Understanding EQ and emotional intelligence

We've all heard of IQ: In simple terms, it's a measure of a person's intellectual intelligence. But what is someone's emotional quotient, or EQ? Even the most accurate IQ test can't measure some parts of a person's intelligence, including how they interact socially, build relationships, and evaluate and express emotions. That's where emotional intelligence comes in. Someone with a high EQ score is likely self-aware, able to express his or her feelings and relates better to others than someone with low emotional intelligence. Here's what EQ measures and why it's important:

Five attributes of EQ
There are five distinct attributes that make up a person's emotional intelligence:

1. Self-awareness: When people have high self-awareness, it means they are able to recognize their emotions and how different feelings affect their thoughts and actions. This trait can be related to confidence: When someone is highly self-aware, he or she is often also very self-confident.

2. Self-management: Self-management, or self-regulation, is the ability to control your actions and manage strong emotions in a healthy and productive way. For instance, those with high self-management skills may express feelings of anger with a discussion rather than through shouting or arguing.

3. Social awareness: Social awareness, also called empathy, has to do with recognizing emotions, too – but in this case, it's recognizing the emotions of others. Someone with social awareness may be able to pick up nonverbal cues and understand why someone is feeling what he or she is feeling.

4. Internal motivation: Internal motivation is when a person is interested in learning or working toward self-improvement. This differs from motivation based on other external factors (like fame and fortune, for instance). 

5. Social skills: The final component of emotional intelligence is how skilled a person is socially. People with great social skills – more casually called "people skills" by many – know how to pick up on social cues and understand the right way to act in various situations. They're typically good at making friends, taking on leadership roles, and addressing and diffusing conflicts. 

Why is EQ important
A high IQ score may indicate how successful a person will be in academia or his or her career. A high EQ score, on the other hand, may determine a person's success in the workplace, as part of a team and even in relationships with friends and significant others. Both measures of intelligence have been found to play an important role in a person's overall success in life.

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