Most of us instinctively know that the ability to handle feelings, both your own and other people’s, is a key life skill. One of the biggest sources of stress and ill health is, in my view, an inability to speak the language of emotions eloquently. This ability, let’s call it emotional literacy, is often spoken of as EQ.
Evidence is accumulating that EQ is fundamental to success in the workplace. When recruiting for mid and top level jobs, employers are catching on to this evidence, and learning to trust their gut, their own EQ. Someone with a high IQ and all the right qualifications is less likely to get hired if their EQ doesn’t match up.
A study done in Canada in 2012 produced interesting results. It showed that, whilst most managers recognised the need to be emotionally intelligent, particularly when it comes to handling difficult situations, conflicts and challenging emotions, they consistently over estimated their ability in this area.
The areas that revealed the biggest mismatch between self-rating of EQ and EQ in action were a) handling their own feelings and b) communicating effectively with distressed workmates.
The good side of the study is that the majority of managers studied were EQ savvy enough to receive this feedback in a good way, and were open to developing their EQ further.
EQ is a skill, or rather a bunch of skills, that can be learned and developed throughout life. Mindfulness exercises the parts of the brain that help us become more emotionally literate. In Mind Mood Mastery we break down emotional literacy in to easily digestible components, the six dimensions of emotional style. These are based on how the brain actually works rather than any psychological theory.
Mindfulness and EQ go hand in hand in helping you become less stressed, more self-aware and at peace with yourself.