Written by: Mariela De La Mora, Executive Contributor
Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.
What you know (your IQ) means nothing if you lack emotional intelligence (EQ).
How many people have you met, or bosses have you had, who clearly knew their stuff but lacked self-awareness or people skills? These “soft skills” are emotional intelligence. Emotionally intelligent people are charismatic, influential, approachable, and make people feel seen and heard. Because of this, they make great leaders and tend to have strong relationships across the board.
This is why emotional intelligence was named the most valuable skillsets this decade by the World Economic Forum, accounting for 58% of all success.
It is a type of intangible intelligence that gives people an awareness of their emotions and their impact. People with high EQ understand how to manage their emotions, especially under pressure, and are better at expressing themselves, solving problems, managing stress, and relating to others.
Why emotional intelligence matters:
A 40-year study of PhDs at UC Berkeley found that EQ was four times more powerful than IQ when predicting success.
90% of top-performing employees score high on EQ, compared to just 20% of low performers.
Employees who had managers with high EQ were four times less likely to leave than those who had managers with low EQ.
Managers with highly developed EQ skills surpassed yearly revenue targets by 15 to 20%.
In short, EQ equals results, revenue, higher employee engagement, better retention, and success across the board. And more companies are starting to take note, investing in it, and even screening for it. The top companies in the world like Google, Microsoft, Amazon, Nike and even Stanford University all use emotional intelligence assessments like the EQ-i 2.0 to build leadership skills in their teams, as well as part of their recruitment process.
Building emotional intelligence at the root cause
Some people are born with a lot of emotional intelligence and the ability to relate to others, and some are not. For example, for women of color, emotional intelligence is a matter of survival because whenever we walk into a room, we’re acutely aware of who is in it. We are effective chameleons because we have to be, and this in turn impacts our emotional intelligence.
But even if you grew up being mindful of how you act around others, many of us are still not aware of how our emotions may be adversely affecting our thinking and our reactions. The good news is that anyone can learn to increase their emotional intelligence.
As I moved through various leadership roles throughout my career, it was by identifying my own behaviors and triggers in my life, unpacking them, and actively working on them that made me grow my EQ and become an effective leader.
Tips on developing your EQ:
Practice your active listening skills
Pay attention to how you react
Notice what triggers you
Notice what stories you tell yourself
Notice what judgments you make
Relationships are an important factor when it comes to success in business. And it’s not all about relationships with clients and customers. The quality of our internal relationships – the ones with our colleagues and team members – determines the effectiveness of our organizational cultures.
By actively working on our EQ, we start actively listening, challenging our assumptions, to know when to be flexible, and not allow stress to cloud our judgment. Emotional intelligence allows us to effectively work with our peers, rather than against them. And while EQ is a great predictor of success in the workplace, it also results in a better quality of life outside of work.
Mariela De La Mora, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine
Mariela is a Life Coach and certified EQ Leadership Coach who helps women of color become powerhouse leaders of purpose-driven brands. Her mission is to help women of color break glass ceilings by healing the generational trauma and cultural conditioning holding them back from becoming the leader they can be. She was named one of the top 10 leadership coaches by Yahoo Finance and has coached 6 and 7-figure CEOs and even leaders in the United Nations. She previously spent 15 years in marketing while leading teams across the globe. As a 1st generation Mexican American, she was often the only woman of color in senior leadership and had to break past systemic and mindset barriers to do it. She now helps women bridge that gap through trauma-informed life coaching and emotional intelligence development, so they can fully step into their power and lead with intention.