EQ, why you need it to advance your career.

How to advance your career

The future of work is closer than you think. One of the top skills you will need for today and in the future will be EQ. But what does that actually mean? Today I want to share with you what EQ is and how to strengthen your EQ.

So firstly…. What is it? Emotional Quotient.

It is the ability for an individual to recognise their own and other people’s emotions and use this to guide thinking and behaviour.

Think for a minute. Do you know someone who has no ability to read a person’s emotions or thoughts? Or perhaps you are someone who struggles with managing your own emotions.

Research shows those with a higher EQ manage to outperform people with a lower EQ by 70%. The good news is, it is a muscle you can train, flex and develop and I want to share with you some tips on how to strengthen it.

Self Awareness 

I know the beautiful woman. She has the most gracious heart and soul but absolutely no awareness of self. The funny thing is, for a living she assesses other people. So how, can one who is so good at reading others, be so clueless about themselves?

Self awareness the foundation of EQ. It’s not always a pretty journey as you need to come to terms with everything about you. You will need to dig deep and assess your strengths, areas to improve, how you manage your emotions, how you react and deal with issues. The good thing is, it’s definitely a muscle you can build.

How to develop? Try a self-audit, ask your close friends and family, try personality profiling, journaling, meditation or personal reflection time.

 Self Management

What sets you off? Are you able to manage it?
When I first started out in my career, I had a team member who drained me. Sapped all the energy out of me. They were so negative, they always saw the glass half empty and always found a reason to complain.

I quickly realised spending time with them was very draining for me. It started to affect my work and my ability to enjoy what I did. So I learnt how to manage myself around her.

Firstly, I limited the contact I had with her and asked to swap physical desks. That changed things dramatically as I wasn’t faced with the barrage of negativity. Then, I learnt I couldn’t run from her we were on the same team after all! I changed my approach and learnt to handle my emotions around her.

Self-management is the ability to control the emotions and the actions you take.

How to develop? Become self-aware, take time out, think before you act. If you need a walk, drink, take that moment, take feedback constructively and not to heart.

Social Awareness

I recently caught up with a CEO of an incredibly complex organisation. The longer I spoke to him, the more I discovered his ability to read people. He was so intuitive; he could tell the what was going on in the room, simply by observing and watching how people interacted with each other.

He is the first one to tell me; he isn’t the best technically qualified for the job. He isn’t technical trained nor has he a briefcase of professional qualifications. He says his best asset is understanding people. He has mastered the art of reading people’s reaction. He knows if his executive team have bought into the new corporate strategy, simply by the way they position their body, the changes in the tone of their voice.

How to develop? Improve your listening skills, pay attention when you are conversing with someone, what are they doing, saying?

 Relationship Management

Everyone knows relationships are hard. They take work, lots of work. From navigating your relationship with you boss, your co-worker or even the delicate walk you do with your in-laws, relationships take work. Now by the time you get to this stage in the EQ cycle, you would have developed

  • Self-awareness, the ability to know you, what sets you off.
  • Self-management, how to handle yourself in situations
  • Social awareness, the ability to read the situation

What brings it all together, is how you put this into action and manage the relationships you have.

How to develop? Start with the end in mind. What do you want the relationship to look like? Work towards that end goal. Try and see the situation from their point of view.

So there you have it. IQ is something you were born with. It measures your ability to pick up new concepts. EQ is something you can have control over. It is something you can develop and strengthen.