We often hear or read about IQ, the intelligence quotient. Most comparisons of students are made based on IQ. But in fact, there is something far more powerful which is becoming increasingly more important in our lives. It is the EQ, the emotional quotient, which measures our emotional intelligence. One of the main reasons for its rising importance is the rising centrality of interpersonal communications in our society.
EQ signifies the ability to understand human beings. It is a way of measuring how a person recognizes emotions in themselves and others as well as how he or she manages different emotional states. Understanding human beings primarily includes understanding ourselves. Such an understanding always leads to increased happiness and success. Our modern society often fails to step back and listen to our own emotions and to reflect on oneself, and an increased EQ would improve the ability to do so.
A high EQ amplifies understanding emotions, self-confidence, self-awareness and the ability to handle challenging emotional experiences. It also means being in control of your own emotions and adjusting your behaviour according to the emotional states of others. Being in tune with your own emotions is something that brings you forward and helps significantly to understand the behaviors of others.
A high EQ gives you not only the ability to empathize but also to place yourself into the shoes of someone else and thus into an entirely different frame of experience than the one you are used to. This helps us understand others’ challenges and build deep and long-lasting relationships. The more diverse perspectives of a situation you see, the more likely you are to see the truth.
Two Key Indicators of Emotional Intelligence
- Self-awareness: being clear about your goals, knowing your own strengths and being able to get on well with yourself
Self-awareness includes understanding your own triggers and the events that make you react strongly or not. It is a big ability to understand your own responses to adverse situations.
It’s about YOU — how you feel, behave & react and how much you can moderate & control those things, how you respond to negative feedback and criticism
- Connecting with people: actively listening and cultivating empathy as well as valuing others opinions
Social Skills — do you understand others? do you try to look from their perspective and respond appropriately?
However, EQ is highly difficult to measure and exams are hard to design as the information is not easy to present as a numeric value.
One possible way of increasing EQ is implementing a growth mindset. A growth mindset is indicated by how much you are willing to learn and improve yourself. It is about getting out of your comfort zone and going the extra mile.
If you always try to defend yourself, your EQ will stay low — instead, embrace a growth mindset and try to learn, desire knowledge and experiences, welcome feedback and try to become the best version of yourself.
People with a growth mindset always look for opportunities to learn and improve themselves. A key for growing and improving is curiosity. Probably the most natural inborn human trait, our curiosity often heavily declines when we get older. Most people merely accept their circumstances and keep living by reacting to what happens in life. In fact, the secret of a happy, meaningful life lies in curiosity, emotional understanding (yourself before others) and proactivity.
Proactivity means actively changing things that don’t suit you and constantly working on improvement instead of waiting for things to happen. Those who are emotionally strong also have the courage to make changes. Of course the world needs people with high IQs who are able to solve life-changing problems, but keeping in mind that we are human, emotional intelligence should always be a priority. Without humans understanding each other, getting on with each other and being able to deal with each other, no invention would help us improve in any way. Whatever happens in the world — may it be the best or the worst things, great inventions that save lives and enable joy or wars that cause massive widespread casualties — it is all caused by human beings with emotions.
Whatever we do — we should always put our humanity first, rather than completely shutting our hearts down when it comes to making decisions. Being overly emotional may not be good, but understanding emotions and having feelings for people can definitely help every person in improving various aspects of his or her life.
What do you think abut this topic? I would be glad to hear your opinions about the discussion of EQ.
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