How Emotional Intelligence Increases Your Success; 6 Easy Strategies to Increase Your EQ

Marissa Levin
Marissa Levin
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daniel-goleman-quoteEmotional Intelligence (EQ or EI) is a term created by two researchers, Peter Salavoy and John Mayer. It was popularized by Dan Goleman in his 1996 book of the same name. (Emotional Intelligence). They define Emotional Intelligence as the ability to:

  • Recognize, understand and manage our own emotions
  • Recognize, understand and influence the emotions of others

People with high EQ know that emotions can drive our behavior and impact people (positively and negatively), and know how to manage those emotions – both their own and others – especially when we are under pressure.

A person’s emotional quotient (EQ) has no connection to a person’s Intelligence quotient (IQ). There are many intellectually gifted people who lack the ability to emotionally connect with others and inspire trust. Conversely, there are many emotionally gifted people who have low or average intellect.

Emotional intelligence is essential in success because people do business with those they trust, and with those they believe live & lead from a place of compassion.

There are five components of emotional intelligence that allow people to recognize, connect with, and learn from their own and other people’s mental states:

  • Self-awareness: knowledge of our own emotional state and how we are showing up in the world.
  • Self-regulation: ability to control how we are showing up, and to keep our emotions in check when situations call for control.
  • Motivation: (defined as “a passion for work that goes beyond money and status”): what moves us to do our best?
  • Empathy for others: feeling for others when they are experiencing emotions (positive or negative) as a result of their own life experiences.
  • Social skills: Proficiency in managing relationships and building networks with communication.

On the contrary, there are five characteristics that are found in people lacking emotional intelligence, that will alienate others and impede success.

  • Insensitivity: People who are insensitive are often perceived to be uncaring. Others are less likely to want to work with them or offer help.
  • Arrogance: A mentor once defined arrogance as “unearned confidence.” Arrogant people project superiority and egotism. They are often closed off to feedback from others, and believe that their way of thinking is the only possibility. They do not make good team players.
  • Volatility: Volatile people are disruptive, unpredictable, and not attuned to the emotional states and concerns of others. Their presence impedes and harms progress because their emotional state can distract and destroy the advancement of key relationships or initiatives.
  • Rigidity: Inflexible thinking significantly impedes an individual’s ability to connect with others at a deeper level and establish trust because they are shut down to different perspectives. A relationship can’t develop when one person refuses to grow or accept new ways of thinking.
  • Selfishness: The best leaders always subjugate their own personal agendas for the greater good of the organization or the team. When we are driven by our own selfish motives, others are unable to trust us because they know we do not have their best interests in mind.

Six Strategies to Increase Your Emotional Intelligence

There are many actions you can take to boost your emotional intelligence. Here are a few:

  1. Keep a journal. Create a list of situations or events that “trigger” negative emotions, such as anger or frustration. Then write out a strategy to deal with these situations in a positive and effective manner. Review these strategies often so you’re prepared to put them into practice.
  2. Practice being calm. The next time you’re in a challenging situation, be mindful of your response. Do you relieve your stress by shouting at someone else? Do you clench your teeth? Does your heart rate accelerate? Counting to 10, or closing your eyes and taking a deep breath, will help you control your emotions so that your emotions don’t control you. Remind yourself that a negative reaction to a stressful situation will likely make the situation worse, and will impact your relationships with others long after the situation has passed.
  3. Be positive. Emotionally intelligent leaders lead from a place of optimism. They find the silver lining in the storm, and view challenges as learning opportunities. As leaders, they are aware that their reactions will set the tone for how others respond to difficulty.
  4. Put yourself in someone else’s position. Strengthen your empathy muscle. It’s always easy to support your own point of view. Emotionally intelligent leaders always consider how decisions and situations impact others. Empathy tells others that you care about their well-being and success, and that they are not alone in their difficulty. They also communicate their support.
  5. Pay attention to body language. When you listen to someone, do you cross your arms or look around? This tells others how you really feel about a situation, even if you are speaking a different message. Learning to read body language can be a real asset in a leadership role, because you’ll be better able to determine how someone truly feels. This gives you the opportunity to respond appropriately.
  6. Practice gratitude. As a leader, you can inspire the loyalty of your team simply by showing appreciation. It tells people you are paying attention, and that you acknowledge that others are essential to your success.

Emotional intelligence enables you to deeply connect with your most important business stakeholders, which inspires loyalty is all business conditions. It also cultivates a culture of trust so that others feel safe and empowered to give 100% to you and the organization.


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About Successful Culture
We work with business owners, CEOs, and leadership teams that want to achieve their greatest personal & organizational potential. Through coaching, strategic consulting, retreat facilitation, and workshops, we equip leaders & emerging leaders with the mindset, tools, strategies, and processes they need to excel.

Ready to move forward? Email us today at [email protected].

Connect with me on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Engage with me during my morning Periscope sessions as well (@marissalevin).

Please check out my Inc. Magazine columns on my Author Page too.
– In my latest Inc, article, I share The Essential Guide to Avoiding Workplace Text, Email, & Social Media Disasters.
– Learn about the 9 Leadership Behaviors that Lose Employee Trust & Respect here.

~Marissa Levin
CEO, Successful Culture
“Taking Leaders from Triage to Transformation.”

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