For many years, IQ – intellectual quotient – was the standard measure of a person’s worth in an organisation or career. It’s now been realised that EQ – or your emotional quotient – is just as important as your IQ is. This is in terms of success in the business world.

What is EQ?

In an article entitled What is Emotional Intelligence (EQ)? by Michael Akers and Grover Porter, the two authors cite Harvard theorist, Howard Gardner, who gives a definition of emotional intelligence:

“Your EQ is the level of your ability to understand other people, what motivates them and how to work cooperatively with them.”

Akers and Porter state that there are five categories of emotional intelligence:

  • Self-awareness,
  • Self-regulation,
  • Motivation,
  • Empathy, as well as
  • Social skills.

Whereas your IQ remains static throughout your life, your EQ fluctuates depending on, for example, the environment you’re in, the external stimuli you experience, etc.

Why it’s important for employers to know about EQ

EQ looks at multiple facets of people. It does not merely look at one dimension of a human as IQ does. EQ is structured in such a way so as to attain a holistic view of a person and to be able to get a composite view of who they are and what they stand for.

Let us take a real-world situation to illustrate. Say, for instance, that your star-performing employee for the last consecutive three years suddenly takes a nose dive in terms of performance. As she’s displayed consistent good work over a protracted period of time, you take the time to sit down with her and to find out what is wrong and why she is not performing up to scratch.

After a while, you find out that the reason why her mind is not on her work – and thus her performance is suffering – is because she has had to move house. This had to happen quite suddenly. As such, she’s feeling overwhelmed and in total disarray. This is what is affecting her work. It is not because she lacks the fundamental skills to succeed. The trauma of moving has merely affected other areas of her life and her work is one of them.

So, it’s important for you – as an employer – to ensure that you have a good EQ and encourage your employees to develop great EQs as well as so that you can generate this added insight for your business and let it fly.

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