When you were in school it was all about the IQ, and there were probably even misguided guidance counselors and teachers who told you that grades mattered more than anything and your intelligence was the only indicator of how well you would do in life. Thankfully it turns out that is not the case at all. While your IQ may be determined early on, there’s another factor that is a better indicator of future success, and thankfully it’s something you can work on developing throughout your life. That factor is emotional intelligence, and all the successful people you know have it. Emotional intelligence AKA EQ allows you to self-regulate, which means that you are able to think before you act. This is one of the biggest things that sets successful business-people apart from the unsuccessful ones.
Other aspects of emotional intelligence include:
Motivation – are you self-motivated or do you need someone standing over you at all times telling you what to do?
Self Awareness – do you know what you’re good at and what you’re not good at and can you admit it?
Empathy – can you place yourself in another person’s shoes to really understand what makes them tick?
Social Skills – are you friendly and easy to get along with?
Your EQ, or emotional quotient, is the degree to which you possess these crucial life skills. It changes throughout your life as you get better or worse at practicing these skills, which can be a double edged sword. If you don’t consciously practice motivation, self-awareness, empathy, social skills, and self-regulation, these skills will become dull and your EQ will go down. On the positive side of things if there is an area that you feel you could use a little extra development it just takes a little work and determination to move your EQ in the right direction.
In the business world a high EQ can mean the difference between being a leader, someone who motivates people by example, and being a boss, someone who barks out orders to an ever-changing sea of nameless faces. Pepsico’s Indra Nooyi projects her personality in the office by walking around barefoot and singing, and she once wrote to the parents of 29 colleagues and told them they had raised great kids.