Susan Dunn

Article Summary:

What is emotional intelligence, and how can it help you?

What is Emotional Intelligence?

You've probably been hearing that emotional intelligence (EQ) is crucial to your success in your career and relationships. Just exactly what is it and why is it so important?

Emotional intelligence is what used to be called "maturity," or "common sense," or "knowing how to get along." It's how you handle yourself and others, and how you handle emotions. It means knowing how to manage conflict constructively, being flexible about people and problems, remaining resilient in the face of adversity, having good interpersonal skills, and being ... well, just being the kind of people other people want to work with and relate to. It can be as important to your success as IQ.

Most of us know how to do our jobs. We have the expertise, skills and experience. But if you were presented with two candidates of fairly equal expertise and experience, how would you chose between them? You'd choose the one with the stronger "intangibles" -- the one who could push a project through, the one with leadership skills, the one who had a creative approach to problem-solving and a positive attitude, and the one who knew how to woo and keep customers, clients, co-workers and you.

There's nothing mysterious about emotional intelligence. It's a set of competencies that can be assessed and learned, and you can improve them over your lifetime. Working with a coach is the surest way to improve because you'll get support and feedback as you learn.

If you aren't getting the promotions and your career is stalled out, take a look at your emotional intelligence today. You can start improving it tomorrow!

Susan Dunn, MA, of The EQ Coach, offers coaching, Internet courses and ebooks for your personal and professional success. She is founder of the EQ Alive! coach certification program, which has no residency requirement and trains coaches internationally. For a free ezine, email sdunn@susandunn.cc.

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