You are smart, skilled, passionate and pretty bloody fantastic at what you do. BUT, if you’d like a little more cash in your pockets then developing your Emotional Intelligence is what it’s all about.
A study conducted in the 1970’s by the Carnegie Institute of Technology found that 85% of your financial success is down to your Emotional Intelligence (EQ), Moral Intelligence (MQ) & Body Intelligence (BQ) and only 15% can be attributed to your IQ. More recently, (Schmidt 2012) found that people with high emotional intelligence made $29,000 more annually than their low EQ counterparts.
In the book Emotional Intelligence 2.0, Bradberry and Greves define Emotional Intelligence (EQ) as “your ability to recognise and understand emotions in yourself and others, as well as your ability to use this awareness to manage your behaviour and relationships.” According to research conducted by the authors, EQ is the greatest predictor of job performance and a strong predictor of leadership and personal excellence.
Stephen Covey author of The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People is quoted as saying “Research shows convincingly that EQ is more important than IQ in almost every role and many times more important in leaderships roles” As a Freelancer, business owner or entrepreneur you are a leader, you are THE leader in your business and you are what people are buying into. Your biggest asset in business, and in life is YOU, so investing in YOU is the best place to get the greatest return on investment (ROI).
Technical knowledge or cognitive function on their own will only get you so far. Paying attention to your emotional intelligence could enable you to earn more money, be more likable and be happier too. Your greater success therefore, depends on your ability to relate to others, your self confidence, empathy, initiative and ability to evaluate. David Goleman defines Emotional Intelligence as ‘understanding one’s own feelings, empathy for the feelings of others and the regulation of emotion in a way that enhances living’. Goleman explains that the top sales people apply empathic concern; which is where you sense and care about the customer’s needs. Rather than persuading them to buy the wrong thing, the most successful sales people match their client’s needs to what they offer, maybe even sending them elsewhere for the most suitable offering. This builds a loyal and lasting relationship of trust – and a customer who returns again and again.
Nobel Prize winning Israeli-American psychologist, Daniel Kahneman, found that people would rather do business with a person they like and trust rather than someone they don’t, even if the likeable person is offering a lower quality product or service at a higher price. Likability is not about being saccharine, but honest and trustworthy. In his long term international bestseller “Think and Grow Rich” Napoleon Hill cites the 14 habits of people who are so likable that others go out of their way to help them.
The good news is that there is no need to make a huge financial investment, increasing your EQ, MQ and BQ is achievable with just some simple tweaks, tweaks that are not only worth it for the impact on your bottom line, but also for your own wellbeing.
The first step to increasing Emotional Intelligence…
is to become aware of your inner dialogue, which will enable you to establish how you are feeling. Identifying the feeling or emotion and the stories that go with these can reveal valuable insights. It’s worth noting that stress can be a huge killer of emotional intelligence, so finding healthy coping techniques that can effectively and quickly reduce stress in volatile situations is also a good idea. I recommend a regular meditation practice to combat feelings of stress and to enable a structure in which to scan your inner dialogue. Meditation doesn’t need to follow a particular formulae or philosophy – it can be as simple as taking time out, without any external distractions, sitting quietly and scanning both your body and mind while making observations without judgement of what you notice.
Doug Lennick, Fred Kiel Ph.D define Moral Intelligence as our mental capacity to determine how universal human principles (such as integrity, responsibility, compassion and forgiveness—universal human principles that cut across the globe and are not gender, ethnic, cultural or religious specific) should be applied to our personal values, goals and actions. Building an ethical and moral intelligence is about cultivating compassion and treating others as you want to be treated.
The first step to increased moral intelligence is to practice acceptance and show tolerance of other people’s shortcomings as well as your own.
Forgiveness is not just about how we relate to others; it’s also how you relate to and feel about yourself. Developing compassion by putting yourself in someone else’s shoes, or treating yourself as a friend might treat you, are great ways to build on and strengthen your moral intelligence.
Body Intelligence (BQ) reflects what you know about your body, how you feel about it, and take care of it. Your body is constantly telling you things; are you listening to the signals or ignoring them? Are you eating energy-giving or energy-draining foods on a daily basis? Are you getting enough rest? Do you exercise and take care of your body? Do you over exercise or have a strict diet that causes your body stress rather than balance? It may seem like these matters are unrelated to business performance, but your body intelligence absolutely affects your work because it largely determines your feelings, thoughts, self-confidence, state of mind, and energy levels. Not to mention that while you are self employed, if you get sick – no one is earning!
The first step to increased body intelligence is also awareness;
listening to the subtle signals your body is giving you, and taking appropriate action. For example, noticing yourself yawning and making a coffee is one way to deal with tiredness, another is adjusting your schedule to allow for more rest and sleep. A great way to increase your body / mind connection is with a regular yoga or Pilates practice, which will help you recognise signals from your body and respond accordingly.
I am truly passionate about increasing my own and others emotional intelligence, I believe that if we all paid more attention to how we feel, to extending empathy to others – whilst being responsible for our own thoughts, feelings, behaviours an actions then we’d all be more content, more curious, more aware and more fulfilled. For more tips get in touch, get my FREE ebook and sign up for my newsletter
I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below,