Emotional intelligence (EQ) refers to the ability to identify and manage your emotions, and the emotions of others. An emotionally intelligent person is highly conscious of their emotional states, both negative and positive, and in recent years, EQ has been seen as skills that can be likewise innate and honed.
First appearing, in a paper by Michael Beldoch in 1964, emotional intelligence wasn’t popularised until many years later (1995), when psychologist and science journalist Daniel Goleman, wrote his book, Emotional Intelligence – Why it can matter more than IQ. As after it’s publication, both businesses, individuals and academics alike, began to look further into the term.
Goleman’s book helped spread the idea that being able to understand and manage emotions can greatly increase a persons’ success. Which was also backed by a slew of research, which noted that the term provided an explanation as to why people with average IQs outperformed those with the highest IQs 70% of the time.
But what does emotional intelligence look like?
Emotional intelligence is often related the way a person manages their behaviour and emotional state, how they navigate social complexities, and their ability to apply emotional reasoning to thinking and problem-solving. These traits have been compounded into a number of identifiable actions that signify EQ. Here the 6 signs that you’re emotionally intelligent:
1. You’re self-aware
Being self-aware is a key sign that you are emotionally intelligent. This is because a person with a healthy sense of self-awareness understands their strengths and weaknesses, and, most importantly, they recognise how their actions affect others.
2. You accept feedback
Someone with emotional intelligence and self-awareness is also able to accept feedback and constructive criticism. They understand that there is often room for improvement, and don’t react negatively when given feedback. Instead, they use it as an opportunity to grow.
3. You self-regulate
A person with high EQ is able to manage and regulate their emotions when needed. Where possible they show restraint and control. They’re able to ‘tap in’ to their emotional state in a healthy and mature way to ensure they protect their energy and put a positive foot forward in important and high-pressure situations.
4. You show empathy
Someone with empathy has compassion and a deep understanding of others, which ultimately allows them to connect with people on an emotional level. Being able to empathise with others, is a strong sign of EQ as it signifies emotional maturity and fluency, and allows you to be genuine with other people.
5. You have strong relationships
Building rapport and maintaining strong relationships comes easily to those with emotional intelligence. They avoid power struggles, hurtful gossiping and commenting and usually enjoy having a strong group of people and a team around them. They have respect for others and a genuine interest in watching them shine.
6. You’re self-motivated
A person with a high EQ is often self-motivated. Instead of being driven by money or status (although these can still be desires), a self-motived individual is motived by passion and their own values. These people are resilient, optimistic and let their inner-ambition guide them through hardship.
Why does emotional intelligence matter?
A slew of research signals that emotional intelligence is the critical factor that sets star employees apart from the rest of the pack. This is because emotional intelligence correlates with our ability to excel in relational environments, such as workplaces, within communities and in our personal lives. As Maya Angelou once said, ‘at the of the day people won’t remember what you said or did, they will remember how you made them feel.’
Many life and business coaches also have high EQ! Do you think coaching could be right for you? If so, join our free two-day Foundation in Life Coaching course and find out.
Our Coach in the Spotlight this week is mindfulness coach, Georgia Walters.