Learned Emotional Intelligence


“Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement.  Nothing can be done without hope and confidence”  ~Helen Keller


Emotional Intelligence Stages

I heard an interesting opinion yesterday about a best practice related to emotional intelligence or EQ.  According to Dr. Bar-On, the designer of the respected EQi 2.0 assessment, optimism is the strongest predictor for higher EQ.  In a nutshell, EQ is knowing yourself and managing yourself and understanding others and managing others.

So why is optimism the best predictor?  It comes down to attitude and how we face life.  True, some of us are more naturally optimistic, but once we are aware of its importance, our attitudes can change to allow for a more positive outlook on ourselves and with others.

The most intriguing element for me about EQ is that we can influence and improve it, whereas IQ is a fixed quotient.  The bottom line is we are born with our IQ and we can grow into our EQ.  In fact, research tells us that as we age, we tend to naturally improve our EQ.

The other aspect between IQ and EQ I find empowering is this: IQ tends not to be a predictor of success, while those with higher EQ move through life more successfully, especially related to coping mechanisms and managing the demands of the environment.

Think about it.  We have all met the smartest person in the room.  They succeed in the classroom, but not necessarily in the boardroom.  They often get into the top universities, but not always the top positions in organizations.  Why is this?  Because self-awareness, strong communication skills and the ability to work well with others are highly valued in the workplace and in life.  IQ, once you hit a certain “smart enough” number, is not what sets you apart, EQ is.

You probably have a hunch about where you fall on the EQ scale, but there are numerous books and assessments on the subject if you want to get a baseline score (The Emotional Intelligence Quickbook is an easy one to find and use.)  Once you confirm your EQ, you can begin to work on improving your awareness and prioritize areas to work on.  One idea you can do right away is ask yourself at the end of each day what three good things that happened and why they happened.  Once you determine the why, you have information and patterns to build onto the good of each new day.  Sounds pretty basic, but it is about setting a tone of intention and gratitude, which helps fuel optimism and is a start to increasing your EQ.



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