In these uncertain times, success in the workplace requires more than education, theoretical knowledge and experience. Today, Emotional Quotient (EQ) is as important as Intelligence Quotient (IQ)
If you have a hard time saying ‘No’ to people and you end up biting more than you can chew, in all probability, you are low on Emotional Intelligence (EI), also known as Emotional Quotient (EQ). A research at the University of California states that the more difficulty you have in saying ‘No’, the more likely you are to experience burnouts, stress and even depression.
What is Emotional Intelligence?
Have you ever asked yourself, ‘Am I emotionally intelligent?’ When faced with a deadline, how do you react to it? Do you get anxious or do you stay focussed and create a plan to reach the goal? Your EQ determines how you react to situations, especially in tough times.
So, how does one define Emotional Intelligence?
According to Daniel Goleman, science journalist and author of ‘Emotional Intelligence: Why it can matter more than IQ?’, EQ refers to the capacity of recognising our feelings, and those of others, for motivating ourselves, and for managing emotions well, in ourselves and our relationships.
The awareness of self, i.e., the ability to understand and recognise your emotions as well as their effect on others, social awareness or empathy, i.e., trying to understand where other people’s reactions are coming from and self-management, i.e., thinking before acting, together make up a person’s EQ.
Miss Aruna, Senior Counsellor with 1to1Help, India’s Employee Assistance Program (EAP) provider that offers psychological counselling to help employees, lists out the traits of people with High EQ.
- They acknowledge their flaws and learn from their mistakes.
- They can take criticism well.
- They stay calm in the chaos and have a solution-oriented mindset.
- They can have thoughtful discussions with just anyone around them.
- They are good listeners.
People with low EQ, on the other hand, think that they are often misunderstood by others and are unable to convey their ideas properly. She adds, “This makes them irritable and frustrated. They usually blame others for their problems and do not give much consideration to other’s emotions.”
How can you develop Emotional Intelligence?
Understand your emotions.Take a paper and write down exactly how you are feeling. Are you able to understand and articulate your exact emotion(s)? The ability to recognise how we think affects how we feel and that in turn affects our actions.
According to psychologist Robert Plutchik, there are 8 primary emotions: joy, trust, fear, surprise, sadness, anticipation, anger, and disgust. His famous wheel of emotions describes how combinations of these primary emotions generate other emotions. For instance, when you combine anticipation and joy, you get optimism. The darker the shades, the more intense is the emotion.
Aruna says, “EQ is an acquired trait and comes with practice, perseverance and effort.” She urges people to practise active listening, understanding, naming and communicating their emotions, taking responsibility for their actions, seeking feedback, de-stressing and having a balanced life.
How academic institutions and organisations are incorporating EQ in their students and employees?
Organisations such as UPES have ensured that learning doesn’t get affected for their students and have simultaneously taken measures to build their students’ EQ by taking care of their mental health. Since March 15, they have been providing online classes via Blackboard Collaborate, with faculty conducting more than 500 online sessions each day. As the COVID-19 pandemic accelerates and stringent measures are imposed to keep people apart, mental health experts are warning that losing everyday social connections can have a serious psychological fallout. To effectively address issues related to emotional well-being in these crisis-ridden times, UPES has introduced UPESCare – a 24X7 counselling support for their students, faculty, other staff members and their families.
Additionally, they will provide students with further support – refresher classes, remedial coaching, workshops and lab sessions – once they are back on campus.
Why is the concept of EQ gaining importance, especially in workplaces and schools?
Many successful entrepreneurs have spoken about the importance of high EQ. As human beings, we are essentially social creatures and our social life plays a big part in shaping our personality. In addition to that, the way we perceive the world depends on our Emotional Intelligence.
EQ is becoming increasingly relevant to organisations because it provides a way to understand and assess people’s behaviour, attitude, potential, interpersonal skills and management styles. Studies have proved that students/employees with high EQ perform better.
Under the current circumstances, thousands of students have been out of their schools and employees are working from their homes because of the COVID-19 lockdown. The pandemic has not only had repercussions on people’s physical health, but is also taking a toll on their emotional well-being. We are staring at uncertainty and a sharp economic downturn. Hence, when we think of a post-pandemic world, it is essential to find a new approach towards nurturing students as well as training employees to deal with moments of crisis effectively.