You can’t show it on your resume, but EQ — short for emotional quotient — is now as crucial as your IQ.
An increasing number of leaders are watching for emotional intelligence in you during heated workplace moments, in important meetings and even during the hiring process. In fact, many companies are skipping the usual interview questions and going straight to the situational ones that bring out your EQ.
Author Daniel Goleman made EQ mainstream in his book “Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More than IQ.” EQ is your ability to manage your emotions while taking other people’s feelings into account. And while IQ is more than a century old, the newer EQ may help you get further ahead in your career – and in your bank account.
The higher your emotional intelligence, the stronger your upper hand in any type of crucial conversation. In a conflict, keeping a cool head helps you look at the points rationally and focus on the long-term win versus the short-term one-upmanship. It also allows you to make the vision of your business top of mind, increasing your chances of resolving the conflict or, at minimum, creating a solution for the betterment of the company.
Negotiations are also important EQ territory. The most high-stress negotiations are tied to emotional-laden ideas. For instance, a salary negotiation ties not only to money (a big emotional trigger for most people), but to one’s own self worth, too. By having a strong EQ, you can have the confidence to ask for what you want and stay level as you get a response or, more importantly, wait as the person responds.
Managing your emotions increases your chances of leading your team to success, too. As a leader, you set the emotional pace for the group: The tone and mood set by a supervisor dictate the expression and, ultimately, progress of a team. If the group makes considerable progress, it’s often done in spite of a low-EQ leader. In fact, there may be a de facto, higher-EQ person among the group who’s quietly taken the leadership role. Being the lowest EQ individual among the group you lead may work for a while, but a high-intensity situation could create irreparable damage to your leadership at any time.
EQ is essential not just for the leader, but for team members, too — if not more so. Emotional intelligence is all about managing our emotional state within situations, and being a team player can challenge us in multiple ways. Ego is usually the enemy of team success, and the need for personal recognition, continual validation and “being right” can overshadow the betterment of the whole. Ironically, because most people have a hard time putting their emotion-heavy ego aside, working within a team can be the best way to shine as an EQ-wise person.
A strong EQ doesn’t mean you don’t feel particularly tough emotions as a negotiator, leader or team member. Rather, it means you’re able to recognize those feelings, observe the expression of others and communicate in a way that validates both of your perspectives. It’s a workplace-crucial strength that can directly impact your future success — and your wallet.