What is EQ — And Why Does it Matter?

By Andrea Cortissoz

What is EQ

Emotional Intelligence goes by a few different names, including EI and EQ. Regardless of what you call it, the definition remains the same: The ability to mange oneself — and relationships — effectively. 

While there are a lot of different measurements for other types of intelligence, knowing where you rank in terms of EQ is a little more difficultHowever, take one look at your life, from personal to professional, and you’ll start getting a good idea.

Study after study has shown that, the more successful and happy you are, the higher your EQ is, generally speaking.

So, what is EQ exactly? And, how does it have so much impact on your life?

The 4 Dimensions of EQ

While there are several factors that play into your emotional intelligence, all of them can generally be grouped into four different dimensionsEach of these dimensions is equally important, and being strong in all four is the best way to improve your overall EQ.

  1. Self Awareness. Your ability to recognize and relate to your emotions requires a healthy amount of self awareness. The more aware you are of the impact your emotions have on others, and yourself, the better your emotional intelligence is. Part of being self aware, however, is being accurate with the feedback you perceive. In a lot of cases, individuals tend to shift blame to others, rather than recognizing the areas in their life they have the power to change. This common problem hinders self awareness, making it difficult to realistically evaluate what your strengths are — and, also, your limitations. By improving your self-confidence, you’re actually able to create a healthier, more realistic self awareness, one that is built on a foundation of real self-worth.
  2.  Self Management. How much control do you have over your emotions and impulses? Individuals with a strong EQ are able to control themselves, especially when their emotions and impulses become disruptive in their daily lives. One of the main benefits of having strong self control is that it helps you develop trust with the people around you. And, in terms of your work habits, self management produces consistency and integrity. Being able to manage yourself effectively also means that you have the capacity to adapt, always keeping your focus on your goals and the opportunities at-hand. 
  3. Social Awareness. When people talk about emotional intelligence, the majority of the focus tends to be on empathy towards individuals, or one’s ability to relate to how other people are feeling. This is definitely a huge part of EQ, but so is being socially aware in terms of what the needs of larger groups or organizations are — as well as those of society as a whole.
  4. Social Management One of the more nuanced dimensions of emotional intelligence, social skill is comprised of a variety of facets, including visionary leadership, communication, and conflict management. These types of skills all revolve around the ability to influence and persuade those around you, which means having the ability to effectively communicate is huge. For individuals with high EQ, these social skills translate to the ability to cultivate relationships, creating a network of support and collaboration. 



How EQ Drives Performance

According to most research, more than half of your performance at work is driven by your emotional intelligence. It shouldn’t come as a surprise, then, that close to 90% of all professional top performers have extremely high EQs. The main reason for this is that, because most people work in an environment, whether at an actual workplace or simply with customers, the ability to navigate the world socially is critical. Or, in other words, “regular” intelligence alone is rarely enough to get you to the top.

Not only does EQ improve your at-work performance, but it helps you thrive in all “performance” areas of your life because it allows you to be healthy physically and mentally. When your EQ is high, your overall well-being improves, which means every area of your life, from romantic relationships to friendships, benefits. 

Individuals, leaders, teams, and organizations all improve when emotional intelligence increases. And, when failure happens, it can often be traced back to an underlying lack of EQ.

For some people, emotional intelligence just comes naturally, a combination of personality, innate skills, and childhood experiences. If, however, EQ is not one of your natural skills, that doesn’t mean that all hope is lost. With work and determination, EQ can be developed.

According to experts, the best way to start improving your EQ is knowing where you stand right now, and then picking a single area to focus on growing. 

Trying to do it all at once is, like anything, too much to chew for anyone. 

If you are looking for ways to further develop yourself – or others – in these 4 dimensions of EQ, take our free Lumina Splash assessment right on your mobile device.

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