Most people have heard of emotional intelligence or EQ, but many don’t understand how important it is to their happiness and success. Due to the advancements in neuroscience, we now know that we can change our lives for the better by developing a stronger EQ.
But where does that leave IQ, the old standard? And what’s the difference between EQ and IQ? Let’s take a look at what each of these terms means.
What is IQ?
Each person has a personal intelligence quotient, which is a number that is produced via a test that measures your cognitive intelligence. You probably took one of these during your early elementary school days. The text shows how well your mind stores, processes, and utilizes information. That means if you are adept at absorbing knowledge and putting it into practice, you’ll score highly on the IQ test. Your IQ is not malleable. It doesn’t change throughout your lifetime.
What is EQ?
On the other hand, emotional intelligence, as the name suggests, is how you take charge of your emotions and how you work with the emotions of others. It combines a variety of different aspects, like being self-aware, being able to control your own emotions, managing how you react to difficult and stressful situations, being able to identify other people’s emotions during interactions, and being able to communicate effectively with others who are different from you.
Many experts now believe that EQ is even more important for success in our careers than IQ. But if you fear you weren’t born with a high EQ, don’t worry. Unlike IQ, we can cultivate EQ by becoming more self-aware and changing our thinking and actions.
If you aren’t sure if you have a high EQ, ask yourself if you easily can do these things:
- Listen actively
- Recognize and work with other people’s feelings to create positive change
- Acknowledge different opinions, beliefs, and experiences
- Stay aware of your emotions, even when they are difficult or uncomfortable
- Remain calm and respond to difficult situations, rather than (over)react
- Forge strong, meaningful working relationships
Clearly having a vast amount of knowledge and being able to put it to good use is incredibly useful. At the same time, being aware of your emotions and working with them even when it’s difficult and collaborating well with others is also vital to success in the workplace.
If you want to get ahead in your business or career, the smartest thing to do is develop your EQ. By doing so, you will notice your work relationships going smoother and your network connections getting stronger. This can only help you get ahead both in the office and in life.