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The Real Value of Emotional Intelligence

Everyone wants to achieve professional success, yet only some of us are able to rise to the top of our fields. What is it that sets those people apart? Is there some special skill set that separates top performers from the rest of the crowd?

As it turns out, there is. Research shows that individuals with a high Emotional Quotient (EQ) achieve success more often than their less-endowed peers. The ability to confidently navigate interpersonal relationships is incredibly useful professionally, regardless of the industry. 

Luckily, these skills can be learned and strengthened over time. Read on below to find out more about the ways in which having a healthy EQ can help you at work and in your personal life. By the end, you’ll be ready to give your emotional intelligence a workout.

Emotional Intelligence//Emotional Intelligence Quotes//Emotional Intelligence Test//Emotional Intelligence Leadership//Emotional Intelligence Psychology//Emotional Intelligence Workplace//The Real Value of Emotional Intelligence (Infographic) by Joy Bender | Luxury Real Estate San Diego | La Jolla Realtor® #infographic #emotionalintelligence #psychology #REDigitalUnicorn

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What is Emotional Intelligence?

For years, emotional intelligence - sometimes referred to as an Emotional Quotient (EQ) - couldn’t be nailed down. It was just an inherent quality that some people had, an “extra something” that allowed them to easily navigate social situations and achieve success where others struggled.

That is, until the 1990’s when behaviorists Peter Salovey and John D. Mayer coined the term. They described it as: "a form of social intelligence that involves the ability to monitor one’s own and others’ feelings and emotions, to discriminate among them, and to use this information to guide one’s thinking and action".

From there, the field of study grew. Much of how we define EQ today comes from psychologist -turned-writer Daniel Goleman’s book, Emotional Intelligence. In it, he argues that this type of intelligence is a combination of the following qualities:

  • Self-Awareness: The ability to identify and understand one’s emotions

  • Self-Regulation: The ability to manage one’s own emotions in any given situation

  • Motivation: The drive to continue working towards a specific outcome

  • Empathy: The ability to identify and understand the emotions and motivations of others

  • Social Skills: A deftness at facilitating communication and interpersonal relationships

Is EQ the Same as IQ?

Surprisingly, the two don’t have much to do with each other at all. In fact, according to a study by TalentSmart - a research firm dedicated to learning about emotional intelligence - people with average IQ’s overwhelmingly outperform those with exceptionally high IQ’s in job performance metrics. They found that those with average IQ’s were 70% more likely to be top-performers in their respective fields, confirming that cognitive intelligence is far from the sole predictor for success.

Luckily, though, there also another major difference between the two. While a person’s IQ will remain relatively stable throughout their lifetime, a sharper EQ can be honed over time. Part of Salovey and Mayer’s research found that continually practicing high-EQ behaviors formed new neural pathways in the brain and led to eventual behavior change, meaning that those who put effort into developing their EQ’s will eventually reap its benefits.        

What Proof is There of EQ’s Benefits?

One doesn’t have to look very far to see the positive impact of high emotional intelligence. Many of society’s most high-ranking individuals count a well-developed EQ among their positive attributes. The list ranges from powerful business leaders like Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos to celebrities like Matt Damon and Oprah.

However, even those who have yet to achieve that level of notoriety, a high-EQ has very concrete benefits. By the numbers, TalentSmart found that 90% of top performers across all job industries possess a high EQ and that their emotional skill set directly contributed to 58% percent of their positive job performance, on average.

What’s more, the same study found that emotional intelligence also has a strong financial impact. Those with a high EQ outearn their peers by approximately $29,000 per year, or $1,300 per every extra point they score above the national average of 75 on TalentSmart’s Emotional Intelligence Appraisal® exam.

Interestingly, the monetary benefits are most apparent in industries where EQ is already the highest. In the top-ranked industries - human resources, government, and pharmaceuticals - the average income bump per EQ point was $2,809, $2,434, and $1,479, respectively.

Are There Consequences to Low EQ?

Unsurprisingly, just as strong levels of emotional intelligence have positive impacts on job industry, low levels are inversely negative. While some of these impacts result in minor inconveniences to our day-to-day, others can be life-threatening.

Doctors, for example, tend to have fairly low emotional quotients, which can greatly impacts their patient outcomes. According to a report by the Joint Commission, a nonprofit that provides accreditation to health care organizations, found that communication failure - not a provider’s lack of technical skill - was at the root of over 70 percent of serious adverse health outcomes in hospitals.

The New York Times article that reported these findings also asserts that, on average, a doctor will interrupt his or her patient after listening to just 18 seconds of hearing them describe their symptoms. According to the article, two-thirds of patients also report leaving the hospital without ever being told their official diagnosis.

However, healthcare isn’t the only industry that’s suffering. The IT also reports overall low levels of empathy among its employees. As does real estate. In fact, nearly 26% of agents feel that they have trouble getting on the same “emotional wavelength” as their clients. In that case, though, the notable exception is luxury agents, who share many of the same emotional skills as other high-end business leaders.

The bottom line is: there’s no escaping EQ. In both our professional or personal lives, the ability to deftly navigate interpersonal is the key to success. Since the attributes that make up emotional intelligence can be honed over time, there’s no reason to shirk its importance. Make it a habit to practice high-EQ skills in your daily life. 

Why Emotional Intelligence Is Important For Success In Business

Emotional intelligence is crucial for business success. That’s why employers are looking more at a job candidate’s EQ these days than their GPA - emotional intelligence determines whether you will work well with others, including customers.

Your EQ determines whether you will be creative, learn from past mistakes, and be self-motivated when you come to work each day. What’s more, your EQ determines how successful you will be in life, and it’s crucial if you are going to run your own business.

The good news is that you can develop it throughout your life, and every point you go up can net you an average of $1300 more per year. How do you use emotional intelligence to get ahead in business? Here are some of the answers we’ve gathered from business leaders:

“Everyone speaks to be listened to and even more importantly to be understood. When a prospect or client speaks, don't just listen, but understand and empathize, so you can truly help them and make a difference for their business.” - Yoel Israel, Founder and Executive Director at WadiDigital

“My EQ comes out the strongest in self awareness.  It allows me to take ownership of problems, recognize my team's hard work and share the credit.  EQ is the single most important trait that allows me to succeed.” - Shauna Arnott  - Founder at Leverage Events Inc

“The essence of emotion is everything. Essentially, feelings are the gateway to human understanding. Only EQ can instill that.” - Colin Campbell, Personal Writer for Gary Vaynerchuk

“Having a high EQ allows one to approach situations holistically. Good leaders are versatile, multi-faceted and can recognize what that's not being said and knowing what questions to ask in various situations. You may have the best office and the biggest budgets but if you don't have the right EQ to hire and build the right team, your culture is stunted from the start. As a leader, EQ and a strong moral compass are essential to set the right leadership tone." - Vanessa Radd Founding Member at XR Alliance

“The person with the strongest emotional ‘frame’ wins. That might sound adversarial, but it’s not. Because the limbic system is open—meaning our emotions feed off the people around us—we can physiologically influence the feelings of the people around us. I remind myself of that whenever I’m confronted by someone with a negative emotional state. Persistence and relentless positivity, as long as it’s authentic, almost always wins out.” - Aaron Orendorff, Founder of iconiContent & Marketer at Shopify Plus

"I run my entire business and life around 6 core values‪—ethics, integrity, loyalty, innovation, love, and community. I know what my soul is here to create and I refuse to settle for anything less." - Cherie Aimée, Forbes Featured Brand Influencer, Near-Death Survivor, & Speaker

“In our analysis of the analytics, we read between the lines of the statistics to figure out what is really going on. There is a lot of EQ that is applied to learn from the data.” - Tara Hunt, Principal at Truly Social Inc.

“EQ in business is the same as EQ in life. By being intentional and consistent with the values I demonstrate in every encounter, my business relationships are as genuine as my personal relationships. When I live my values of curiosity, care, generosity and integrity, I succeed, because business is about people.” - Sarah Elkins, No Longer Virtual

"My business is about strengthening human connections, collaboration and communication. None of those things happens easily without empathy - which I think is the core of growing your emotional intelligence abilities." - Kathy Klotz-Guest, Professional Speaker & Author at Keeping it Human

“I use EQ in my business to analyze the emotions and mindset of my employees in order to effectively navigate through conversation and motivate them to maximize their output.” - Rob Fajardo, Founder at Leave Normal Behind

“Leading with empathy is just as important as our other tools, like great analytics, at serving clients well and keeping them engaged in their own success. Especially when dealing with global digital transitions, understanding the pain points and potential roadblocks caused by the many ways uncertainty and change impact people is key to smooth, successful change management and transformation strategy.” - Leslie Poston, Owner Story Engage

“Emotional intelligence allows me the ability to navigate a few things in my business and life. The first, being able to empathetically set business expectations and connect with my team to support them in being effective both within my business and in their lives. Secondly, emotional intelligence allows me an evolved sense of understanding in negotiations and relationship building. Our relationships as business owners are crucial. Lastly, as a married entrepreneur, it takes an incredible amount of emotional intelligence to chart a course that supports our needs as individuals and as a unit when time and communication are limited.” - Nicole Hudson, Founder & President at Inbound Lead Solutions

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Joy BenderJoy Bender is the co-founder/owner of Aumann Bender & Associates, La Jolla real estate agents.  She has a passion for digital marketing and helping clients discover San Diego's lifestyle.  Joy Bender specializes in La Jolla CondosSan Diego beach homes, San Diego oceanfront real estate, and San Diego ocean view houses in La Jolla, Coronado, Del Mar, Solana Beach, Encinitas, Rancho Santa Fe, and beyond.