In the early 1900s, French psychologist Alfred Binet developed an IQ test to measure children’s mental abilities. With his colleague, Theodore Simon, the two set up questions that assessed a child’s ability to remember facts and solve problems.
In recent years, a new form of assessing intelligence has become increasingly popular. It helps to identify strengths and weaknesses in both everyday life and the workplace. It’s called emotional intelligence.
Two university professors began to develop a means for measuring emotional intelligence. They wanted to understand how it affected individuals’ abilities to perform in the early 1990s.
Knowing and developing your emotional intelligence can make or break your success at work and home.
What Is Emotional Intelligence?
Emotional intelligence is understood to mean the emotional and social skills that a person needs to function well in society.
In 1995, Daniel Goleman’s infamous book was published on emotional intelligence. It solidified the significance of emotional intelligence across the world.
It opened the doors for groundbreaking behavioral research and helped redefine what it means to be intelligent. In the book, Goleman explains how someone with a high IQ doesn’t necessarily perform well at work, whereas those with modest IQs tend to do better.
His point was that performance isn’t based solely on one form of intelligence. Self-discipline, empathy, and self-awareness pull greater weight. He wanted people to understand how they account for a different type of intelligence.
Emotional intelligence awareness and understanding can have a significant impact on one’s life. They help us analyze how our emotions affect our behavior in many different situations.
With emotional intelligence, we recognize and understand how those feelings affect work performance. They also affect health and relationships.An emotionally competent person typically exhibits interpersonal and intra-personal skills.
What Are Interpersonal Skills?
Your interpersonal skills enable you to understand your strengths and weaknesses. Think of intra-personal skills as looking inward to yourself.
Character reflection and self-management skills both fall under the intra-personal category.
What Are Interpersonal Skills?
Interpersonal skills come down to the way you communicate with others. They affect how you work collaboratively and create valuable relationships.
Someone who boasts good interpersonal skills typically has a positive outlook on life. They tend to be optimistic and cheerful in their disposition and in how they interact with others.
The more advanced your interpersonal skills are, the more you’ll be able to adapt to different situations. They’ll help you remain calm when faced with adversity or stress.
Through understanding intra-personal and interpersonal skills, the significance of emotional intelligence is apparent.
The Importance of Interpersonal Skills
How do you communicate with yourself? Think of intra-personal skills as a dialogue between you and yourself. When you’re in tune with yourself, you can manage your emotions more effectively and be self-motivated.
The better your interpersonal skills, the more you can cope with distractions. They help you adjust your approaches accordingly, too. Let’s take a look at some intra-personal skills that contribute to emotional intelligence.
Your internal strengths and resolve are what contribute to productivity. How well do you handle your workload? Can you produce above-average results in an organized, goal-oriented manner?
Productivity is dependent on one’s ability to take charge of their workload, both at work and in personal life.
Are you aware of your strengths? Do you know where to pull from to get new ideas or inspire creativity? Extraordinary resourcefulness allows for people to optimize their positive skills.
Resilience is arguably the most essential intra-personal skill. Over 80% of United States workers experience and suffer from work-related stressors.
If every time something stressful occurs, it takes you out, you’ll never get anything done, and you’ll only harm your health. Bouncing back from setbacks and stress with ease is a skill anyone can learn. Plus, it’s a strong indicator that you have inherent positivity and power.
The Importance of Interpersonal Skills
Good interpersonal skills are an indication of emotional intelligence. People with excellent interpersonal skills know how to communicate with and work with others.
They’re aware of every aspect of a conversation. They’re aware of their tone and body language in addition to the message they’re delivering or receiving. Let’s take a look at some interpersonal skills that contribute to emotional intelligence.
Inclusiveness is an essential component of team building, especially as a professional leader. Inclusiveness encourages creative thinking and enables people to be heard.
This skill also builds a culture where growth is inevitable. Plus, it helps individuals feel safe expressing themselves.
The greater your ability to get people to listen, the more power you’ll have to make positive changes. Those changes will encourage company growth, both culturally and monetarily.
You can’t influence without self-awareness, self-reflection, and understanding of others, though. Most successful professionals with influence are backed by their ability to read the room.
As a professional leader, one of the most incredible skills you can have is empathy. Coworkers and family can tell if you’re able to make emotional connections with others. The more compassion you demonstrate, the more you’ll be able to bond with coworkers, family, and colleagues alike.
Plus, empathy inspires loyalty and boosts morale. In turn, it inevitably leads to increased productivity and success.
When you respond to people in your lives, no matter how significant their roles are, they feel heard. Responding promptly and respectfully is the only way to show others that you value their thoughts and time.
Those with high emotional intelligence can reflect on themselves and on the way they communicate with others.
How to Know Your Emotional Intelligence
There are different methods for understanding one’s emotional intelligence. All tests attempt to measure one’s Emotional Quotient (EQ) through a set of tasks or responses.
An emotional quotient is a measurement of one’s emotional intelligence. People can figure out their EQ by taking an emotional intelligence test.
The Bar-On EQi, for example, consists of testing 5 emotional attributes. Dr. Reuven Bar-On devised it. The emotional attributes are tested through responses on a 5-point Likert scale. There are 133 items in this particular test.
The 5 attributes tested are:
- Stress management
- General mood
A Likert scale provides choices that range from agreeing to disagree, to neither agree nor disagree. The test report provides an overall score and additional scores for each sub-sector. A development report then suggests areas for improvement.
When an EQ is conducted for a group, a group report is provided.
Why Do People Test for Emotional Intelligence?
There are several reasons why a company would want to test its employees’ EQs. Some companies use it for recruitment and then the training and development processes.
It can be used in clinical settings too when doctors want to know the capacity patients have to undergo rehabilitation. They can use the same test to then determine the success of rehabilitation programs, too.
EQ is used for medical and educational testing. It’s also used by professionals on a personal basis.
For example, say there’s a CEO with a low approval rating. He might opt to hire a communication coach. A coach will assess their emotional intelligence so that they can learn the necessary skills to become a better boss, leader, and advocate.
Assessing emotional intelligence can help identify where employees’ strengths and weaknesses are, also. That way, they can be better placed in roles that suit them.
What Are the Benefits of Emotional Intelligence at Work?
More often than not, we allow ourselves to let emotions dictate crucial decisions. This can lead to problems at work and in one’s personal life, though.
It’s essential to understand and process emotions, but not to let them dictate your actions.
Great leaders possess the skills to develop an effective workplace that encourages growth and change. Managers must have the emotional intelligence necessary to communicate with their employees. That way, teams will be more apt to give their best and improve themselves as well.
Emotional intelligence plays an integral role in leadership communication. Excellent leadership communication ensures that opportunities don’t get missed. It ensures that teams stay on task and remain calm under pressure.
Emotional Intelligence Can Make or Break Your Success
Good emotional intelligence is essential for any individual who wants to thrive. Emotional intelligence demands self-reflection. It enables the ability to understand emotions and process them without acting on them.
For many people, emotional intelligence must be learned. Just like social skills, excellent communication, and leadership, emotional intelligence requires specific skills.
Great managers and leaders know and understand how to communicate with their employees. They’re emotionally aware and understand that success is often determined by the choices they make.
Emotions are crucial, but when we use them to make decisions, it often ends in chaos. Learning how to process and understand your own emotions and the behaviors of others can lead to success in all relationships.
Are you ready to enhance your emotional intelligence and see improvement throughout all aspects of your life? Contact us to learn more about what we can do to help.