Last updated on November 28th, 2023.
For years, intelligence was measured using specific criteria based on mathematics, spatial reasoning, verbal acuity, logic, and memory. These components were used via a series of questions designed to determine one’s IQ or Intelligence Quotient. Long considered the definitive measurement of a person’s ability to use reason and logic to predictable conclusions, the IQ test missed a key component of real intelligence, which is EQ, or emotional intelligence.
Emotional intelligence is equally as important and beneficial as the components which define traditional intelligence measurement. The ability to read others well, empathize, and relate easily to friends and strangers alike is extremely valuable in both professional and personal relationships.
Traditional IQ is relatively easy to measure because it’s based on specific criteria that have been refined over decades. Emotional intelligence on the other hand, is, by definition, a bit intuitive since there are different components of emotional intelligence.
While it may not be as easy to quantify one’s emotional intelligence via a standard question and answer test, it is equally important when determining a person’s ability for success. Let’s look at some of the components of emotional intelligence and how they ultimately affect life, both professionally and personally.
What are 6 Benefits of Emotional Intelligence?
Emotional intelligence helps an individual in being self-actualized and benefits them in a variety of ways. Whether it’s a child on the playground learning to navigate the social structure of adolescence, or a salesperson trying to determine how to best approach a client, one’s emotional intelligence is a critical factor in understanding:
- The world around us
- How to relate to others
- How to find personal and professional success in society
People with high levels of emotional intelligence have an innate skill set that includes:
- Ability to relate well to others
- Able to manage change
- Sense of personal responsibility
These skill sets are valuable in every facet of life, whether dealing with personal relationships, navigating the professional landscape, or daily dealing with the public. There are emotional intelligence courses online that could help you enhance these skills. People with high EQ seem to adapt to any situation naturally
Arguably, the most significant benefit of emotional intelligence is self-awareness.
One success factor to living a happy and successful life is understanding one’s own:
We are all a product of our culture, upbringing, and experiences. Understanding what makes us happy, sad, or scared, and learning how to manage those emotions, helps us in every aspect of life.
What exactly is self-awareness?
Everyone has their personal set of values or a belief system that shapes how they see the world around them and their place within that world.
- Who you are
- Your strengths
Having that personal understanding is indicative of self-awareness.
Ability to Relate to Others
People with high emotional intelligence instinctively understand how to relate to others.
Whether dealing with a demanding customer in a retail job or comforting a close friend, emotionally intelligent people seem to know exactly what to do or say to diffuse a challenging situation or help those around them.
An influential factor in relating to others is understanding what motivates people’s thoughts and actions.
It is easy for most people to instinctively know how to cheer up a close friend or partner, simply because over time, as relationships grow, people learn more about one another.
People with high emotional intelligence, though, can size up any situation, including strangers, and somehow find the right words to say or things to do to motivate those around them.
One of the major components of emotional intelligence is empathy.
Being able to put oneself in someone else’s shoes, and understand their perspective, is a cornerstone of EQ. People who have high levels of emotional intelligence can interpret and understand others on an emotional level.
Whether speaking with a friend going through a difficult time or dealing with an unhappy client at work, the ability to understand another perspective and adjust your approach accordingly is a valuable tool.
Everyone wants to feel understood, and those with high levels of emotional intelligence are easily able to connect with others on a personal level.
Often young children, particularly in those terrible twos, and toddler years, lack self-control.
Therefore, when something occurs in their world that is unexpected or disappointing, rather than self regulate and change their expectations, they lose it! They cry, scream, kick, and rail against the unfairness of it all.
Self-control is a skill that people learn over time as they learn to relate to the world around them.
Everyone knows that one person who feels slighted at every turn.
Anytime something goes wrong or interferes with their plans, they don’t recover quickly. They wallow in self-pity, blame people around them, or yell and scream. These are folks who lack self-control, which is a vital part of emotional intelligence.
By contrast, others always seem to find the silver lining. Even when things don’t go their way, they can quickly adjust their expectations and make the best of a less than ideal situation.
Being able to quickly adapt to changes in the environment and the behaviors of the people around them, while remaining secure and comfortable within themselves is the mark of one with excellent self-control.
These skills help every aspect of life, from personal relationships with family, friends, and a spouse, to one’s professional life. Emotional intelligence can make the difference between personal or professional success and failure.
Able to Manage Change
People with high levels of emotional intelligence are also able to adapt to change.
Change is difficult for everyone, but individuals with high EQ are better able to adapt to change. With any significant change, it is natural to feel anxious, helpless, or fearful.
It is also very easy to get caught up in those negative emotions, and fight against the source of the change, whether it’s a professional adjustment or a change within one’s personal life.
Emotionally intelligent individuals are inherently adaptable. They instinctively understand the basis of their resistance to change, whether professional or personal, and effectively manage their insecurities and fears while approaching the change logically.
A hallmark of emotional intelligence is your ability to manage:
- Difficult emotions,
- Quell fears
- Be comfortable with the unknown
Able to Take Personal Responsibility
In every relationship, whether dealing with romantic partners, friends, or work colleagues, disagreements and strife will occasionally occur. Life simply has it’s positives and negatives. They’re unavoidable. (more on this on our review of Jim Carrey’s Maharishi University Motivational Speech).
While very few enjoy engaging in arguments or heated discussions, emotional intelligence can be the key to managing a tough conversation.
A sure sign of maturity and emotional intelligence is being able to:
- Accept fault
- Create a compromise
- Apologize when appropriate
These skills come naturally to those with a high EQ.
How Does Emotional Intelligence Benefit the Workplace
These days, companies are focusing on the emotional intelligence of their employees and potential employees. In fact, many companies are now using “personality tests” as part of the hiring process.
Many of these personality tests are specifically designed to gauge emotional intelligence.
Studies show that highly emotionally intelligent individuals can stay motivated professionally regardless of external factors. Whether they like or hate their job, agree, or disagree with company policy, there are simply people within the workplace who will find a way to keep themselves:
Understanding personal motivation and the motivation of those around us can make professional life much more comfortable.
Building relationships and networking is all about emotional intelligence and finding out exactly what makes others tick.
An individual’s, and an organization’s, overall success can be dramatically affected by uncovering ways that individuals can:
- Mutually benefit and help each other in the workplace
- Developing and cultivating professional relationships over time
Emotional intelligence also helps individuals deal with change.
Lets face it, no one likes change, especially in the workplace! It is always scary when a company makes sweeping changes, hires new management, or dramatically shifts policies.
However, emotionally intelligent individuals better adapt and move forward in a positive manner, even in the face of major change or uncertainty. Being able to adjust expectations and modify personal behavior in the workplace is key to surviving change.
You may also want to go through our guide to the Highest Vibrational Human Emotions explores the positive emotions that can elevate our consciousness and improve our well-being.
What Jobs Require High Emotional Intelligence
While people in any position can benefit from emotional intelligence, some careers seem to be built for individuals with specific skill sets, particularly those skills associated with emotional intelligence.
The most obvious is sales.
Not everyone is a born salesperson.
It takes a very high level of emotional intelligence to successfully work in a sales position for a long time without suffering career burn out.
Huge factors when working in sales include the ability to:
- Stay self-motivated,
- Understand both the spoken and unspoken needs of customers,
- Deal with plenty of daily uncertainty and change
In any company, the top salespeople are excellent at interpreting the world around them and adjusting their behavior to suit the situation.
Additionally, jobs dealing with people on a personal level are also an excellent choice for the emotionally intelligent.
Examples of professionals who use the skill sets defined by emotional intelligence on a daily basis include:
- Psychologists and Psychiatrists
- School counselors
- Social workers
- Human resources
Most everyone has had good and bad bosses.
Typically, the most successful managers are highly emotionally intelligent and can motivate a team to work hard under any circumstance.
A good manager will be fair to everyone, but also treat people as individuals by understanding what is important to the individual employee.
The ability to adjust personal behavior to motivate a team is indicative of emotional intelligence.
Working on Increasing Your EQ
Emotional intelligence affects every area of life, from personal relationships to the professional arena, and also dramatically affects one’s personal happiness.
It is possible to increase EQ by:
- Practicing self-awareness,
- Determining personal motivators,
- Assessing one’s reaction to change
- Learning how to respond rather than react to difficult or surprising situations
Engaging in self-talk is a great way to gain personal understanding, develop more self-awareness, and improve one’s emotional intelligence.
Taking the time to learn what motivates the people around you, whether strangers or friends, is also a great way to build EQ.
Develop the ability to accept criticism and make personal changes is also a critical factor in improving one’s emotional intelligence.
While it may take some time, and plenty of stops and starts along your journey, developing a higher EQ can dramatically improve your outlook on life, as well as your personal and professional relationships.
EQ is one of many keys to creating a happy life.