Although emotional intelligence is a newer term that has only been around since 1990, the characteristics of an emotionally intelligent person have remained constant for far longer. As it turns out, studies show that between IQ and emotional intelligence, or EQ, the latter is the much bigger indicator of success every time.
Emotional intelligence is basically the ability to understand one’s own emotions, not let them control your responses, and to understand other people’s emotions as well. Emotionally intelligent people have 5 basic characteristics that gear them for success, both personally and professionally.
These five characteristics are self-awareness, self-regulation, empathy, social skills, and motivation. Emotionally intelligent people take accountability for their mistakes and they understand their limits; they don’t let heavy emotions control their responses, they understand and predict how others will feel; they’re well liked by others; and they are also seeking ways to improve.
All of these things add up to a person who is not only a great employee and a great friend, but also an excellent leader. People with high EQ are 7x more likely to be effective leaders. They engage their employees, reduce turnover, increase profits, and increase customer satisfaction.
Just a single point increase in emotional intelligence is shown to increase annual income by $1,300, and 90% of the highest performing employees have high emotional intelligence as well.
Although some people are naturally more self-aware, empathetic, and motivated, EQ is a skill that can be learned by anyone, and it is arguably the best skill one can acquire to ensure success in every area of life.