How emotionally intelligent are you? This article will help you find out.
What’s the biggest determinant of personal success?
It’s not IQ – I’m sure you know many high-IQ people who have low net worth and/or are living through personal and financial difficulty. Being smart doesn’t make you successful – we know that now.
Instead, the biggest determinant of personal success is EQ – or, in layman’s terms, your emotional intelligence. It’s the trait that lets high school dropouts become motivational speakers, ex-convicts become community leaders, and ordinary homeowners become millionaires.
Basically, your emotional intelligence is your ability to understand emotions – both your own and those of others’ – and use them to solve problems, build better relationships, and achieve goals.
Needless to say, emotional intelligence is a crucial component of effective leadership, even if you’re working alone (you have to lead yourself, after all).
How emotionally intelligent are you? See how many of the following signs of high EQ you have.
Sign #1: You Know How the Importance of a Balanced Life
Contrary to what most people think, “balance” doesn’t mean EQUALLY dividing your waking hours between work, family, health, hobbies, and other important things in your life.
You’ll know this if you’ve ever tried Yoga. Some Yoga poses require you to put 90% of your weight on one foot and 10% on the other foot… and yet, you stay in perfect balance and harmony.
THAT’S the idea of balance you should have – a good mix of your health pursuits, wealth pursuits, and happiness pursuits that help you live a rewarding, fulfilling, meaningful life.
Is your life in balance? Or are there things you need to do more or less of in order to be truly satisfied and productive?
Sign #2: You Know How to Relate to People.
Do you know the damaging effects of drama on both your personal and work life, and try to avoid it as much as possible… or are you a source of drama for the people around you?
High EQ people know that 95% of drama is caused by miscommunication and misunderstanding. They also know that avoiding it means being empathetic to other people’s feelings and problems, which lets them refine their approaches to find win-win solutions.
Ultimately, being emotionally intelligent means knowing how to build and strengthen relationships with other people, and working with them to solve problems and achieve mutual goals.
Sign #3: You Know How to Be Thankful.
People with high emotional intelligence are positive thinkers, and not for the New Agey sake of it. They know that positivity spreads, affects other people, and improves results across the board – so they bring this positivity with them wherever they go.
What’s more, high-EQ people take criticism well. Instead of letting it hurt their feelings and affect their results negatively, they focus on the helpful criticism (or ignore it if there isn’t any,) and stay focused on getting the results they want.
Sign #4: You Know Where You Need to Grow.
Low-EQ people act as though they know everything and can do no wrong. They get offended when other people suggest otherwise, and when things go wrong, they tend to look for someone or something to blame.
People with high-emotional intelligence, on the other hand, know which areas of their lives they need to work on, and freely admit it. This allows them to work on their weaknesses and become better people, better workers, and better problem-solvers over time.
Sign #5: You Know What You Don’t Know.
Another hallmark trait of high-EQ people is an open mind. They know what they don’t know, so they’re open to new suggestions and new ideas.
At the same time, people with high emotional intelligence are always curious and trying out new things and new ways to solve problems. Relentless self-improvement is the name of the game.
Sign #6: You Know You Can’t Be Perfect.
Do you strive for perfection in everything you do, and get annoyed when things don’t turn out the way you hoped?
Perfection is an endless pursuit that ultimately results in inefficiency and failure, so don’t fall into its trap. Whether in your personal or work life, striving for perfection is a recipe for hurt relationships and broken dreams.
So try this instead: Pursue EXCELLENCE. Getting things done is much better than getting things perfect, so aim to get things done WELL – then move on to the next problem to be solved.
Sign #7: You Know That Change is Inevitable.
Lastly, emotionally intelligent people know that change is an inescapable part of life. As a result, they don’t resist change – they instead prepare for its eventuality. They set up contingencies and backup plans for every area of their life in case the worst happens.
Some very emotionally intelligent people set up their lives to even benefit when bad things happen to them (such as by getting enough insurance or putting money on stocks that rise when the economy falls). This takes lots of skill and planning, but simply being proactive instead of reactive leads to this kind of thoughtful preparation and anticipation.
This is especially important when you’re in a leadership position, whether in the home or at the workplace – when crisis hits, people will look to you for guidance and direction. Do you have a plan in place when things go wrong?
How Emotionally Intelligent Are You?
Quickly check the seven signs of emotionally intelligent people above. Which signs do you have? Which signs do you NOT have? And what can you do to fill those gaps in your emotional intelligence to become a better man, a better worker, and a better leader?
I suggest you make a list of the components of your emotional intelligence you’d like to develop. Then pick the one that will have the biggest positive impact on your life and the lives of the people who depend on you, and start working on that one first.
Photo: Getty Images