What is EQ and Why Do You Care?

EQ is the acronym for Emotional Intelligence. So not only do you and I have an IQ (Intelligence Quotient), we also have emotional intelligence. Emotional intelligence is not about traditional intelligence. It is about our ability to handle ourselves and others. It is all about our ability to get along with others and build relationships.

The concept of EQ became popularized by Daniel Goleman in 1995. His book (also called Emotional Intelligence), helped us to understand that it is not just technical and analytical abilities that make a successful leader. IQ is not the only predictor of your success, a high IQ is not a guarantee of career success. You do need your technical abilities, your competencies at a specific skill or within a specific subject matter, but to thrive you need your ability to get along with other people. The most successful leaders also have a high degree of emotional intelligence. And here is the great news; EQ (unlike IQ) can be developed.

Emotional intelligence: “the ability to monitor one’s own and others’ feelings and emotions, to discriminate among them and to use this information to guide one’s thinking and action.” – Peter Salovey and John D. Mayer.

“The abilities to recognize and regulate emotions in ourselves and others” – Daniel Goleman and Gary Cherniss.
What makes up EQ? There are five components:

Self-Awareness – A person who is self-aware understands their own moods and emotions and also how those moods and emotions may impact others.

Self-Regulation – Someone who exhibits self-regulation thinks before they act. Remember that person you worked for? The one who used to get red in the face, yell and scream and throw notebooks across the room? They were not exhibiting self-regulation at all.

Motivation – If you love to work and it is not just for money or for status; if you have a strong drive to achieve; then you know about motivation.

Empathy – The empathetic individual is able to understand the emotions of others and also learns to treat them as they wish to be treated.

Social Skill – Do you know someone who is able to meet new people and immediately develop a rapport with them? It is likely that they are very accomplished in the area of social skill.

Remember that EQ can be developed and developing your EQ is a journey. By reading this article and becoming familiar with the concept of EQ, you have just taken the first step.