By Executive Coach, Karen D. Nutter
Every week I talk to countless people who are striving to create a more fulfilling life for themselves. Some want to make more money, others want more time with their family, and some are looking for that special someone with whom they can build their life. While these may seem like very different goals, and accomplishing them would require varying tactics, I have found one common solution that seems to be the duct tape of life, bringing together a more fulfilling life – emotional intelligence.
I have written a lot about how EQ is one of the strongest indicators of success in business, but I have also found that it’s also one of the most important factors for happiness in general. The reason this works is because Emotional Intelligence comes through in five dimensions:
• Social Skills
The stronger we are in each of these dimensions, the more adept we are at handling challenges across each one. Let’s take a look at how increased EQ can affect the three examples I started with.
Make More Money
Generally, when someone tells me they want to make more money, it means they want a promotion, a different job, or sometimes a new career. In working with a client, we start by identifying the road blocks that are keeping them from the success they desire. I have worked with clients who were too quiet and introverted and needed to develop their social skills in order to be recognized by their bosses. Other clients were too pushy or brash and found success as they increased self-awareness about how they came across to others, and then they developed their self-regulation to help them act and react in a less offensive manner. Of course, I have also worked with clients who were not achieving their financial goals because they lacked the motivation required to move up the corporate ladder. In these situations, we usually do an assessment of their driving forces and work to bridge the gap between what motivates them and the work they are doing, but it still comes down to self-awareness and self-regulation to bring it all together.
More Time With Family And Friends
You may be wondering how in the world a higher EQ can bring you more time with family and friends, right? Obviously, it depends on what the root of the problem is. Is it that you don’t have enough time in a day because you are overloaded at work? Or is it because there is a disconnect between you and them?
If it’s a work-time issue, it’s good to look at how efficiently you are working each day. Are there “time wasters” you need to overcome? Is a lack of motivation slowing you down? Or, are you having trouble regulating yourself and therefore saying “yes” to new tasks when you need to say “no thank you?”
When there’s a disconnect between people, whether at work or at home, I have found that it often leads back to a lack of empathy and/or self-awareness. Try seeing things from others’ perspectives; appreciate the strengths and individuality of the people around you; and learn to truly listen when someone else talks to you. As you do this, you become someone who is more enjoyable to be around. You come across as less critical, less egocentric, and more cooperative and friendly. It doesn’t matter who you are interacting with, everyone enjoys being around someone they can relate to, so if you want more time with your family and friends, make sure you are relatable!
Find That Special Someone
No, I am not starting a dating service using EQ assessments, but that might not be a bad idea! The bottom line truth about having a high EQ is that it makes you someone more desirable to be around.
People with high EQ are comfortable with themselves and know how to socialize; they recognize and try to minimize their issues; they are more understanding and open; they think before they speak; and control their emotions. Now, doesn’t that sound like someone you would want to spend the rest of your life with? Love and relationships are strongest when both people are being authentic, open, and understanding. And, developing your emotional intelligence helps strengthen the traits that make you a more desirable partner.
The EQ Solution
Every day, I find new examples of how a higher EQ can help someone overcome a challenge in their professional or personal life, and this really inspires me! Emotional Intelligence is something we all have, and therefore it’s something we can all develop. The tools are available to help us better understand ourselves, and relate better to the people around us. So, if you are faced with a challenge, see if you can find the EQ solution that will solve it for you. I bet you can!