For years it has been believed that the soul source of an individuals success was directly linked to their IQ. While having a high IQ is extremely beneficial, new research points to emotional intelligence as the “it” factor that separates top achievers from the rest of the pack. So what exactly is this intangible aptitude, and how important is it to our personal and professional success?
Emotional Intelligence can be described as our ability to perceive the motives that drive human behavior, both with others, and ourselves. It’s how we navigate social complexities, manage our behavior, and make personal decisions that achieve positive results. According to a recent study by TalentSmart, emotional intelligence was found to be the highest predictor of workplace success, when tested along with thirty-three other skills. Fifty-eight percent of our professional success stems from our proficiency in understanding ourselves and navigating social situations, and ninety percent of the top workplace performers possess high levels of emotional intelligence. What does this mean in terms of money? People with a high EQ make on average $29,000 more a year than those with lesser self-awareness and empathic ability.
What about our personal life? Having high levels of emotional intelligence equips us to better manage feelings like insecurity, anger or fear, and respond to these feelings in an effective, thoughtful manner. According to a recent article by author Steven Tulman, “It is the key to being an effective leader and a critical factor to the quality of both our personal and business relationships. As such, emotional intelligence directly affects our quality of life, level of happiness and degree of self-satisfaction.”
As qualitative researchers, having a high EQ is critical to our success. It requires an emotional, empathetic experience to extract those breakthrough insights that are often easy to overlook. We approach each project with an open mind, tapping into our own emotional intelligence with the goal of understanding each consumer on a deeper level. What do they desire? What motivates them? What are their hesitations?
Developing a High EQ takes time, hard work and the willingness to improve, but the good news is with such malleable brains, we can increase our emotional intelligence by consistently repeating certain positive behaviors. Eventually, our brains build new pathways that make these practices second nature, allowing us to respond to our surroundings and understand ourselves in a positive and success-driven manner.
At the end of the day, the “it” factor that will take your career and relationships to the next level, is available to anyone who wants it. Whether your goal is to succeed at work, deepen meaningful relationships or simply feel happier, anyone can increase their EQ with a little effort and determination to succeed. Are you ready to break away from the pack?