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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 December 2, 2018

7 Public Speaking Techniques To Help Connect With Your Audience

7 Public Speaking Techniques To Help Connect With Your Audience

When giving a presentation or speech, you have to engage your audience effectively in order to truly get your point across. Unlike a written editorial or newsletter, your speech is fleeting; once you’ve said everything you set out to say, you don’t get a second chance to have your voice heard in that specific arena.

You need to make sure your audience hangs on to every word you say, from your introduction to your wrap-up. You can do so by:

1. Connecting them with each other

Picture your typical rock concert. What’s the first thing the singer says to the crowd after jumping out on stage? “Hello (insert city name here)!” Just acknowledging that he’s coherent enough to know where he is is enough for the audience to go wild and get into the show.

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It makes each individual feel as if they’re a part of something bigger. The same goes for any public speaking event. When an audience hears, “You’re all here because you care deeply about wildlife preservation,” it gives them a sense that they’re not just there to listen, but they’re there to connect with the like-minded people all around them.

2. Connect with their emotions

Speakers always try to get their audience emotionally involved in whatever topic they’re discussing. There are a variety of ways in which to do this, such as using statistics, stories, pictures or videos that really show the importance of the topic at hand.

For example, showing pictures of the aftermath of an accident related to drunk driving will certainly send a specific message to an audience of teenagers and young adults. While doing so might be emotionally nerve-racking to the crowd, it may be necessary to get your point across and engage them fully.

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3. Keep going back to the beginning

Revisit your theme throughout your presentation. Although you should give your audience the credit they deserve and know that they can follow along, linking back to your initial thesis can act as a subconscious reminder of why what you’re currently telling them is important.

On the other hand, if you simply mention your theme or the point of your speech at the beginning and never mention it again, it gives your audience the impression that it’s not really that important.

4. Link to your audience’s motivation

After you’ve acknowledged your audience’s common interests in being present, discuss their motivation for being there. Be specific. Using the previous example, if your audience clearly cares about wildlife preservation, discuss what can be done to help save endangered species’ from extinction.

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Don’t just give them cold, hard facts; use the facts to make a point that they can use to better themselves or the world in some way.

5. Entertain them

While not all speeches or presentations are meant to be entertaining in a comedic way, audiences will become thoroughly engaged in anecdotes that relate to the overall theme of the speech. We discussed appealing to emotions, and that’s exactly what a speaker sets out to do when he tells a story from his past or that of a well-known historical figure.

Speakers usually tell more than one story in order to show that the first one they told isn’t simply an anomaly, and that whatever outcome they’re attempting to prove will consistently reoccur, given certain circumstances.

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6. Appeal to loyalty

Just like the musician mentioning the town he’s playing in will get the audience ready to rock, speakers need to appeal to their audience’s loyalty to their country, company, product or cause. Show them how important it is that they’re present and listening to your speech by making your words hit home to each individual.

In doing so, the members of your audience will feel as if you’re speaking directly to them while you’re addressing the entire crowd.

7. Tell them the benefits of the presentation

Early on in your presentation, you should tell your audience exactly what they’ll learn, and exactly how they’ll learn it. Don’t expect them to listen if they don’t have clear-cut information to listen for. On the other hand, if they know what to listen for, they’ll be more apt to stay engaged throughout your entire presentation so they don’t miss anything.

Featured photo credit: Flickr via farm4.staticflickr.com

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