There are many measures of success and even more ways to define it, but one thing is certain - polished skill in EQ can function as a key enabler of it.
Travis Bradbury, author of Emotional Intelligence 2.0
, found in his research that "90% of top performers are also high in emotional intelligence. On the flip side, just 20% of bottom performers are".
We used to think that our IQ scores were key contributors to success, and up to a score of about 115 they probably are. Past that point, author Daniel Goleman suggests, that it can be our EQ that gives us a competitive edge over a Mensa genius.
Surprisingly though, with all the hype and positive attention EQ has received over the years, we're apparently not getting much better at it. In April 2016, Josh Freedman, co-author of the State of the Heart study and chief executive of Six Seconds, observed that emotional intelligence unfortunately continues to decline globally. He hypothesised that this is due to growing stress and chaos in the world - another reason for the analysis results to indicate that emotional intelligence is essential for top performance.
The tactical grace of EQ can be defined as the ability to recognise, understand, strategically use, and most importantly, 'manage' one's emotions and those of others.
Can EQ be developed? Absolutely, and many organisations mandate its training, but it's not for the faint hearted. Behavioural change of this kind requires commitment and perseverance but definitely pays dividends. Enhancing your EQ will be a sound career strategy.
5 reasons to invest in EQ development
Having a heightened capacity to recognise our emotions as they arise, as well as having sensitivity to those of others, empowers us with the opportunity in the moment, to manage them mindfully, not reactively.
When we work to identify, acknowledge, and accept our personal conflict triggers and are practiced at managing them immediately, we are able to bypass the predictable inefficiencies of knee-jerk reactions that inflame.
- Effective relationships
Having a deepened sense of self-awareness, empathy and emotional agility we are better able to take responsibility for our defensive emotions, avoiding fateful finger pointing and blame. This generates positive interaction dynamics, the very framework supporting successful business outcomes and one of the hallmarks of great leadership.
With the ever-present pressures of a fluctuating economy, globalisation and the constant advance of technology, it is more important than ever to develop a mindset that is open, accepting, and adaptive to change at every turn.
By managing emotions and remaining objective during meetings that have the potential to be volatile and unproductive, we have the ability to tether interactions to attention on outcomes and end results.