You may get hired because of your IQ, but your emotional IQ may determine if you’re successful on the job – or if you’ll get fired.

Your IQ (or intelligence quotient) measures your problem solving and spatial skills, in addition to your memory and verbal proficiency. And, your cognitive ability plays an important in predicting your job performance.

But your emotional IQ, also known as your EQ, is becoming increasingly more important as well.

Emotional intelligence refers to the ability to be aware of and manage your behaviors. It also includes the ability to gauge the emotions and actions of others and respond accordingly to manage relationships.

According to a TalentSmart survey:

  • EQ is responsible for 58% of your job performance, and is actually the strongest predictor of success
  • 90% of top performers have high EQ
  • People with high EQ make $29,000 more annually than their low EQ counterparts

Your EQ can be gauged in a variety of situations, such as the ability to:

  • Stay calm under stress or pressure
  • Empathize with others
  • Admit when making a mistake
  • Avoid categorizing others as being too sensitive
  • Refrain from being judgmental
  • Overcome obstacles
  • Enthusiastically attack unpleasant tasks

Susan Kuczmarski, along with her husband, Tom, have co-authored, “Apples Are Square: Thinking Differently About Leadership,” and she is also a guest lecturer teaching executive education classes at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School.

Kuczmarski tells HER Magazine that it’s important to have emotional intelligence at work for a variety of reasons. “Establishing an emotional connection is a great way to create sustainable points of contact among team members.” And, once these connections link team members together, Kuczmarski says, “They can supercharge common growth and collaboration.”

And if you want to be a leader, your EQ is particularly important. “There are many different players that make up the team, yet you have to touch people individually,” according to Kuczmarski. “When you send a note to the entire team it is not as personal as when you write an individual note.”

While some people might think that leaders should distance themselves, she says this is the wrong approach. “Leaders need to be engaging, self-effacing, unpretentious, endearing, and charismatic.”

So how can you build your EQ? Office Team provide 5 strategies:

Boost your self-awareness. Learn how to gauge your responses, and ask colleagues for feedback.

Think before reacting. Obviously, you need to avoid emotional outbursts; however, when you’re about to have any type of negative emotional response, step away for a few minutes to calm down.

Impact a sense of motivation. If you’re a leader, it’s your job to motivate others, and this can be achieved by accentuating their strengths, and making sure they have the resources they need.

Listen more. When others are talking, don’t interrupt; instead really pay attention to what is being said so you can clearly understand the person’s viewpoint.

 Improve your social skills. Make a concerted effort to improve your communication skills by being friendly and diffuse conflict situations.


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