Emotional Intelligence Explained

December 10, 2013

I read a great article the other day about Emotional Intelligence (EQ) that I thought I would paraphrase and share with you. EQ is something that can be troublesome to explain and the article did it beautifully and simply.

The article was based on a book by Daniel Goleman called Focus: The Hidden Driver of Excellence.

To put it in colloquial terms, emotional intelligence (EQ) is like “street smarts,” as opposed to educational intelligence (IQ) “book smarts,” and it’s what gives some people the ability to navigate life more effectively.

To quote the author “What having emotional intelligence looks like is that you’re confident, good at working towards your goals, adaptable and flexible. You recover quickly from stress and you’re resilient,” His catch phrase is “Life goes much more smoothly if you have good emotional intelligence.”

He defines the five components of emotional intelligence as self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, social skills and empathy. He also states that “People can be strong in some of these areas and deficient in others, but we all have the power to improve any of them.”

Here are his 14 questions to see how Emotionally Intelligent you are:

1. You’re curious about people you don’t know.
2. You’re a great leader.
3. You know your strengths and weaknesses.
4. You know how to pay attention.
5. When you’re upset, you know exactly why.
6. You can get along with most people.
7. You care deeply about being a good, moral person.
8. You take time to slow down and help others.
9. You’re good at reading people’s facial expressions.
10. After you fall, you get right back up.
11. You’re a good judge of character.
12. You trust your gut.
13. You’ve always been self-motivated.
14. You know when to say “no.”

I consider myself to have a high level of EQ and having read through the list there are a few that I could do with working on a bit more! I can get distracted too easily so need to work on my concentration. The last question also got me thinking that I do sometimes say yes when I shouldn’t because I’m good at question 8!

Now you know the constituent parts of EQ you can start to plan how to improve specific areas. Ask a close friend or colleague to go through the list with you and be honest with their critique of your performance. You may feel you are good at some of these points but that is your perspective. The key element of EQ is that you see things from other people’s perspectives too!

Many thanks

Stuart Allen

Trainer & Consultant at MTD Training


(Image by FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

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