Is Your E.Q. Affecting Your Success?

Anyone who’s had to do a group project at work knows that the smartest person on the team isn’t always the most valuable. Rather it’s the person who has the best people skills, who can work well with others and know when to challenge them and when to back off, who is the most prized team member. That’s because this person has the highest E.Q. (rather than I.Q.).

Emotional intelligence is measured using five traits – self awareness, motivation, social skills, empathy, and self-regulation. These traits are highly valued by 99% of workers and 95% of HR employees, and as many as 21% feel that it’s more important than I.Q. As a manager, therefore, it’s good to know the emotional strengths of your team, as well as the mental ones. But in what skills do these traits manifest themselves? In other words, how can you tell if a person has a high E.Q.?

People with high E.Q.s tend to tailor their message and delivery of information depending on who they are talking to. Things like tenor, tone, and even vocabulary change when they talk to different departments or groups of people. And as we all know, communication is the most important component of a functioning and successful team. But can you learn to be more emotionally aware, or is it something that people are born with, in the way we think of IQ being a factor of natural ability? Not necessarily. While some people do have a skill for emotional intelligence, if you’re open to the process of becoming more self-aware (which might include hearing criticisms of yourself), you can develop it as well. Recognizing your own faults and biases helps you identify those things in other people and personalities, and just like any skill, the more you practice, the better you’ll get. And self-awareness can be good for your personal life as well as your professional!