Do you know the difference between your I.Q. and your E.Q? If the answer is no, then it is high time to find out, especially if you want to make the most of any career opportunities coming your way this year. Professional networking site LinkedIn has identified emotional intelligence as one of the top five soft skills employers are looking for in 2020.
Whether your goal is to progress within your current role, start a new job or set up your own business, developing your emotional intelligence will help you stand out for the right reasons. Experts agree that interpersonal skills such as communication, teamwork and self-confidence are essential if you want to thrive professionally, with some saying that these skills account for up to 85% of our career success.
What is Emotional Intelligence?
Put simply, emotional intelligence can be defined as the ability to understand and manage our own emotions as well as the emotions of others. Not only does building your E.Q. make you more self-aware and empathic, it also improves your listening and communication skills.
According to Dr Travis Bradberry, the award-winning author of Emotional Intelligence 2.0, people with high E.Q. balance good manners, empathy, and kindness with the ability to assert themselves and establish boundaries. He goes on to argue that emotional skills are a better predictor of success in life than intelligence as they govern everything that we say and do.
How can you improve your E.Q?
Despite all the benefits of emotional intelligence, it is still an area that is not typically part of our formal education. The assumption seems to be that people skills, self-awareness and emotional resilience are all attributes learned outside of the classroom.
While some people are naturally more emotionally intelligent than others, the good news is that, unlike your I.Q., your E.Q. is highly malleable. By adopting emotionally intelligent behaviours you can train your brain to build pathways that turn them into habits. Before long, you will begin responding to your surroundings with emotional intelligence without even having to think about it.
At The British School of Etiquette we are passionate about cultivating emotional intelligence. It is a key module in our etiquette classes for adults, children and corporate organisations. By giving our students the tools to develop their E.Q, we empower them to respond rather than react to any situation that life throws at them.
How does E.Q. relate to etiquette and good manners?
People with high emotional intelligence are more adept at judging their immediate environment and adjusting their behaviour accordingly. In etiquette terms, this means having the self-awareness to relate better to others and treat them with respect and kindness.
On the other hand, those who are not emotionally intelligent frequently let their emotions drive their actions. For example, if they have had a stressful day at work, they may express their anger by shouting at their children when they arrive home. An emotionally intelligent person would be able to recognise that the children’s noisy play was not the root cause of their feelings and refrain from letting the workplace stress spill over into the home environment.
Emotional Intelligence in the workplace
Understanding what emotional intelligence is and why it is important in the workplace is crucial in today’s highly competitive world. Cultivating E.Q. in your day-to-day interactions with work colleagues, partners, clients or employees, encourages better teamwork and communication, increases motivation and paves the way for a more productive work culture.
At a Glance: 5 Benefits of Emotional Intelligence
1. It increases motivation
2. It improves communication
3. It helps you become a better leader
4. It helps you deal with change and stressful situations
5. It fosters teamwork