Emotional Intelligence (EI) or Emotional Quotient (EQ) is more beneficial than IQ to all areas of your life: work satisfaction and success, physical and mental health, relationships, happiness – everything. Genetics and life experience help shape EQ, and it increases with age, but you can also improve it deliberately with consistent effort just as easily – or as difficultly – as, say, changing your eating habits.
To assess your current level of EQ, Success magazine recommends reflecting on the following questions:
- Are you usually aware of your feelings and why you feel that way?
- Can you manage your distressing emotions well–e.g., recover quickly when you get upset or stressed?
- Can you usually sense the feelings of the people you interact with and understand their way of seeing things?
- Do you have a knack for persuasion and using your influence effectively?
Harvard Business Review states, “a well-designed coaching intervention can easily achieve improvements of 25%”. Specifically, studies show an average of 50% improvement in interpersonal skills, and the average for stress management is 35%. They indicate Cognitive Behaviour Therapy is effective for EQ in the ways it is for any behaviour modification. Coaching on psychological flexibility is also helpful and relaxation skills are popular.
One of the most helpful tools I’ve used in 360-degree feedback from my managers, clients, and colleagues. I had no idea people valued so highly the level of respect I show everyone – likewise, I didn’t realize that I wasn’t hiding my feelings of stress as well as I thought. I’m not the only one who was surprised. I have heard that the majority of people believe they’re above average – some of those people would benefit from feedback if they want to grow.
In the end, raising EQ comes down to daily practice understanding and managing your emotions and those of others, until it becomes a natural habit. It’s worth it.