Believe it or not, emotional intelligence (EQ), or the way you manage emotions, can make a difference when it comes to both success and happiness in work and life. Emotional intelligence can be compared most closely with “street smarts” rather than “book smarts.” According to psychologist Daniel Goleman, “what having emotional intelligence looks like is that you’re confident, good at working towards your goals, adaptable and flexible. You recover quickly from stress and you’re resilient.” Goleman also notes that the five components of emotional intelligence are self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, social skills and empathy. Listed below are seven signs that your EQ is high. However, it is important to note that if you are lacking in certain areas, it is always possible to improve.
You’re curious about people. If you love to meet new people and are aware of the feelings and needs of others in a big way, you might be part of a group of Highly Empathetic People (HEPs). These are people that are curious about strangers they don’t know, and have a true interest in others.
You’re a great leader. Goleman’s research found that 90 percent of the difference between those who did well in senior leadership roles and those who were average had to do with emotional intelligence. “The higher the rank of a person considered to be a star performer, the more emotional intelligence capabilities showed up as the reason for his or her effectiveness.”
You know your strengths and your weaknesses. With self-awareness comes honesty and acceptance with both your struggles and strengths, and someone who is emotionally intelligent can identify and analyze both areas. According to Goleman, “if you know what you’re truly effective at, then you can operate from that with confidence.”
You know how to pay attention. According to Goleman, being able to stay on task without getting easily distracted is a sign of emotional intelligence, and staying in the present moment is vital in order to have good relationships and self-awareness. Goleman also said that “your ability to concentrate on the work you’re doing or your schoolwork, and to put off looking at that text or playing that video game until after you’re done” plays a large role in your EQ.
You know why you’re upset. Knowing why you’re upset is a sign of self-awareness, which means you’re able to step back and examine how you’re feeling, and where the emotions stem from.
You get along with people. According to Goleman, “having fulfilling, effective relationships—that’s a sign [of emotional intelligence].”
You want to be a good, moral person. Emotional intelligence also stems from moral identity, which is how much you want to see yourself as someone who is moral and caring.
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