If I told you that there was a sure-fire way to increase your IQ (Intelligence Quotient) I’m pretty sure that would grab your attention. But if I told you that there was a way to increase your EQ (Emotion Quotient – a measure of Emotional Intelligence) would you jump at that chance too? Companies who invest in their employees Emotional Intelligence see a return on investment of up to four times. Now I haven’t run those studies, but I would think the return is four times, at least. I am sure you also know people who are blessed with high IQ, and yet their personal lives are something of a mess.
So, what is Emotional Intelligence (EI). In simple terms it’s the harmonisation of the head and the heart. Recognising, accepting, and managing emotions in you and in others. EI is often broken down into these four categories –
- Recognising how your emotions affect your performance.
- Knowing your own inner resources, abilities, and limits.
- Honesty in your positive and negative biases, and your own strengths and weaknesses.
- Being open to feedback.
- Having a sense of humour about yourself. Don’t take yourself too seriously.
Awareness of Others
- Properly listening to others, not just listening to reply.
- Sensing and accepting others’ feelings and perspectives.
- Taking an active interest in the concerns of others.
- Reading a group’s emotional currents and power relationships.
- Emotional self-control – keeping disruptive emotions and impulses in check.
- Adaptability and flexibility in handling change.
- Motivating ourselves.
- Achievement orientation – striving to meet or exceed a standard of excellence.
- Positive outlook – persistence in pursuing goals despite obstacles and setbacks.
Leadership and Management of Others
- Having a positive impact on others.
- Inspiring and guiding individuals and groups.
- Taking an active interest in others’ development needs and bolstering their abilities.
- Negotiating and resolving conflict.
- Working toward a shared goal.
Measuring your EQ is about assessing how well you do in these categories. There are good tools out there that do this. But, with a little honesty, you could just read the list above, and form a sense of how good your emotional intelligence is. A deeper insight is often gained when we add how others perceive us too. Are you brave enough to ask others for their opinions of how high your EQ is?
Anecdotally, women are often regarded as having higher EQ than men. Though the experimental evidence is more mixed. Look around your life, at home and at work and see what you think. Whether you are a man or woman, no matter how high, or not so high, your EQ score is, the good news is that you can improve it. There isn’t just one way to do so, but learning about NLP, Time Line Therapy™, and Coaching is a good place to start.
NLP gives you the skills to observe subtle changes in other people’s physiology, and to relate that to what they are experiencing. It teaches you how to build better relationships with other people. And it gives you access to a more conscious way to understand and utilise language. On top of that NLP includes change techniques, these allow you to let go of some of the things that sometimes prevent you from being the super awesome person that you really are.
Time Line Therapy™ is really good at letting go negative emotions from the past, such as anger, sadness, fear, hurt, and guilt. This is an essential step in the process of improving your EQ. Consider this analogy, all the times that you have felt an emotion in the past is like an open wound. If something happens in the now to make you feel the emotion it is as if someone has poked your wound, and all the emotion with its historical associations is activated. As I am sure you have seen in others or even felt in yourself, this is a real block to emotional intelligence. The Time Line Therapy™ processes allow you to release emotions from the past, so if something happens now, all of the old associations are not activated too. To continue the earlier analogy, your wound has been healed, you may have a scar from the past, but when it is poked now you don’t feel the searing pain that you use to.
Learning about coaching gives you a skill set as a parent, manager, or friend that I think is essential in our modern world. Being the recipient of coaching is a generative process because you are guided to the solution by the coach, rather than being simply told what to do. Embedding coaching skills in your own personal toolkit means that you are improving your awareness of others and your ability to lead and manage too.
There is a new paradigm forming in the world today. You may not see it directly on your TV screens, you may not hear many people talking about it, but it is forming, I can feel it. This new paradigm includes the harmonisation of heart and head. Do you have enough emotional intelligence to see that you need to increase your EQ?
“An intellectual is someone whose mind watches itself.” Albert Camus