Emotional Intelligence Predicts Job Success: Do You Have It? Reply

The best salespeople and leaders have a high EQ. Daniel Goleman, the man who coined the term, pulls apart the aspects of emotional intelligence.

By Drake Bauer, fastcompany.com

Let’s say you work at a place that’s saturated with smarts. If all of your colleagues were always the brightest person in the room growing up, then what makes you stand out? Your emotional intelligence.

Consider cosmetics giant L’Oreal, which has started to factor emotional intelligence in their hiring process for salespeople. Those who were recruited for their high EQ outsold their peers by over $90,000. On top of that, the high-EQ employees had 63% less turnover than the typically selected sales folk. As this and other studies show, emotional intelligence predicts success for people and the companies they work for.

But EQ isn’t fixed: it can change over time. As University College London Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic (sic) notes on Harvard Business Review, your level of EQ is “firm, but not rigid.” While most EQ increases happen with age, you can train yourself to have a higher EQ, by being mindful of your mindfulness, more agile with emotions, or taking the dive into coaching.

Daniel Goleman, the psychologist who coined the term emotional intelligence, recently talked to the Huffington Post about the many characteristics of emotional intelligence. Lets go over a few here, so that we can know what to train in.

1. You’re curious about new people.

Do you ask a lot of questions when you meet someone? Do you actually listen to their answers? Then you might be a highly empathic person, someone attuned to the needs and feeling of others, and you may also mark high on openness to experience–a trait correlated with creativity.

2. You’re self-aware.

To be emotionally intelligent, Goleman says, you need to have confidence. To have confidence, you need to know your strengths and weaknesses. Then you work from that framework.

3. You know how to pay attention.

As Arianna Huffington told us, you can’t make connections if you’re distracted. Additionally, the ability to remain focused–and not carried away by texts and tweets–predicts not just the ability to form strong relationships and cultivate self-knowledge, Goleman says, but also your financial success.

“Your ability to concentrate on the work you’re doing, and to put off looking at that text or playing that video game until after you’re done,” he tells the Huffington Post. “How good you are at that in childhood turns out to be a stronger predictor of your financial success in adulthood than either your IQ or the wealth of the family you grew up in.”

4. You can say no.

If you have high emotional intelligence, Goleman says, you can avoid unhealthy habits and otherwise discipline yourself–which also allows for relationship-nourishing, success-engendering non-distraction.

5. You know precisely what’s pissing you off.

Folks with a high EQ acknowledge emotions as they come rather than repressing them or misattributing their causes. You could also call this emotional agility.

6. You trust your intuition.

There are neuroscientific reasons for trusting your gut: they’re markers for what to do next. Part of having a high EQ is learning when to trust them.

Drake Baer is a contributing writer at Fast Company, where he covers work culture. He’s the co-author of Everything Connects, a book about how intrapersonal, interpersonal, and organizational psychology shape innovation, due out in February. Email him: dbaer at fastcompany.com.

Neuroscience Reveals The Deep Power of Human Empathy Reply

PSYBlog

An old philosophical question asks: is there any such thing as a selfless act?

Cynics answer no, because any apparently selfless act is always tacitly showing off what ‘good’ people we are.

Even if no one else knows about the act, the good feeling you get yourself from helping someone else means a selfless act is never really entirely selfless.

But perhaps cynics will be impressed by recent neuroscientific studies which demonstrate in the living mind the enormous human capacity for empathy.

Holding hands

In a brand new experiment, participants were first put in an fMRI machine and shown a series of ‘X’s and ‘O’s on a screen (Beckes et al., 2013).

The ‘X’s indicated there was a 17% chance they would get a mild electric shock through the ankle, while the ‘O’s indicated they were safe (for the moment).

The scans of participants’ brains showed that when there was a chance they were about to receive a shock, the parts of the brain that are involved in threat response became more active. This was as expected.

The twist was that sometimes participants held hands with a close friend, and it was their friend that received the shock, and not themselves.

What the researchers then saw was that the activity in people’s brains was almost identical when their friend was about to receive the shock as when they themselves were about to receive it.

In comparison, there was relatively little activity in the threat response regions when they held a stranger’s hand.

One of the study’s authors, James Coan explained:  “The correlation between self and friend was remarkably similar. The finding shows the brain’s remarkable capacity to model self to others; that people close to us become a part of ourselves, and that is not just metaphor or poetry, it’s very real. Literally we are under threat when a friend is under threat. But not so when a stranger is under threat.”

Mere presence

So the brain scanner could ‘see’ people empathising with their friends, but can it see whether this empathy does any good?

That’s what was examined in a previous study with a similar procedure—except this time participants were husband and wife (Coan et al., 2006).

The question was: would it make any difference to the brains of people who were about to receive an electric shock whether or not they were holding their spouse’s hand?

Indeed it did. When people held their spouse’s hand, as opposed to that of a stranger, the threat response regions of the brain were significantly less active than otherwise.

And, the better the marital relationship, the greater the positive effect of holding hands with their partners.

Subsequent studies showed that the other person only needs to be in the room for the threat response regions to quieten.(sic)

Connected minds

We all know from personal experience how gut-wrenching it is to watch the suffering of someone we love. And we all know that, when we are suffering ourselves, it’s better to have someone around that we love.

But it’s fascinating to see these fundamental aspects of what makes us human occurring right there, deep in the living mind.