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EQ, Emotions and Intelligence – do they go together?

EQ, Emotions and Intelligence – do they go together?

Emotional Intelligence (EI) is a skill that people use to manage their relationship. These skills in fact determine the success or failure of any business. EI has been the subject of serious academic research for the past 15 to 20 years.

To understand the importance of EQ, Emotions and Intelligence in business, we don’t have to go any far. Only if we look around we will see it’s not necessarily the smartest people who are the most successful or most fulfilled in life. There are enough examples of academically brilliant people who weren’t very successful at their work or relationship. For example, IQ can help you get into college, but that’s it. To manage the stress of sitting through your final exams, you are dependent on your EQ or emotional “quotient” or intelligence.

Leaders are at their best when they use EQ. It’s imperative for a leader to understand their employee’s emotions, yet without getting too emotional. Employees expect their leaders to remain calm and composed even while going through trying situations. Unlike IQ, your EQ practically affects every aspect of your life like your career, performance at work, handing social complexity and even your health. Inability to manage stress can lead to serious health problem like high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke, anxiety, depression or mood swings.

Anyone can practically improve their EQ by learning how to handle stress efficiently. We can do this by becoming aware of the emotions we go through under stressful situations like fear, frustration, anger and sadness and the impact it has on your thoughts and actions. You can’t eliminate them by turning a blind eye. Under stressful situations, our instinct takes over and inhibits our ability to act thoughtfully. The key is to identify what influences your thoughts and actions and steer them towards your end goals so you don’t sabotage yourself. Once you have a grip on your EQ, you can stay calm, present and use humor and creativity to efficiently deal with emotional crisis.

Human beings are prone to negative thinking. That’s part of evolution process that helped humans stay safe in wilderness (fight or flight). When placed under adverse situation, we should immediately and clearly monitor our thinking and beliefs associated with events and the consequences our mind believes may happen and then dispute it with evidence.

If we don’t take enough proactive measure, our negative thoughts have the potential to paralyze us in every aspect of our lives. We need to quickly identify the thoughts that precede our emotions and then work towards replacing them with positive thinking.

For a leader it is even greater responsibility to learn to manage stress, since not only he has to manage his own stress internally, but also needs to help his employee manage their stress. For example an efficient manager can call a staff meeting and prepare for a client’s arrival by going over each issue that might have plagued the workplace and come up with plans to address those issues to win over client’s confidence, in case the client is facing a serious issue.

The great Jewish philosopher Bahya ben Joseph ibn Paquda, the author of the first Jewish system of ethics (1080) said the 3 most common sources of unhappiness are:

  1. Jealousy, 2. Lack of Gratitude, 3. Believes in the Scarcity Mentality.

A prosperous leader is not only one who is successful in adopting an abundance mentality himself, but also helps his people believe in abundance, by helping them replace their negative thoughts with positive thoughts and outcomes.

(Taken from The Prosperous Leader)

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