IQ, aka your intelligence quotient, is synonymous with intelligence. Defined in part by the Webster Dictionary as: the proficiency in or knowledge of a specified subject. Now, while knowing someone’s IQ can definitely enlighten us on how an individual might perform, it is no longer the sole standard for predicting someone’s capabilities or deficiencies.
Intelligence is just one many human attributes considered for this type of measurement. Previous assumptions that those with higher IQs heavily populated the group of leaders, innovators, and business owners who ran the world, have been challenged as another attribute has hit the scene offering up a what some believe is a more realistic factor in predicting success.
Ladies and gentleman, I give you EQ. This indicator is based on emotion or EQ (Emotional Quotient). Disc-report.com describes our EQ as the ability to sense, understand and effectively apply the power and acumen of emotions to facilitate higher levels of collaboration and productivity. In the business, this means the EQ is important “…because it helps you leverage your awareness of emotions for effectiveness in the workplace.”
EQ has now become one of the most highly considered characteristics by human resource directors when interviewing potential employees, and everyone is taking notice. Can you imagine a boss or supervisor with a low EQ; prone to outbursts, moodiness, and incivility? How productive do you think anyone would be in low EQ workplace?
In an article by Judy W. Bell, administrator for the State of Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development, she lists high turnovers, sagging sales, and employee burnout as consequences to a low EQ workplace experience. Conversely, a high EQ workplace will experience empathetic management responses and high employee engagement.
With the benefits, and impediments, of a high or low EQ clearly defined, the goal for most businesses is now to foster and maintain high EQs both individually in employees and collectively as a company. As is the case with IQ, “smarts” can be sought out and cultivated by learning, but elevating EQ is a bit more complicated because it requires great self-awareness and self-knowledge.
So, how does one improve their EQ? And more specifically, as it relates to business, what are the benefits your company will enjoy by raising emotional intelligence? EQ expert Sofia Dickens, creator of EQtainment, understands its importance and is working to help individuals enhance their own levels of emotional intelligence.
Dickens founded EQtainment with a mission to improve the world’s social and emotional skills through entertaining games, books and their new Q Wunder show and app. Recognizing the significance of this particular kind of intelligence in adulthood and business relations, EQtainment focuses on developing these skills from an early age. As a mother of three, Dickens is committed to making the learning of social and emotional skills both fun and accessible.
As is anything in life, improving one’s EQ is an ongoing endeavor. For those looking to become more emotionally astute, Dickens provides a few ideas.
This is the art of learning how to respond and not react. Learning to control an impulse goes a long way when it comes to work and personal relationships. Dickens suggests, “When something or someone aggravates you, practice pausing before you react.” Just adding a fraction of a second to your response time can help you make better, more level-headed choices.
Dickens explains that this is one virtue that definitely gets better and easier with practice. Whether you’re delaying gratification with healthier food choices or waiting on hold during a frustrating customer service call, distraction is the key to turning your attention away from the thing you want at the moment.
This is another characteristic that can be cultivated with practice, but once learned is invaluable. Simply studying people’s body language when you’re talking to them can improve this skill. Are they open and interested or closed off and skeptical? “Insights such as these help you to adjust your course as you communicate.”
Dickens recommends that you practice this skill by training yourself to “see problems as opportunities to learn, improve, and grow. It leans more toward a “glass-half-full” mentality.” When challenges arise, instead of tightening up, ask yourself the following questions: How can I get better at this? What are some smarter ways to practice? How can I build on the skills I already have in place?
When it comes to grit, Dickens advises that you remember two things, it’s a game of endurance and the winners earn great rewards. Flex your grit and resilience muscles by setting long term goals and follow through to completion. Set challenging goals for yourself that require you to navigate road bumps and jump hurdles, and see those setbacks as a natural part of the journey.
These five tips are not just handy for everyday living but are also functional tools of communication which have become extremely valuable in evaluating good business practices. Sharpening your EQ will not only will it benefit you, making you more aware of the how your emotions are playing a part in your decision making, but will also make you aware of the efficiency and effectiveness of your communication.
Remember, a great idea is only as good as your ability to communicate it. No matter the business you’re in, aspiring to a high EQ will strengthen your reach by strengthening of your ability to engage and communicate your ideas, products, or directions to your team members effectively. So get some friendly competition going between your IQ and EQ for a race to the top. No matter who wins, you’ll be the greatest beneficiary.