Increasing Emotional Intelligence: Part I

Written by: Taylor Wilson, Senior Account Executive

What is EQ?

Have you ever wondered why sometimes one individual has greater success in the workplace over another, despite similar experience, educational background, and even Intelligence Quotient (IQ)? The answer is likely attributed to a difference in Emotional Quotient (EQ), also referred to as emotional intelligence. Follow along to learn how to identify and increase your emotional intelligence.

According to Emotional Intelligence 2.0 by Dr. Travis Bradberry & Dr. Jean Greaves, Emotional Intelligence is “the ability to identify and understand emotions in yourself and others, and to use that awareness to manage your responses and relationships.”

Not only does EQ account for nearly 60% of workplace performance across all jobs and industries, but also 90% of top performing employees have high EQs. An EQ assessment can be an accurate indicator of a person’s success in their relationships, and more specifically in leadership roles. Furthermore, this explains why sometimes even the most brilliant minds aren’t always the best leaders. Perhaps this one little acronym plays a big role.

creative emotional intelligence visual

That isn’t to say that IQ isn’t significant, too. The difference is that EQ is increased by learning to wield your abilities and characteristics to build a strong sense of self, and to build and maintain strong relationships. An individual with a high IQ and above average EQ is a workplace superhero. These individuals are intelligent, capable, and emotionally aware (and typically well-liked around the office 😉).

Personality – Who you are IQ – What you bring to the table EQ – How you make the most of both expertise and personality

imagery of a chart outlining personal and social competence as it relates to awareness and management in the overall concept of emotional intelligence

How to Increase Emotional Intelligence

Let’s also recall the and in the definition. It’s awareness and action. The key to increasing Emotional Intelligence is increasing your awareness, and then using that knowledge to guide your actions. This may require a great deal of self-discipline. However, tackling self-awareness and self-management before diving into other social components can be quite advantageous. It’s important to note that EQ is not just “being nice,” suppressing emotion, or “being passive.” EQ is the right response at the right time to the right person(s). Having EQ requires vulnerability with both yourself and others. It isn’t always easy, nor does it happen overnight. The good news? Unlike IQ, increasing Emotional Intelligence can be achieved with practice. There are many ways to improve your competency within each pillar of EQ—some mental, some physical—and thus, increase your EQ. In the next part of our Emotional Intelligence series, we’ll talk about ways to increase emotional intelligence by building self-awareness, improving self-management, heightening social awareness, and managing relationships.