How Does Emotional Intelligence Relate to Job Success?
By: Katelyn Lengeman, Recruiting Assistant
What does emotional intelligence mean? And how does it affect your job? Emotions and the workplace have typically been clearly distinguished and not meant to interfere with each other. That’s why the results of several studies, laid out in an article* on fastcompany.com, are so intriguing. A person’s Emotional Quotient (EQ) measures their different aspects of emotional intelligence including self-awareness, stress management, and communication aptitude. The overall conclusion of various tests, studies, and reports is that high emotional intelligence, or EQ, is very possibly linked to job success.
Why, you many ask, does EQ matter? EQ affects your job performance for a variety of reasons. It measures self-awareness and the ability to assess a situation and respond appropriately. Effective self-awareness leads to the ability to control stress levels and manage your physical and mental health. It also allows you to respond appropriately to situations, prioritize efficiently, and improves overall productivity. With a higher EQ, you can spend a lot less time worrying about what to do and how to get things done and more time efficiently working through your to-do list and effectively moving forward. Below* is a quick test of EQ – it’s not completely thorough– but it can give you an idea of where you stand and if you need some improvement – which leads me to how you can improve your EQ. Even if you are at an average level of EQ, improving your score can only benefit you at work and even in your personal life. An article* on helpguide.org suggests ways to improve five key areas of emotional intelligence:
1. Reduce Stress: recognize when you’re stressed, identify why, and develop strategies to relax or manage the stress productively.
2. Recognize Emotions: being aware of your emotions and why they are there can be as simple as taking a moment to write down what you’re feeling and why. Introspection can lead to improved management of emotion.
3. Nonverbally Communicate: when interacting with others, make eye contact, focus on them, and pay attention to nonverbal cues – this will help you gauge how to respond appropriately.
4. Introduce Humor: smoothing things over and adding some playful but appropriate humor to your life can help you relax, open up creativity, and allow you to handle situations in stride.
5. Resolve Conflict: make sure to focus on the present and not be dipping into old hurts, choose what is worth a conflict, and be quick to forgive and reach a compromise. Unresolved conflict can only lead to bitterness and a lack of productivity.
No longer is a high IQ and a good resume enough to succeed. Nowadays, employers want to see that you can take a position and run with it efficiently and creatively. Improving your EQ can help in ways that you (and your boss) couldn’t anticipate.
*Free EQ Test: http://www.ihhp.com/free-eq-quiz/