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What's the deal with EQ?

Posted on October 16, 2020

Ask the Expert

Jen Eaton
In a nutshell, emotional intelligence is generalized awareness for our feelings and the feelings of others. EQ

Many people have heard of IQ as a determinant of intelligence. However, many are still learning about emotional intelligence or EQ. Early on in my career, I first came across the term from my former supervisor and organization president. He helped me recognize the importance of EQ while I was managing multiple agencies across several states with a growing family. His mentorship was vital and key towards my personal development of EQ.

In a nutshell, emotional intelligence is generalized awareness for our feelings and the feelings of others. EQ is made up of five pillars:

·      Self-awareness is understanding your personal needs, challenges, emotions, strengths, and weaknesses. What causes personal fears, frustration, or anxiety?

·      Empathy is understanding the needs, challenges, emotions, and perspectives of others. What are they personally going through?

·      Self-management is the ability to bring awareness to our personal perspective or intentions, staying calm in emotional situations and fighting impulses of triggered reactions.

·      Motivation often presents itself as the desire to work with a passion. Why do you do the work you do? What makes you feel appreciated and supported?

·      Social skills are about communicating and interacting with others while adjusting our behavior during specific situations.

Three ways to raise your EQ

As employees in a highly emotional field, EQ is vital within our roles and the work that we do. As clinicians, we must use EQ to deliver sensitive news and communicate important medical information to our patients and their families. We can all use EQ to connect with colleagues or navigate issues in our personal lives. Here are four simple ways to raise your EQ.

Ask for feedback and deliver it constructively. I like to refer to weaknesses not as weaknesses, but opportunities. We all have opportunities to learn, grow and improve our performance. Be open to receiving feedback about your strengths and opportunities to improve from trusted friends, family, colleagues, and managers. If you are providing feedback, try to understand where the other person is coming from, what obstacles they may be facing, and what additional stresses they might be dealing with.

Practice active listening. In conversations with patients and coworkers, try to communicate with empathy. For example, take the time to ask someone how they are really doing.

Be transparent. Being transparent is not about revealing secrets. It is about communicating openly, honestly and with intention. A vital part of our work is communicating transparently with empathy. Open communication can assist us in reaching solutions and improved processes.

Those who have EQ are often expert communicators and leaders who can improve relationships through solid communication. If we all improve our emotional intelligence, we will be able to better understand our emotions, deliver feedback in a way to provide personal growth, manage and navigate conflicts, and contribute to a positive team culture.