The word “emotional” incites an image of a person losing their cool, off the normal spectrum of what is deemed acceptable. It is a word that is misconstrued by so many who veer away from their emotions.
I am usually on the receiving end of these people as I respond to the question “What field of work are you in?” Interestingly, I say as a Master Trainer of Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) that I help people get in touch with their emotions. I elevate their emotional intelligence which is an innate sense given to all of us, left untapped by many.
Being emotional is vastly different to being in touch with your emotions or accessing your emotional intelligence (EQ). Unpacking EQ and what it is, will be my main focus today. How is it used in the workplace and how does it impact results at work? Are people born with EQ and can it be enhanced?
What is EQ?
EQ is an intelligence is a person’s ability to identify, understand and manage firstly, their own emotions then the emotions of others. It calibrates how we relate, communicate, emote and connect with self and others.
We are in relationship with ourselves and others in the world. The higher EQ skills I have, the more aware I am of my emotions and the more I am able to easily weave in to a relationship with another. I have empathy, am able to understand the perspective of another.
NLP works with the five senses – what we see, hear, feel, taste and smell. Each of us has a preference for one of these senses. We process our daily experience through these preferences.
A person who prefers the visual sense will have a tendency to create more pictures than a person who prefers feelings. We call the latter a Kinaesthetic person. They are people who have a deeper understanding of their emotions as they process experience through their feelings.
These people are able to access empathy easily and navigate social situations easily. EQ is often considered a key component of successful interpersonal communication that impacts both personal and professional contexts.
How is EQ used in the workplace?
People who have high EQ are able to foster deep relationships easily. They become great team leaders and are loved by the people they work with. Often high EQ individuals are able to influence groups to seeing their point of view and make for great listeners.
They acknowledge how others feel so colleagues feel heard. They are inclusive so colleagues go the extra mile for them. They stand apart from those who lack EQ. Teams who work with them are often satisfied and happy as they feel respected.
In many ways, these people present themselves as informal leaders for an organisation. People follow them in trends – wear the styles they wear and speak the way they do. They become highly influential for leadership to transmit messages through as their popularity precedes them and difficult messages are softened when cascaded down the line through them.
How does it impact results at work?
Having employees with high EQ is a big plus. They are the glue that pull people together. Employee engagement is today, one of the most sought after deliverables that organisations seek. A team leader who has high EQ will bring in results fast by mobilising the workforce well.
Are people born with EQ?
Everyone has EQ. Some have unconsciously tapped into their EQ earlier than others. As the heart opens, so does EQ deepen. People born in third world countries where there is constant pain around them, have no choice but to access their emotions and EQ naturally heightens.
Those who live in first world countries have more comfort, hence IQ and logic command, more than their sense of emoting in the world. Steve Jobs was a good example. Brilliant and a genius at his work, his IQ was second to none. A lack of EQ had him create bad relationships.
Can EQ be enhanced?
Absolutely! Just ask yourself one question as you go through daily work life especially situations that require EQ – “How do I feel about this now?” You will automatically be directed into your body to find the answer. The more you do this, the more you will find yourself accessing your emotions.
Your view of life will change profoundly as your lenses focus on different perspectives that were always there but never observed before.
Sylvia is a qualified Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) Master Trainer. She started her business in Sydney and is now based in Singapore.