Woman with glasses and graph

High Emotional Intelligence (EQ) is something that is very much in demand, particularly in business. It predicts an ability to communicate well, to stay calm and to work effectively in a team environment. It also helps in personal relationships in a variety of ways.

While the ability to understand and identify emotions is important, it’s really not everything. So, what are many people missing from the puzzle?

As we mentioned previously, there is a correlation between high IQ and high EQ. What this means is that someone who is very intelligent is also more likely to have a better understanding of the inner workings of the minds of others.

This appears to make sense until you think of the stereotypical “school geek.” It seems that we mostly think of highly intelligent people as being far from persuasive. Rather we think of them as being socially awkward. So, what’s going on?

Softball playerThe problem may in fact be that some highly intelligent people are actually too sensitive to the emotions and thoughts of others, so much so that they end up second-guessing everything they say. Their emotional intelligence is such that they can’t help but see every possible interpretation of their behaviour and this leaves them shy and quiet.

On the other hand, the stereotypical “jock” or “jockette” might be blissfully unaware of how their actions might be perceived as brash, self-conscious or aggressive and so they are free to act with confidence.

Developing Confidence
In other words, developing EQ on its own is not enough. At the same time, you also need to develop confidence and accept that ultimately you are going to make mistakes. But it’s the ability to be firm in your convictions that will give you an air of authority anyway.

This is perhaps the most difficult lesson to learn when developing your emotional intelligence. So, how do you strengthen it?

One of the best strategies is to practise making an idiot of yourself and saying unpopular things to train yourself not to care so much about what others think. Try speaking in a silly accent next time you buy something from a shop or try asking a stranger for their phone number. Over time you can learn to lose your self-consciousness and, when you combine this with a high EQ, you have a very powerful combination.

The Journey Within: Understanding People Isn’t Everything
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