For years we all knew that IQ (intelligence quotient) is what measured your intelligence, and it was pretty much a defining factor about an individual. But over the years, there has been an ongoing debate as to whether IQ or EQ (emotional quotient) is more important with an individual. Job interviews are no longer just about your intelligence and your skills; employers and recruiters want to know when you had a challenging time in your career and the method with which you handled it.
So let's look into EQ within the workplace and how having the emotional ability to handle day-to-day happenings in the office can assist you in growing and developing. Every work environment differs in its culture and the processes. With all the things you have to worry about as an individual in the workplace and in your career, have you ever thought about your IQ and EQ and how this will affect yourself and your career development?
'What is EQ?' We hear you ask – let's break it down.
Most people know about IQ, it's your intelligence quotient, but not everyone knows about EQ, your emotional quotient, and the debate of: Which one is more important?
For those of you who aren't too sure about what we are talking about, we have included a couple of definitions.
* EQ – (psychology) emotional quotient, the measure of a person's ability in such areas as self-awareness, understanding, and dealing sensitively with other people.
* IQ is a measure of relative intelligence determined by a standardised test.
So what is the big fuss about? You have the IQ and you have the EQ, right?
In terms of the modern-day work environment, it's not always about how clever you are. People skills are becoming more and more important. Businesses are diversifying and employees need to have the relevant skills to function within the day-to-day business. It affects business relationships (not the ones your boss doesn't know about) as well as client and customer relationships to grow the company and you in your career.
As a co-worker, employers need to see that you have potential. IQ is a big driver but so is your EQ, it shows employers that by you having emotional awareness and the ability to potentially handle difficult situations – together with your knowledge, job skills and experience – you will make the best potential decisions as an employee within the company.
Jobs.co.za has set out to assist you and offer some pointers on how to potentially improve your EQ. Here's where you start. You need to look at yourself and ask some questions and evaluate how you conduct yourself every day in the office.
There are five main points that you need to be aware when asking these questions.
This isn't about what mood you're in, it's about how you control your moods. Times are stressful and this can impact on your mood. We're not saying that you need to be cheery and bright all the time, we understand the pressures in the business world, but it's about how you handle that mood.
Take, for example, you are stuck in traffic, someone crashes into you and clearly your day has started off on a bad footing. But should you then go into the office and start picking on everyone and being rude to customers? No.
It's all about your awareness of how your mood affects those around you and even yourself, remaining in a bad mood the entire day will just leave you tired. It's about happiness in the work place and your optimism. If you struggle with your mood, take five minutes before you start your day to avoid damaging your EQ.
2. Interpersonal skills
This is about recognising your own feelings and in doing so making better business decisions. It's about you being able to be independent and having the ability to assertively (not aggressively) express your thoughts to focus on reaching your end goal. Too often individuals are unable to be assertive, either being too aggressive or just letting others walk all over them. It's a fine line, but there is a line and it is something that needs to be practised.
3. Intrapersonal skills
Let's face it, relationships in business are key, they are what makes you and your company stand out from your competitors, it's the 'cherry on top of the cake' when a customer feels valued. As employees it is important to exercise how to be understanding and responsible in our relationships by being empathic and contributing in our work environment. It's about your people skills. A cohesive work environment is a productive one!
Now, we are not talking about the fact that you are stressed – everyone is stressed – we are talking about how you handle yourself in a stressful environment or situation. Do you crumble under pressure? Do you think things through? Stress comes with everyday life and it needs to be handled in the right way.
Remember that you should not be too hard on yourself and that allowing yourself time to recuperate from stress is very important. So take some time out – whether it is by taking the day off or just taking a little time during lunch to do something that you enjoy.
This is all about how quickly you can think on your feet. You need to be flexible and also know your limits. It's about adapting and coming up with solutions that will make you stand out from the crowd.
So the questions are – do you easily get irritated or keep yourself cool in stressful situations? How empathetic are you? Are you in control of your emotions? How good are you at resolving conflicts? So test your EQ and see what your personality is like in the workplace.
IQ and EQ are equally important, you need the IQ to be in your career and you need the EQ to manage yourself in that career. But it seems that more often than not, you as an individual will use your EQ more than your IQ. In the world of business, it is tough and we are not always the model individual or the model employee, it seems that EQ might take a little work and practise – but once you have mastered how to handle the rough and tumble of your career, you can handle any situation.