A 30-Day Journey Exploring a Heart-Healthy Lifestyle – Day 25
“The Emotional Brain Responds to An Event More Quickly Than the Thinking Brain.” (Daniel Goleman)
Emotional Intelligence, also EQ, is more discussed and explored today as research in neuroscience has advanced significantly this past decade. Yet it still is in its infancy.
Though I described in an earlier post on Day 11 how emotional stability relates to our health as an aspect of training our mind, I did not really explore what Emotional Intelligence or EQ is. We discussed that we can learn to use our mind as a tool to approach adversities, emotional reactions or extremes with reason and mindfulness. Sufferers of emotional imbalances will either seek to avoid the issue detrimental to them or by ignoring the symptoms, or may self-medicate with harmful substances.
What is Emotional Intelligence or EQ? What does it mean?
We talk about IQ or ‘Intelligence Quotient’ and EQ or ‘Emotional Quotient’ which actually is ‘Emotional Intelligence‘.
EQ simply means an ability to understand other people (empathy) or the ability to recognize emotions, reason with emotion and emotion-related information, and process emotional information as part of general problem solving.
EQ also is the ability to influence decision-making processes. While that might sound manipulative – and it certainly can make manipulation easier – it is also important simply to aid in the development and strengthening of relationships and to help you to get along with other people.
High-level of emotional intelligence can significantly predict healthy functioning, as well as the distress and experience of traumatic stress. It has been reported that individuals with high level of emotional intelligence experienced less stress at work.
The Power of EQ
In a relationship or business setting or in many other arenas, EQ can be more valuable than IQ. Really?
Think about it for a moment: as a friend, husband, wife, an employer . . . who would you rather like to be or work with? Someone who was attentive, who listened to what you had to say, who could communicate well and who was able to change the opinions of others? Or someone who is great at math, highly competent in his/her specialty but couldn’t get along with a partner or team?
A clear majority of businesses fail because of neglect in customer service, communication and working with other people. Successful companies pay attention to nurturing EQ in their business climate. A lack of such EQ climate comes so blatantly to light in the current sexual harassment scandals.
EQ is what makes someone a great parent. A parent with the ability to sympathize with their children and to motivate them to behave in a certain way nurtures and strengthens the EQ in their children. Undoubtedly, it is also the biggest factor when it comes to finding and securing a romantic relationship.
Difference between IQ and EQ
Excerpts from a useful comparison chart by ‘Diffen’ clarify distinct differences:
IQ is an intelligence quotient (IQ), a score derived from one of several standardized tests designed to assess intelligence.
- It has the ability to learn, understand and apply information to skills, logical reasoning, word comprehension, math skills, abstract and spatial thinking, filter irrelevant information.
- It shows success in the workplace with challenging tasks, ability to analyze and connect the dots, research and development.
- Identifies Highly capable or gifted individuals, individuals with mental challenges and special needs.
EQ is an Emotional quotient (EQ) or emotional intelligence and demonstrates:
- An ability to identify, assess, evaluate, control and express the emotions of oneself; perceive, and assess others’ emotions; use emotions to facilitate thinking, understand emotional meanings.
- Engages in teamwork, leadership, successful relations, service, initiatives and collaboration.
- Ability to identify leaders, team-players, individuals who best work alone, individuals with social challenges.
As seen, IQ and EQ are actually related. Someone generally more intelligent may end up being more emotionally intelligent too (though not in every case). This is no doubt because someone intelligent will be better able to predict the actions, emotions and motivations of others.
Simple EQ Assessment and Practice Tool
To an extent, emotional intelligence can be ‘learned.’ While our own emotions might be heavily influenced by our genetics and neuro-chemistry, learning how others act and increasing our memory and attention can help us to improve our EQ.
EQ can change over time and grows stronger with focused effort. After identifying areas of weakness in the realm of emotional intelligence, we can prioritize the skills that need improvement. Daily practices can bring awareness to emotional reactions.
Frameworks has a simple tool to assess your EQ and a simple daily practice tool. I discovered when I assessed my own EQ that it actually gives you some good insight.
Individuals with a high EQ have the ability to identify, evaluate, control, and express emotions. They usually make great leaders and team players because of their ability to understand, empathize, and connect with the people around them.
Individuals with a high IQ show academic abilities with off-the-chart intelligence or mental challenges.
Emotional Intelligence can be, to a certain extent, learned or at least strengthened through awareness, encouragement, role modeling.
I recommend highly if you are interested in exploring the subject further:
Daniel Goleman’s 1995 book “Emotional Intelligence – Why it can matter more than IQ”