Have you ever heard of IQ? I’m sure you have. IQ stands for “Intelligence Quotient,” but, as there are with most sciences having to do with mental things, there is an emotional side to this. “Emotional Quotient,” or, “EQ” represents said other side. If IQ is intelligence, or how smart someone is, then what could EQ be?
Before I explain what EQ is, I’m going to discuss some of the ideas that are commonly (and incorrectly) placed behind it. Paradoxically, many people think that IQ is more important or more valuable than EQ. The irony of this is that the exact opposite is true. Someone could have a 160 IQ (a perfect score), but still not be even remotely successful in life. This is because, to use intelligence, or intellect, and be successful in life, someone must first know how to work with others. Very much like the quote: “Seek first to understand, then to be understood.”
Now that you know what EQ is not, I’ll go ahead and tell you what it is. The dictionary definition is, “A measure of someone’s interpersonal and communication skills.” So basically, EQ is the ability to identify and successfully manage the emotions of others and one’s self. Understanding people and their feelings is incomprehensibly important. You cannot persuade people when you don’t know how they feel.
“Okay, so EQ is all about emotions. But how is this relevant to me?” you may be thinking, but you’d be surprised how much this skill can help you. No matter what occupation, you will always need persuasion on your side. Take medical doctor for example, you need to sell the help you are trying to give to your patients. How about a lawyer? In this job, especially, you are constantly trying to persuade the judge of something. And even beyond all of this, there are the jobs of actor, retail, and even waiter. As an actor, you must deceive the audience into believing each line. As a retail worker, you’re trying to sell products. And finally, as a waiter, you’re trying to persuade the customers into buying as much food as possible.
There’s still so much to discuss, but the most important would probably be to talk about how to improve, or grow, your emotional intelligence. First, you should take a second to reflect on the way you currently use emotions. This means the way that you empathize with other people and express your own emotions. Second, you can ask other people to evaluate your use of emotions and how you let them affect you. Third, you can observe other people so that you can better understand them and even use that to your advantage in conversation. Lastly, you should always take a moment to step back before acting out or making a possibly rash decision. So, next time someone compliments you on being smart, tell them that doesn’t just have to do with your intellect, but your emotional intelligence too.