In the tenth anniversary edition of his bestseller Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ (2005), author Daniel Goleman quotes a search firm executive who says, “CEO’s are hired for their intellect and business expertise – and fired for a lack of emotional intelligence.”

Many of us grew up believing that high IQ was a surefire predictor of success, however, studies have found that, while “smarts” can help you land the job, strong “Emotional Intelligence” is, oftentimes, what helps you keep it.

Often referred to as “EQ” or “EI”, the term “Emotional Intelligence” has become a part of the lexicon thanks to Goleman’s groundbreaking book – first published in 1995 – which forever changed the paradigm of how success is predicted. A plethora of books and articles on EQ, by Goleman and other authors, have followed – each bringing to light how the management of our emotions impacts our careers and determines overall success in our lives.

In my previous post on EQ, I provided an overview – listing the breakdown of Goleman’s 5 Competencies of Emotional Intelligence from his book Working With Emotional Intelligence. In this post, I’m taking a closer look at Goleman’s competencies – focusing on the following 7 signs of strong EQ:

  1. Getting Along Well/ Interest In Others. High IQ individuals have the ability to be active listeners and truly curious about others. They’re often as comfortable talking with strangers as they are with friends, and are adept at reading people, ie: taking cues from body language, facial expressions, etc.
  1. Self-Awareness of Strengths and Weaknesses. Goleman explains that “star” performers at work are successful because they know where they excel and, as a result, have strong self-confidence. At the same time, they aren’t afraid of negative evaluation. Since they’re in a continuous process of self-improvement, they actually seek out feedback regarding their blind spots/ weaknesses.
  1. Operating With Integrity. The key words here are trustworthiness and conscientiousness. A person with strong EQ in this area is highly ethical in business and relationships and takes responsibility for her actions.
  1. Self-Awareness of Feelings. Emotionally intelligent people have self-control when it comes to their feelings, especially anger or frustration. They’re able to observe their emotions in a detached manner, and pinpoint the reason why they’re upset.
  1. Present-Focused. Rather than whine or complain about what’s already happened or what’s to come, an individual with strong EQ is solution-focused – looking for what they can do, in the moment, to problem-solve.
  1. Self-Motivated. According to Goleman, top performers in the workplace demonstrate motivational competencies that include: a strong drive to achieve; a commitment to reaching goals that benefit the group/ organization; and initiative/optimism – which inspires individuals to seize opportunities as well as take setbacks or obstacles in stride.
  1. Well-Placed Boundaries. Individuals with high EQ are skilled at assessing what is realistic in terms of the time and energy required for a task or project. They’re aware of their limits and they know when to say “No”.

You may feel you’re strong in many EQ competencies, but notice weaknesses as well. The good news is that your EQ score improves as you address those weaknesses. Goleman says it starts with noticing a low EQ habit; having a desire to change it; then figuring a way to counter the habit and put that new behavior into practice.

In Emotional Intelligence 2.0 (2009), authors Travis Bradberry and Jean Greaves call EQ “the single biggest predictor of success in the workplace.” They note that EQ accounts for 58% of performance in all types of jobs, and that people with high EQ make an average of $29,000 more a year than those with lower scores.

I encourage you to take an EQ assessment. You’ll come away with a heightened awareness of your social/ emotional skills that can help fine-tune the way you interact and get along in your relationships. This, in turn, can help pave the way for greater success at work and in your life, in general.