“No doubt emotional intelligence is more rare than book smarts, but my experience says it is actually more important in the making of a leader. You just can’t ignore it.” ~ Jack Welch

Emotional Quotient (EQ, also known as emotional intelligence) is something intangible but research has shown that EQ sets apart the top performers from the rest of the pack. I’m a strong believer of emotional intelligence and wrote about it before here.

IQ will get you through school. EQ will get you through life. Click To Tweet

Decades of research now point to emotional intelligence as being the critical factor that differentiates star performers from the masses. Below are 7 signs that you might need to spice up your EQ:

  1. You can’t express your emotions.
  2. You don’t know your buttons.
  3. You can’t let go of mistakes.
  4. You blame other people for your feelings.
  5. You have long toes.

1: You can’t express your emotions

People are like garbage bins. They need to get emptied once in a while, else they will explode. When you stuff your feelings, they quickly build into an uncomfortable sensation of tension, stress and anxiety. Unaddressed emotions can potentially explode and stress both mind and body. Your emotional intelligence skills help make stress more manageable by enabling you to spot and tackle tough situations before things escalate.

2: You don’t know your buttons

Everyone has certain buttons that, when pushed, trigger emotional waves with potentially unfavourable consequences. EQ will give you understanding on how to sidestep these triggers and use this knowledge for the better.

3: You don’t let go of mistakes

Mistakes made in the past, should be building blocks for a better you. Mistakes should not be haunting you and be a burden. Emotionally intelligent people distance themselves from their mistakes and learn from the mistakes at the same time. By keeping their mistakes at a safe distance, you’ll be able to adapt and adjust for future success.

The key to balance lies in your ability to transform failures into nuggets of improvement. Click To Tweet

4: You blame other people for your feelings

It isn’t stress that makes us fall, it’s how we respond to stressful events ~ Wayde Goodall

Boiling water makes potatoes soft but eggs hard. Emotions come from within. It’s easy to blame the way you feel to how others treat you, but it’s important to take responsibility for your own emotions. No one can make you feel anything that you don’t want to. Thinking otherwise only holds you back and limits personal growth.

5: You have long toes

Emotions can get in the way or get you on the way ~ Mavis Mazhura

If you have a firm grasp of who you are, it’s difficult for someone to step on your toes. People with long toes are easily offended and usually carry a big chip on their shoulder. Emotionally intelligent people are self-confident and open-minded, which create a thick skin. You are confident to even make fun of yourself because you understand the line between humour and degradation.

What’s next?

Now we know some low EQ indicators, what’s next? Let’s have a look at some actions you can take to boost your EQ game.

  1. Put yourself in other peoples shoes without forgetting your own shoe. Don’t only hear but also listen and understand other people’s opinion and try to find middle ground so both are winners.
  2. Press pause before you respond. Emotions usually cause for blurry communication. Sometimes you need to pause and reflect first, before you respond.
  3. Intent vs. Impact: People with low emotional intelligence underestimate the impact words and actions can have on other people. They neglect the fact that what they say can be interpreted in a whole different way. Think about how your words will impact others. Some questions you can ask yourself: How do I want other people to feel? What is the main message I want to communicate?

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