How emotionally intelligent are you?

Would you say you are a good judge of character, can you read other people’s facial expressions and when you’re upset do you always know the reason why? If the answer is yes, then you probably have a higher than average EQ, Emotional Quotient, the measure of Emotional Intelligence.

However, if you find yourself like a fish out of water at social gatherings, are easily distracted and aren’t really interested in what other people are talking about, then you may have a lower than average EQ.

Emotional Intelligence is the ability to control and express your own emotions and also to be able to understand, interpret and respond to the emotions of others. Imagine how frustrating it would be to have little self-awareness and be unable to understand why you or others are upset or angry. Wouldn’t it make life not only difficult, but also quite bland?

The benefits of having a high EQ are numerous and many researchers believe it can be more important than IQ in living a successful life.

People who have a high level of emotional intelligence are generally calm, content and in control of their emotions.

They tend to:

  1. Focus on solutions not problems. They are aware that ruminating on difficulties only reinforces negative emotions and stress, and prefer to put their efforts into improving performance instead.
  2. Resolve conflict easily. As they can understand others perspectives and empathise with them, they are able to prevent conflict from building and deal with it calmly and assertively.
  3. Be great leaders. Their ability to understand their team’s needs and what motivates them, as well as being able to build strong bonds, means they are effective and respected leaders.
  4. Not compare themselves to others. Their self-worth comes from within, so that other people’s opinions or achievements don’t affect their own sense of self-worth.
  5. Live in the present. If they haven’t achieved a goal in the past it doesn’t stop them trying something new, as they know that success comes from not letting failure change their belief in their potential.
  6. Not accept their negative talk as fact. Their positive attitude to life means they can ignore or choose not to believe the negative self-talk that we all have going on.

Fortunately, researchers have shown that emotional intelligence can be built and developed.

It just requires you to focus on four specific areas:

  1. Self-awareness. Recognise your emotions, thinking style and behaviour. Be aware of and accept your strengths and weaknesses.
  2. Stress busting techniques. Developing these enables you to avoid impulse behaviours or reactions that you may regret.
  3. Non-verbal communication skills. Improving these will mean you are able to understand others feelings and emotions more easily.
  4. Conflict resolution. Knowing how to avoid conflict before it starts, resolve it easily and having the ability to be assertive, will make you a great relationship manager.

If you’re now wondering what your real EQ level is, then why not try this test? Remember developing your EQ is all about having a positive attitude and being self-aware!

And don’t forget to let me know how you get on in the comments below…

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