This anomaly confused the broadly held assumption that IQ was the sole source of success.
ecades of research now point to emotional intelligence as being the critical factor that sets star performers apart from the rest of the pack. The connection is so strong that 90% of top performers have high emotional intelligence.
Emotional intelligence is the “something” in each of us that is a bit intangible. It affects how we manage behaviour, navigate social complexities, and make personal decisions to achieve positive results.
All people experience emotions, but it is a select few who can accurately identify them as they occur. Research shows that only 36% of people can do this. People with high EQs master their emotions because they understand them, and they use an extensive vocabulary of feelings to do so. The more specific your word choice, the better insight you have into exactly how you are feeling, what caused it, and what you should do about it.
It doesn’t matter if they’re introverted or extroverted, emotionally intelligent people are curious about everyone around them. This curiosity is the product of empathy, one of the most significant gateways to a high EQ.
Emotionally intelligent people are flexible and are constantly adapting. They know that fear of change is paralyzing and a major threat to their success and happiness. They look for change and they form a plan of action should these changes occur.
Emotionally intelligent people don’t just understand emotions; they know what they’re good at and what they’re not so good at. They also know the environments (both situations and people) that enable them to succeed. Having a high EQ means you know your strengths and you know how to use them to your full advantage while keeping your weaknesses from holding you back.
Much of emotional intelligence comes down to social awareness; the ability to read other people, know what they’re about, and understand what they're going through. Over time, this skill makes you an exceptional judge of character.
If you have a firm grasp of whom you are, it’s difficult for someone to say or do something that offends. Emotionally intelligent people are self-confident and open-minded.
Emotional intelligence means knowing how to exert self-control. You delay gratification, and you avoid impulsive action. Saying "no" is indeed a major self-control challenge for many people. Saying "no" to a new commitment honors your existing commitments and gives you the opportunity to successfully fulfill them.
Emotionally intelligent people distance themselves from their mistakes, but do so without forgetting them. By keeping their mistakes at a safe distance, yet able to refer to, they are able to adapt and adjust for future success. The key to balance lies in your ability to transform failures into nuggets of improvement. This creates the tendency to get right back up every time you fall down.
When someone gives you something spontaneously, without expecting anything in return, this leaves a powerful impression. Emotionally intelligent people build strong relationships because they are constantly thinking about others.
The negative emotions that come with holding onto a grudge are actually a stress response. Just thinking about the event sends your body into fight-or-flight mode, a survival mechanism that forces you to stand up and fight or run for the hills when faced with a threat. Holding onto a grudge means you’re holding onto stress, and emotionally intelligent people know to avoid this at all costs. Letting go of a grudge not only makes you feel better now but can also improve your health.
Dealing with difficult people is frustrating and exhausting for most. High EQ individuals control their interactions with toxic people by keeping their feelings in check. They identify their own emotions and don’t allow anger or frustration to fuel the chaos. They also consider the difficult person’s standpoint and are able to find solutions and common ground.
Emotionally intelligent people won’t set perfection as their target because they know that it doesn’t exist. When perfection is your goal, you’re always left with a nagging sense of failure that makes you want to give up or reduce your effort. You end up spending your time lamenting what you failed to accomplish and what you should have done differently instead of moving forward, excited about what you've achieved and what you will accomplish in the future.
Taking time to contemplate what you’re grateful for isn’t merely the right thing to do; it also improves your mood. Research conducted at the University of California, Davis, found that people who worked daily to cultivate an attitude of gratitude experienced improved mood, energy, and physical well-being.
Taking regular time off the grid is a sign of a high EQ because it helps you to keep your stress under control and to live in the moment. When you make yourself available to your work 24/7, you expose yourself to a constant barrage of stressors. Technology enables constant communication and the expectation that you should be available 24/7. Forcing yourself offline and even turning off your phone gives your body and mind a break. Studies have shown that something as simple as an e-mail break can lower stress levels.
The more you ruminate on negative thoughts, the more power you give them. Most of our negative thoughts are just that—thoughts, not facts. Emotionally intelligent people separate their thoughts from the facts in order to escape the cycle of negativity and move toward a positive, new outlook.
When your sense of pleasure and satisfaction are derived from the opinions of other people, you are no longer the master of your own happiness. When emotionally intelligent people feel good about something that they’ve done, they won’t let anyone’s opinions or negative remarks take that away from them.
You don’t have to compare yourself to others. No matter what other people are thinking or doing, your self-worth comes from within.