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Improving Our Emotional Intelligence is a Smart Move

first_imgImproving Our Emotional Intelligence is a Smart Move Email By Commentary by Maeve Perle of Central Oregon Community College. Facebook 0 Google+ Pinterest Most scientists agree that we are more or less stuck with the IQ we were born with. Although we can improve our brain’s functionality by activitiessuch as exercising, practicing music, learning a new language, doingbrain teasers, and eating well, our brains don’t actually get smarter. We simply use our gray matter more efficiently, resulting in better outcomes.  The good news, according to Daniel Goleman, is that “at best IQ contributes only about 20 percent to the factors that determine life success”. In other words,extreme intelligence is not enough to guarantee you promotions and career advancement. Instead, a better predictor of success, he posits, is your Emotional Intelligence (EI or EQ)—your capacity to manage social relationships and controlyour emotions.Your ability to touch colleagues and customers alike through genuine warmth, compassion, and kind wordsor gestures,is tantamount to long-term personal success (and personal fulfillment at work). While our temperament, our unconscious mind,and the values, beliefs, and norms of the culture we grew up in all influence our EQ, our emotional intelligence can be vastly improved through training, awareness and effort.Recent studies have divided EQ into four clusters:1. Self-awareness- understanding your moods, emotions,and needs (and their impact on those around you). 2. Self-management- acting with honesty and assertiveness in a consistent and acceptable manner. 3. Social awareness- understanding how others are feeling, and reading their bodylanguage and mood.4. Relationship management- having the interpersonal skill to communicate clearly with compassion, humor, and honesty.From these characteristics, you can see how a person with a high EQ would work better in teams, communicate more effectively to a wider, more diverse population, adaptcalmly to change, and manage cross-cultural relations. You can also imagine that having an advanced EQ could lead to better problem solving and conflict management skills. Lastly, motivating others and leading effectively would become easier with this skillset.The first step to improvingyour EQ is observation and awareness. Does the problem stem from you (your behavior) or your hiring decisions? Have you based hiring decisions solely on a skill-set for the job or the overall fit for your team/company? Start to become more aware of how people you are supposedly connecting with are reacting to you, and analyze your self-management. Are you quick to anger? How is your attitude? How are these factors affecting the people you work with?Maybe you think you are doing fine; however, a true test entails asking your co-workers and peers foranonymousfeedback so that you can truly understand how you are perceived and if it correlates to how you see yourself. If a true problem exists, it shows up as a pattern with many staff members coming to the same conclusions. View this information as useful to your evolution in the company and not as a personal slight. Do you know someone who seems to be charismatic and socially adaptable? Try to emulate what they do and how they do it. Once you know where you should improve, refining emotional intelligence becomes easier.Maeve Perle is an adjunct instructorfor the business department at Central Oregon Community College.center_img E-Headlines LinkedIn Twitter Tumblr Share. on February 4, 2014last_img read more