It is likely that you are familiar with the term IQ or intelligence quotient, but are you aware that there is something called EQ, or emotional quotient?  EQ is also sometimes referred to as emotional intelligence and it turns out that it plays a significant role in the success of leaders across all fields.

IQ is a measure of the combination of knowledge, the ability to use reason, and problem-solving abilities. So, what does EQ measure? According to psychologist Daniel Goleman, there are five elements included in emotional intelligence:

  1. Self-regulation – the ability to control impulses and manage your emotional responses to situations.
  2. Motivation – the inner drive to pursue tasks and accomplishments.
  3. Self-awareness – being present with and recognizing your own emotions, including how they influence your behaviors.
  4. Social awareness – having an understanding of the emotions, behaviors, and reactions of others. This is often referred to as having empathy for others.
  5. Social skills – the ability to build relationships and work well with others.

When a person is competent in the components of EQ, they are armored with essential skills required for leadership. The good news is these skills can be strengthened. Experts recommend self-reflection as a tool that can help build EQ.

Self-reflection helps to bring awareness and focus into our lives. As we become more aware of our emotional state and our reactions to situations we can begin to better manage our emotional reactions. We can put in place tools to reduce stress and anxiety that may cause us to act in ways that are counterproductive to the goal of being a good leader.

As we gain a better understanding of ourselves, we can choose to bring that same awareness to the experiences of others. We can empathize with others and offer them our support. Prepared with a solid understanding of ourselves and the needs of others, we are in a good position to establish strong relationships with other people.

You can assess your emotional intelligence and learn more about building these important skills here.