Intelligence goes way beyond your IQ. There are a host of other factors involved including emotional intelligence, which is the ability to understand, manage and express your emotions. Emotional intelligence also includes the capacity to identify and relate to others’ emotions. People who are conscious of their own feelings and the feelings of others are often more successful in life and according to psychologist Daniel Goleman, emotional intelligence quotient or EQ often matters more than IQ.
The Five Components
When it comes to emotional intelligence, it is sometimes described as “street smarts” as opposed to “book smarts,” although that’s a rather simple explanation. Conscious awareness of your emotional behavior plays a huge role. So does getting along with people.
Evaluating EQ can seem rather subjective and not easily measured, but there are some key elements related to emotional intelligence. Again, going back to the work of Daniel Goleman, he identified five components of emotional intelligence: self-awareness, self-regulation, internal motivation, empathy and social skills.
People who are conscious of their own feelings and the feelings of others are often more successful in life and according to psychologist Daniel Goleman, emotional intelligence quotient or EQ often matters more than IQ.
Self-awareness is the ability to recognize and understand your feelings along with their impact in relation to other people. If you’re able to identify your emotions at any given moment and be honest with yourself about it, you display this component.
Self-regulation is what keeps you from lashing out when someone does something upsetting. Basically you know how to control your emotional impulses and think before acting.
Internal motivation is having the drive to do things on your own without outside pressures or thoughts of monetary rewards and status. It’s exercising your will and having a desire to achieve your goals.
Empathy includes being sensitive to the emotions of others, trying to understand how they feel and what they are going through. Essentially you can put yourself in their shoes.
Finally, social skills are an important part of EQ. It’s more than just schmoozing and making small talk at parties. It includes building rapport with others and developing relationships.
Signs of High EQ
So are you emotionally intelligent? We all are on some level. In many ways EQ is just like IQ, we all have it; it’s just a matter of degree. There are plenty of quizzes you can take to see where your EQ falls, but there are some telltale signs of high emotional intelligence. See if you have any of the following.
People with high EQ are usually able to pinpoint the reasons why they feel a certain way. They know why they are angry, happy or sad.
Overall, high EQ people like and accept themselves for who they are, despite their flaws. They are also aware of their strengths and weaknesses.
If you are good at reading other people’s emotions and/or facial expressions, you likely have a high EQ.
Are you a good judge of character? That’s another sign of high EQ.
What about getting along with most people? If you can answer yes, that also counts.
Another sign of high EQ is the ability to manage and deal with emotionally charged situations in a calm and rational way, while communicating effectively.
High EQ folks are also genuinely interested in other people. When meeting new people, they are curious and ask lots of questions.
Emotionally intelligent people also take time to listen and help others, cultivating a sense of empathy.
Do you follow your intuition? Most high EQ people do.
Can you control your impulses and urges? If you can say no to bad habits and emotional outbursts, that is another characteristic of high EQ.
Whether you can identify with the high EQ traits or not, you still have emotional intelligence—we all do. But the beauty of EQ is that it can always be improved, and that can make us all feel smarter!