EQ. I’m sure everyone has heard about it. EQ Or Emotional Intelligence. What is it really?
You ever been guilty of reacting without thinking at all? Got angry too quickly or acting jealous for nothing or being too easily provoked? We all have experienced that for sure. Losing control of your emotions can damage your chances of living a good life. It could easily be the difference between success and failure.
Examples of poor emotional intelligence (EQ) are everywhere. People arguing in public places, parents yelling at their children or someone swearing at their boss while angrily passing their resignation letter.
EQ is an essential part of a balanced and fulfilling life. From being a good business partner, parent or an employee at work. All successful people in their chosen field are destroyed by moments of emotional distress just like that.
Making a successful life means avoiding making people fearful, sad or unhappy. It all boils down to learning how to keep your emotions in check. Need to get upset or mad at someone? Do it in a conscious way so you are in control and not react without thinking. Otherwise, you’re going to end up apologizing for a very long time for having lost control of your emotions.
It’s about putting yourself in someone else’s position and see things through their eyes. That’s an example of high EQ and showing EMPATHY. People who are empathic rarely lose self-control. Everything becomes logical instead.
The easiest way to be high EQ is to simply PAUSE BEFORE REACTING. Most people are on autopilot. Someone cut you off in line or in a parking queue, and you’re immediately pissed off. This involves being honest with yourself about what you are feeling in that moment, be it anger, jealousy or being hurt. In those moments, take time out before giving a verbal or non-verbal reaction. Don’t speak for a few seconds and sit down if you are standing. People are always calmer and more composed when sitting. Walk away from an argument with your spouse and come back with calmer heads. If those around you expect you to say something, buy some time by saying “Can you give me a moment to think about this?”.
Being tired, not getting enough sleep, overworking or stress cause you to react emotionally. My advise to those I coach is that to sleep on things and respond the following day. If you need to write a difficult email to someone, it is always better to wait a day after you’ve drafted the wording before you send it, giving you time to reflect on it and reread it. Whenever I want to write something on social media that I feel is negative, I write it on a notepad and leave it for a few hours before going back to it to think if I should post it or not. 9 out of 10 times, I end up not posting.
To be highly empathetic, we need to realize how others are feeling and what they are trying to communicate is an awesome skill to have. The most memorable bosses I’ve worked with have those skills and I love them the most. They’re role models who I turn to for inspiration.
At the end of the day, real empathy is not about waiting to understand another person. It’s about proactively seeking to do so. It takes effort to give another person your full time and attention. To be able to ask others how they are feeling and if they’re coping well with things. Let’s not forget those closest to us. Never take anyone you love for granted. Avoid being too preoccupied to sit down and talk with your colleagues, spouse, partners and children.
Question of the day: On a scale of 1-10 with 10 being the highest, how high is your EQ?