How emotionally intelligent are you? The answer could affect not just your personal life but also, your career. Emotional intelligence includes three things:
- Your ability to use your emotions to solve problems or complete tasks
- Your ability to understand small or large differences in emotions and perceive emotions in others
- Your ability to control your emotions and the emotions of other people
The concept of emotional intelligence isn’t new. Daniel Goleman has been credited with bringing the term to wider audiences in his 1995 book, Emotional Intelligence — a term he later applied to business in a 1998 article for Harvard Business Review.
Emotional intelligence is based on psychology and physiology and tells us that moods are contagious. People can get hijacked by their emotions and allow those emotions to affect not only their actions but also their decisions. In other words, your emotions could lead to your downfall, but learning to control them, understand them, and leverage them can lead to great success.
According to John Keyser of Common Sense Leadership, by learning to be aware of your own emotions and the emotions of other people, you’ll be more flexible. You’ll also be able to direct your behavior in positive directions and better manage your interactions with others.
Why does this matter in business? Goleman found in his studies that the qualities typically associate with leadership — such as intelligence, determination, and vision — aren’t good enough. The best leaders also have high levels of self-awareness, empathy, motivation, social skills, and self-regulation. In other words, they also have high emotional intelligence.
Emotional intelligence matters because so much of business and life depends on relationship building. Today, emotional intelligence is important in fostering leaders, developing employees, and hiring. Not everyone is innately capable of understanding their own emotions, applying those emotions to tasks and problem solving, or perceiving and influencing others’ emotions. Fortunately, emotional intelligence is a skill that can be cultivated with time and practice.
How emotionally intelligent are you? That’s the question asked in the infographic below from NetCredit. Use the flowchart quiz in the infographic to determine your current emotional intelligence level, and then, use the tips at the bottom of the infographic to improve based on your strengths and weaknesses. If you want to be successful in business, both IQ and EQ matter!