When we consider the factors that make a person successful, one that ranks high is intelligence. Statistically, intelligent people are more successful. That said, there is more than goes into success than just intellect and stats have proven that as well. Forbes covered this in a piece from 2012, stating: “Research carried out by the Carnegie Institute of Technology shows that 85 percent of your financial success is due to skills in human engineering, your personality and ability to communicate, negotiate, and lead.”
Forbes goes on to explain, “With this in mind, instead of exclusively focusing on your conventional intelligence quotient, you should make an investment in strengthening your EQ (Emotional Intelligence), MQ (Moral Intelligence), and BQ (Body Intelligence). These concepts may be elusive and difficult to measure, but their significance is far greater than IQ.”
While the Forbes article goes into more detail about EQ, MQ and BQ, today I really want to focus just on emotional intelligence. It’s far more important to overall success than most people realize, it’s rarely taught in schools and colleges and it can be learned throughout one’s lifetime, meaning you do not have to be born with the innate ability to have a high EQ.
Dr. Travis Bradberry wrote a very interesting post on LinkedIn about emotional intelligence, how it compares to IQ and personality and why it is important to success. As Bradberry explains:
Personal competence comprises your self-awareness and self-management skills, which focus more on you individually than on your interactions with other people. Personal competence is your ability to stay aware of your emotions and manage your behavior and tendencies.
- Self-Awareness is your ability to accurately perceive your emotions and stay aware of them as they happen.
- Self-Management is your ability to use awareness of your emotions to stay flexible and positively direct your behavior.
Social competence is made up of your social awareness and relationship management skills; social competence is your ability to understand other people’s moods, behavior, and motives in order to respond effectively and improve the quality of your relationships.
- Social Awareness is your ability to accurately pick up on emotions in other people and understand what is really going on.
- Relationship Management is your ability to use awareness of your emotions and the other’s emotions to manage interactions successfully.
So as you can see from this, emotional intelligence is different from IQ and unlike how IQ never changes as you grow older, emotional intelligence can be improved with practice and dedication. You can learn emotional intelligence, even if you were not born with it. You can practice specific skills each day to help you improve your EQ.
Your emotional intelligence impacts:
- Decision making
- Stress tolerance
- Anger management
- Presentation skills
- Change tolerance
- Customer service
- Social skills
- Team work
- And more!
People who have a high degree of emotional intelligence earn more in their jobs. They are better balanced and overall, happier. Dr. Bradberry says, “The link between emotional intelligence and earnings is so direct that every point increase in emotional intelligence adds $1,300 to an annual salary.”
Wow! So what can you do to increase your EQ? First, it’s important to understand that emotional intelligence is the balance between your rational brain and your emotional brain. Plasticity is your brain’s ability to change. Each time you learn and practice a new skill in emotional intelligence, your plasticity grows. This will then make it easier to start a new behavior in the future. So emotional intelligence is about building the foundation and creating stepping stones to continue growing these new behaviors. Your brain will reinforce the new, supportive behaviors. Your brain will also drop the connections with old, destructive behaviors as you stop doing them.
It’s also about finding a balance in your IQ, EQ and personality in order to become the best version of YOU that you can be.
Isn’t the brain a magical thing?