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Emotional Quotient Isn’t Just About Emotions. It Involves Numerous Skills

Emotional Quotient Isn’t Just About Emotions. It Involves Numerous Skills

Your emotional quotient plays a major role in your personal and business relationships. In fact, if you don’t work on honing the numerous skills that can boost your emotional quotient, it’s highly likely that you’ll end up dealing with a lot of unnecessary drama and pain.

The good news is that you’re not stuck with one emotional quotient from birth. Your intelligence quotient (IQ) can change throughout your life [1], and the same is true for your emotional quotient.

What is ‘Emotional Quotient’ ?

Your emotional quotient defines your level of emotional intelligence. If you are able to understand the motivations of others and work cooperatively with them, you are displaying a high emotional quotient. However, it’s vital to be aware that this is just one piece of the puzzle.

Psychologists have divided emotional intelligence into five major categories [2], according to Psychcentral. Your overall emotional quotient is determined by assessing all five of the following factors:

1. Empathy.

Your ability to understand others and be sensitive to the needs of a diverse group of people. Here are a couple of things empathetic people excel at:

  • Service orientation. Empathetic people are skilled at this because they are able to anticipate and recognize the needs of others.
  • Developing and understanding others. These individuals have an innate sense of what people need to advance, and they can determine the feelings behind a person’s wants and needs.

2. Motivation.

You have the initiative, drive, commitment and ability to feel optimistic when facing obstacles. Even if you lean toward having a negative attitude, you can will yourself to be more optimistic when facing hurdles in life.

3. Self-Awareness.

Your amount of self-esteem and awareness of your own emotions, including how they impact you and everyone around you.

There are two major elements of self-awareness:

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  • Self-confidence or the confidence in your capabilities and self worth; and
  • Emotional awareness, which means you are capable of recognizing your own emotions and their effects.

4. Social Skills.

Your success at working in a team, communicating effectively, being a leader, wielding influence, building relationships and initiating change all fit into this category.

5. Self-Regulation.

Your ability to manage your most disruptive thoughts and feelings, along with your level of innovation, trustworthiness, adaptability and conscientiousness.

There are many tests available that can help you determine your current emotional quotient. The Institute for Health and Human Potential even offers it for free. Just click here to take the quiz.

Is Your Emotional Quotient High or Low?

There’s no shame in discovering that you have a low emotional quotient because this gives you the opportunity to work on your self-improvement skills. Remember, we’re all constantly learning about ourselves and our place in the world.

The difference between a low and high emotional quotient can be as simple as deciding that you want to work on the necessary skills to improve your relationships.

Learn From the Negatives

Self-awareness is one of the biggest factors in your emotional quotient, but for many, it’s the hardest part to work on. We all live with ourselves 24/7, but that doesn’t mean that we’ve done the deeper emotional work that is required to be truly aware of what motivates us.

You might even be doing yourself more harm than good [3] by taking an anti-negativity approach. The reality is that all humans have negativity in their lives, but you can learn from yours.

How do You Determine Your “EQ”?

For example, let’s imagine a scenario where you and your partner have been bickering with each other for the past couple of days. Nothing specific has happened, and you don’t feel any active negative feelings toward them, but you’re still extremely irritated.

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Do you have the ability to look within yourself to find the root cause of your irritability? Perhaps even more importantly, are you able to be emotionally open and mature enough to express this to your partner and work together on finding an innovative solution?

If you answered yes to both questions, you have good self-awareness and are likely to have a high emotional quotient. If you answered no, you can learn to get more in touch with your feelings so that you can take action to make things better instead of relying on bickering to blow off steam.

Examples of a Low Intelligence Quotient

Fighting Dirty. Name calling and destructive behavior instead of working through problems with your partner.

Inability to Accept Criticism. Do you always become defensive and refuse to consider whether or not the criticism is valid? This is a sign that your emotional intelligence could use some work.

A Single Moment Ruining the Day. We all have emotions, and we’re all going to say or do something that we regret from time-to-time. People who cannot bounce back from these moments and instead allow the entire day to become ruined have a lower emotional quotient.

Racism, Homophobia, Xenophobia, etc. Part of emotional intelligence is being empathetic to the needs and experiences of others. It’s also important to be able to leverage cultural differences to achieve shared goals. Judging people based on their skin color, sexual orientation or country of origin are just a few of the many ways that people showcase issues with their emotional intelligence.

Many people have difficulty with emotional intelligence, even if they don’t realize it. If you or your partner have this problem, it doesn’t make either of you bad people. What’s important is to be willing to face the facts and take active steps to change.

One place you can start, advises Ronald E Riggio, Ph.D., is with learning more about nonverbal communication [4]. You may also be able to work through your personal feelings more effectively by setting aside time to journal, reflect and meditate daily.

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If emotional regulation is a big issue, consider trying Tai Chi. Keep in mind that some people weren’t taught the right tools during childhood, so they may need to do extensive self-work to show any major improvements.

Doing this work, no matter how difficult it is, can lead to better relationships and a higher quality of life.

These Skills Would Improve Your Emotional Quotient:

1. Taking Action with Self-Awareness

In the previous example about the couple that was bickering for no apparent reason, there was one major change in their living environment: they had recently acquired many new items, and their house had become very cluttered.

Becoming self-aware would make it much easier to determine this was the issue. From there, the couple could have sought out decluttering techniques to prevent the problem from happening in the first place.

For example, if the bathroom was especially cluttered, the couple could’ve made the decision to incorporate better storage solutions[5] in order to keep things off of the counter-top. This approach would have prevented the fighting and made both people feel less stressed.

2. Boosting Empathy

Studies have found that reading fiction can make it easier to feel empathy[6] for people who are different from you. Challenge yourself to take this step, and open up to the idea of actively attempting to put yourself in someone else’s shoes before responding to them.

3. Learn to Use Optimism as a Tool

Optimism doesn’t mean pushing aside any negative thoughts or feelings. Sadly, people who do that on a regular basis could actually be hurting their self-awareness and emotional intelligence.

What optimism can do, though, is help you push through setbacks. Instead of wallowing in negativity, let optimism remind you that any perceived failure is a learning opportunity that can improve your ultimate results.

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4. Hone Your Social Skills

This can be a tricky one for introverts, but you don’t actually have to be overly social to boost your social skills.

Instead, work on building the relationships you do have and step out of your comfort zone long enough to initiate something new such as going to a different restaurant. Small steps of this nature can help you move your social skills in the right direction.

5. Don’t Let Your Emotions Control You

We all have bad days, and everyone has yelled something they wish they could take back. When this happens, you need to take personal responsibility and work at getting your day back on track.

Learning to take three deep breaths before you explode is a prime example of improving emotional intelligence. The response from your partner is likely to be much better as well.

Start Improving Your Emotional Quotient!

As you can see, there are many skills that play a role in your ability to increase your emotional quotient. Remember that you must start with yourself before you can expand on these concepts with other people.

This means taking the time to examine personal issues such as the root cause of low self-esteem[7] . The work may be difficult at first, but the rewards of higher emotional intelligence are well-worth the effort.

Reference

More by this author

Holly Chavez

Writer, Entrepreneur, Small Business Owner

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Last Updated on February 21, 2019

The Secret to Effective Conflict Resolution: The IBR Approach

The Secret to Effective Conflict Resolution: The IBR Approach

In business, in social relationships, in family… In whatever context conflict is always inevitable, especially when you are in the leader role. This role equals “make decisions for the best of majority” and the remaining are not amused. Conflicts arise.

Conflicts arise when we want to push for a better quality work but some members want to take a break from work.

Conflicts arise when we as citizens want more recreational facilities but the Government has to balance the needs to maintain tourism growth.

Conflicts are literally everywhere.

Avoiding Conflicts a No-No and Resolving Conflicts a Win-Win

Avoiding conflicts seem to be a viable option for us. The cruel fact is, it isn’t. Conflicts won’t walk away by themselves. They will, instead, escalate and haunt you back even more when we finally realize that’s no way we can let it be.

Moreover, avoiding conflicts will eventually intensify the misunderstanding among the involved parties. And the misunderstanding severely hinders open communication which later on the parties tend to keep things secret. This is obviously detrimental to teamwork.

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Some may view conflicts as the last step before arguments. And they thus leave it aside as if they never happen. This is not true.

Conflicts are the intersect point between different individuals with different opinions. And this does not necessarily lead to argument.

Instead, proper handling of conflicts can actually result in a win-win situation – both parties are pleased and allies are gained. A better understanding between each other and future conflicts are less likely to happen.

The IBR Approach to Resolve Conflicts

Here, we introduce to you an effective approach to resolve conflicts – the Interest-Based Relational (IBR) approach. The IBR approach was developed by Roger Fisher and William Ury in their 1981 book Getting to Yes. It stresses the importance of the separation between people and their emotions from the problem. Another focus of the approach is to build mutual understanding and respect as they strengthen bonds among parties and can ultimately help resolve conflicts in a harmonious way. The approach suggests a 6-step procedure for conflict resolution:

Step 1: Prioritize Good Relationships

How? Before addressing the problem or even starting the discussion, make it clear the conflict can result in a mutual trouble and through subsequent respectful negotiation the conflict can be resolved peacefully. And that brings the best outcome to the whole team by working together.

Why? It is easy to overlook own cause of the conflict and point the finger to the members with different opinions. With such a mindset, it is likely to blame rather than to listen to the others and fail to acknowledge the problem completely. Such a discussion manner will undermine the good relationships among the members and aggravate the problem.

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Example: Before discussion, stress that the problem is never one’s complete fault. Everyone is responsible for it. Then, it is important to point out our own involvement in the problem and state clearly we are here to listen to everyone’s opinions rather than accusing others.

Step 2: People Are NOT the Cause of Problem

How? State clearly the problem is never one-sided. Collaborative effort is needed. More importantly, note the problem should not be taken personally. We are not making accusations on persons but addressing the problem itself.

Why? Once things taken personally, everything will go out of control. People will become irrational and neglect others’ opinions. We are then unable to address the problem properly because we cannot grasp a fuller and clearer picture of the problem due to presumption.

Example: In spite of the confronting opinions, we have to emphasize that the problem is not a result of the persons but probably the different perspectives to view it. So, if we try to look at the problem from the other’s perspective, we may understand why there are varied opinions.

Step 3: Listen From ALL Stances

How? Do NOT blame others. It is of utmost importance. Ask for everyone’s opinions. It is important to let everyone feel that they contribute to the discussion. Tell them their involvement is essential to solve the problem and their effort is very much appreciated.

Why? None wants to be ignored. If one feels neglected, it is very likely for he/she to be aggressive. It is definitely not what we hope to see in a discussion. Acknowledging and being acknowledged are equally important. So, make sure everyone has equal opportunity to express their views. Also, realizing their opinions are not neglected, they will be more receptive to other opinions.

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Example: A little trick can played here: Invite others to talk first. It is an easy way to let others feel involved and ,more importantly, know their voices are heard. Also, we can show that we are actively listening to them by giving direct eye-contact and nodding. One important to note is that never interrupt anyone. Always let them finish first beforeanother one begins.

Step 4: Listen Comes First, Talk Follows

How? Ensure everyone has listened to one another points of view. It can be done by taking turn to speak and leaving the discussion part at last. State once again the problem is nothing personal and no accusation should be made.

Why? By turn-taking, everyone can finish talking and voices of all sides can be heard indiscriminantly. This can promote willingness to listen to opposing opinions.

Example: We can prepare pieces of paper with different numbers written on them. Then, ask different members to pick one and talk according to the sequence of the number. After everyone’s finished, advise everyone to use “I” more than “You” in the discussion period to avoid others thinking that it is an accusation.

Step 5: Understand the Facts, Then Address the Problem

How? List out ALL the facts first. Ask everyone to tell what they know about the problems.

Why? Sometimes your facts are unknown to the others while they may know something we don’t. Missing out on these facts could possibly lead to inaccurate capture of the problem. Also, different known facts can lead to different perception of the matter. It also helps everyone better understand the problem and can eventually help reach a solution.

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Example: While everyone is expressing their own views, ask them to write down everything they know that is true to the problem. As soon as everyone has finished, all facts can be noted and everyone’s understanding of the problem is raised.

Step 6: Solve the Problem Together

How? Knowing what everyone’s thinking, it is now time to resolve the conflict. Up to this point, everyone should have understood the problem better. So, it is everyone’s time to suggest some solutions. It is important not to have one giving all the solutions.

Why? Having everyone suggesting their solutions is important as they will not feel excluded and their opinions are considered. Besides, it may also generate more solutions that can better resolve the conflicts. Everyone will more likely be satisfied with the result.

Example: After discussion, ask all members to suggest any possible solutions and stress that all solutions are welcomed. State clearly that we are looking for the best outcomes for everyone’s sake rather than battling to win over one another. Then, evaluate all the solutions and pick the one that is in favor of everyone.

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