By Marette Hahn
GCU Career Services
You’ve likely heard the buzzwords "emotional intelligence" around your workplace or in passing.
So, what on earth is it? And why does it matter?
Emotional intelligence, or EQ, can be measured by a quiz, much like IQ. However, researchers have found that EQ actually predicts professional success better than IQ. Essentially, EQ is a complex understanding of ourselves and those around us in a way that helps us be more successful at managing our emotions and reading the emotions of others in an effort to collaborate more effectively.
Our world is dominated by emotions. Ask any successful marketing, advertising or business person how they play on emotions to sell their product or service. Emotions are involved in everything from choosing which toilet paper to buy to how we interact with our coworkers. Therefore, it’s essential to be able to understand our own emotions and recognize the emotions of others within the workplace.
How can you learn more about your EQ and apply it to your career? A great place to start is with a book and quiz titled "Emotional Intelligence 2.0" (Bradberry, Greaves, & Lencioni, 2009). Start by reading through the book to gain a better understanding of what EQ is and how it impacts the workplace. Then you can obtain a code to take the EQ test online. The quiz will explain your current level of emotional intelligence, what you’re good at, and where you can improve.
Once you’ve gone through these results, find a mentor with a good understanding of EQ – a family friend, a coworker, a boss, a professor, a classmate – and start talking with them about how EQ impacts their daily work. The good news is, EQ can be learned and improved, so find someone who will be in your corner and help you work on your emotional intelligence knowledge and skills.
If you can, try taking the quiz again in six months or a year to see where and how you’ve improved -- and how you can continue to refine your EQ skills. Your professional career will thank you for it.
GCU Career Services is here for you. Stop by the office in Camelback Hall or call 602-639-6606 to connect. Or visit www.gcu.edu/careerservices to utilize any of our online tools to identify your career path, build your resume, research career options or apply to current job postings.