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What is emotional intelligence? 
By Roslyn Boniface

Emotional intelligence — referred to as your EQ, as opposed to your IQ — is another kind of “smarts.” EQ measures your ability to interact with your surroundings: how well you perform under pressure, how successful you are at building fruitful relationships, your courage in decision making, and how well you deal with your own issues and those of others. 

The EQ skill set defines leadership and creativity, and best of all, we can each learn how to access it. The decision to make use of this skill set is the single most important determinant of an individual’s success, both in business and in life.

Why is EQ so Important?

When you explore the sources of your emotions, you are granting yourself the opportunity to develop your potential and follow the directions in your work and life that have meaning. This awareness will deepen your relationships, strengthen your leadership talents, and ignite your creative spirit.  

In today’s fast-paced world of busy personal lives and competitive workplaces, we are all searching for effective tools that can make our schedules, behaviour patterns and relationships more manageable.

Exploring and developing our emotional intelligence not only makes us happier, it allows us to motivate ourselves, manage stress in our lives, and resolve conflict with others. It gives us the tools with which to encourage, comfort and confront different kinds of people in a variety of situations. It determines how effectively we express our emotions within the cultural contexts of our family, our workplace and our community, and influences how well people listen to us, and how well we are heard.

The need for emotional intelligence increases with higher levels of responsibility, such as management or parenthood, and becomes even more important when we function in groups, such as work teams. Twenty-five years of research has revealed that IQ alone may account for as little as 4 percent of our workplace success. Numerous studies, based on different industries and professions, indicate that those who have high EQ competencies outperform their colleagues. Daniel Goleman, an expert in the field of emotional intelligence, has found that “for individuals in leadership positions, 85 percent of their competencies were in the EI domain.

How do I develop competency in the area of Emotional Intelligence?

Recognizing the importance of emotional intelligence is the first step, but how do we actually develop competency in the skills that will empower us to function more effectively? A great starting place is to take an emotional intelligence inventory—unlike a test, the EQ Map® offers an individualized experience. As a multidimensional guide, the EQ Map® helps you discover the many facets that make up your personal emotional intelligence, and how it affects your performance, creativity, and success. It focuses on your life experiences, plotting the various twists and turns that symbolize your life events, unique strengths, work passions, pressures, and challenges. For that reason, no two EQ Maps® will be exactly the same. Your path to increased emotional intelligence will be uniquely your own.

  • Would you like to be more effective in your work and in your personal life?
  • Would you like to be able to participate more consciously in terms of how you feel and how you respond, rather than just reacting in the same old patterns?
  • Would you like to be able to better monitor and motivate your progress toward your short and long-term goals?

At 4U Strategies we work with individuals and companies to help them understand why emotional competencies are "essential capabilities." We can provide an assessment of your levels of self-regard, problem solving, integrity, stress tolerance, flexibility, self-management and self-awareness. We then take this information and use it to raise your awareness of any vulnerable areas, target your development, and increase your individual effectiveness through coaching and training. We will focus on areas that will contribute the most to your individual or team success.

For an EQ assessment or further information on training and coaching EQ, contact us at 4U Strategies (604-264-4828), visit our website at www.4ustrategies.com, or send an email to roscoach@shaw.ca. For general information on Emotional Intelligence, visit the Consortium for Research on Emotional Intelligence at www.eiconsortium.org .

For reference reading we recommend The Emotional Intelligence Quick Book by Travis Bradberry and Jean Greaves, The EQ Edge by Steven Stein and Howard Book, and Working with Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman.

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