in touch with your emotions, you can simply take the information, process it and move forward in a positive, productive direction.

If something offends you, stop and ask yourself why you’re offended. Make a conscious effort to stop assuming you know what people mean. Don’t get defensive about something you’ve internalized. Chances are, people don’t want to hurt you to begin with, but they might not know how to communicate effectively either. Things get lost in translation. If you’re not clear on the meaning of a specific comment, all you have to do is ask.

3. Put yourself in someone else’s shoes

Empathy is the foundation on which every authentic relationship is built, and the key to a deep and meaningful connection. When we are going through a challenging time in our lives, having the support of someone who can feel or identify with your pain helps tremendously with the healing process.

4. Just listen.

We all know that being a good listener is an important skill to have, but how many of us actually practice it? Instead of processing what the other person is saying, we’re often in our own heads, planning what to say next. Try to shut down your internal voice, and hear what the other person is saying. Pretend you will need to repeat it back to them – or actually do it; this is known as active listening. This lets the other person you’ve heard and understand them.

“Our emotions need to be as educated as our intellect. It is important to know how to feel, how to respond, and how to let life in so that it can touch you.” – Jim Rohn

This article was first posted on Rewire Me.

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