(CARLSBAD, CA) – You probably know someone who fits this description. The person is brilliant, with a mind unparalleled by others. But their success has been halted by a social ineptness, an inability to handle personal emotions and interpersonal relationships with finesse. This person may have an extremely high IQ, but a faltering EQ.
Emotional intelligence (EI), also known as the emotional quotient (EQ), is one of the hot topics in business and social settings of the new century. Researchers John Mayer, PhD, University of New Hampshire, and Peter Salovey, PhD, Yale University, originally coined the term, “emotional intelligence,” in the late 1980s. The researchers studied the relationship between emotions and intellect, and how management of emotions may ultimately be more relevant than intellect to one’s success in life.
The emotionally intelligent person is someone who can handle both business and social situations with style and grace. Their management of personal emotions and interpersonal communication is top-notch. At Rutgers University, researchers found that such characteristics of emotional intelligence create greater job productivity and satisfaction. Perhaps that’s why modern-day businesses have learned to value emotional intelligence even more than mental intelligence. The U.S. Department of Labor reports that when employers hire new employees, IQ is deemed less important than “people skills,” including communication, adaptability, self-esteem, self-motivation, teamwork, and an ability to negotiate.
What’s your emotional intelligence level? And can it be changed? Daniel Goleman, PhD, author of the bestselling book, Emotional Intelligence: Why it can matter more than IQ, defines five basic elements of emotional intelligence:
Self-awareness. Do you recognize your emotions as they occur? Do you verbalize these emotions, at least to yourself, or do you ignore them? Self-aware people have an ability to recognize and identify their feelings, then control their actions accordingly.
Managing emotions. Do you have techniques in place to manage your emotions? How do you respond when someone presents you with news that may upset or worry you? Jazzercise Founder and CEO Judi Sheppard Missett suggests strategies such as taking a deep breath or counting to 10 to help you manage your emotions in difficult settings.
Self-motivation. Are you willing to delay gratification as you work towards your goals? If you find yourself in a life situation that feels like you’re training for a marathon that never ends, remember that the self-motivated person restrains emotions in the temporary moment in order to reach the finish line.
Recognizing the emotions of others. Are you able to put yourself in somebody else’s shoes? Do you have the ability to stay tuned to the emotions of others? Try reading people’s facial expressions and body cues, and see if your attention to another person’s non-verbal cues makes a difference.
Handling relationships. How do you handle your relationships on a daily basis? The ability to handle relationships is the culmination of the other four elements of emotional intelligence. When you are self-aware, manage your emotions, enact motivation, and recognize the emotions of others, then your interpersonal relationship success will increase ten-fold.
IQ is thought to be determined at birth. But EQ is something that can be changed and developed over time. Continue to showcase your strengths and improve upon your weaknesses in the elements of emotional intelligence. Not only will your emotional intelligence help you on the job, but it also may just help you find more peace and happiness in your daily life.
Jazzercise, created by Judi Sheppard Missett, is the world's leading dance-fitness program with more than 7,500 instructors teaching 32,000 classes weekly in the U.S. and around the globe. Since 1969, millions of people of all ages and fitness levels have reaped the benefits of this comprehensive program, designed to enhance cardiovascular endurance, strength, and flexibility. For more information on Jazzercise go to jazzercise.com or call (800)FIT-IS-IT or (760)476-1750.