Emotional intelligence: how to develop it to earn more

We grew up with the conviction that knowledge is power. But over the past 20 years, another intelligence has come out on top – the emotional one. Who needs it and can it be developed? We answer.

Emotional deafness is a fixable thing. Here are five powerful ways to become “intellectual.” The hype around this concept rose in 1995 when science journalist Daniel Goleman collected data from various studies and published the book Emotional Intelligence: Why It Might Be More Than IQ. And really, why all of a sudden? The fact is that in the 1980s, scientists discovered that high IQs were not a very reliable guarantor of future success. Career advancement depends on knowledge by no more than 20%. The rest is up to origins, connections, attractiveness, luck and … Emotional Quotient (EQ)!

People with high EQ understand and manage their feelings well, at the same time read the emotions of others and get along with different types. How important it is has been demonstrated more than once. For example, in the Sommerville Study, psychologists followed the lives of 450 boys for 40 years. One third of them had an IQ below the minimum limit of normal (90 points). It turned out that this did not affect either the quality of work or life in general. What really mattered was the ability to cope with difficulties and find a common language with others.

Another confirmation is the famous marshmallow experiment: they put a plate of marshmallows in front of children of four or six years old and said that you can eat the sweetness right away or wait 15 minutes and get a second one. Only a third of the participants received a reward. Decades later, it turned out that it was the boys and girls who received the supplement that achieved much greater results in life. It turns out that self-control, patience and the desire to succeed are far from secondary factors.

Dark side

Along with developed emotional intelligence comes responsibility for the feelings of others.

As soon as the coveted coefficient took its place among the important competencies, theories about its danger appeared. So where is the threat? The ability to strategically use emotions easily turns into a powerful tool for various manipulations. Researchers at the University of Toronto conducted a study that found that people with high EQ are more likely to use others for their – not always humane – purposes.

Scientists from the British Cambridge, for example, drew attention to the fact that during passionate leadership speeches, the audience practically did not pay attention to logical flaws and was much easier to be persuaded.

It is this theory that explains the success of Hitler, who, it should be noted, had complete order with EQ.

Does this mean that emotional intelligence is a real find for cunning and cunning people? Not at all, but with him it turns out to be much more effective to pursue your goals.

How can EQ help you work?

It is associated with leadership qualities: thanks to him, you can predict other people’s intentions and avoid conflict situations.

Forbes cites data according to which 90% of top managers have high emotional intelligence, while those at the bottom of the career ladder have this skill well developed only in 20% of cases. For this reason, many Western companies assess the EQ level of job seekers applying for managerial positions during interviews. Don’t get me wrong: Emotional intelligence does not guarantee you a rise; it becomes your competitive advantage when you compete for a leadership position with peers.

Another area he influences is your income. For example, insurance companies found that those agents with low levels of empathy, initiative, and self-confidence sold policies for an average of $ 54,000, while employees with high emotional intelligence sold them for $ 114,000. EQ helps stay optimistic, show warmth with others, and start talking about the promotion at the right time. As a result, you win over clients, colleagues and bosses. This will inevitably affect your well-being.

5 traits of people with high EQ

  1. Don’t strive for excellence.

They are not perfectionists. They understand that there is no single correct option, just as there is no ideal. If they make a mistake, they gain experience and move on.

  1. Set boundaries.

A willingness to compromise and courtesy creates a deceptive impression of people with high EQs. But they know their boundaries and know how to say no. This is an excellent prevention of burnout.


  1. Concentrate on the good.

Emotional intellectuals prefer not to regret missed opportunities, but rather focus on real problems and what they can change.

  1. Open to change.

Fear of the new is one of the obstacles to success. EQ allows you to accept change and instability as part of life and to adapt more easily to new conditions.

  1. Cope with pressure and stress.

Phenomenon researchers Peter Salovey and John Mayer have found that people with high EQs recover from anxiety faster and handle stress better.

Anna / Pexels


How are we going to develop it?

Emotional deafness is a fixable thing. Here are five powerful ways to become an intellectual.

  1. Listen actively.

In the market, those companies and people who like to talk about how great they are and how much they were able to achieve are losing. Show off in front of the mirror. And in human society, turn into eyes and ears, show with your whole body that you listen and remember. When the baton in the dialogue passes to you, briefly repeat the words of the interlocutor to show that you understood him.

  1. Talk about feelings.

Do you know the difference between sadness, disappointment and frustration? And between joy, happiness and euphoria? Many people distinguish only two states: “I feel good” and “I feel bad.” This makes it difficult for them to express the desires or assess the needs of others.

If you feel upset, ask yourself what exactly is the cause of your sadness. And also try to understand in which part of the body the tension has accumulated, because of what it arose. Clinical psychologist Luciya Suleimanova explains that this way you will develop the awareness that is necessary to read the intentions, motives and fears of the interlocutor. With an effort of will, pay attention to the surrounding colors, sounds, smells, the work of your body. Gradually it will become a habit.


  1. Assess yourself

When you have a poor idea of ​​your own abilities, it’s easy to fall into the trap of not demanding a promotion when you definitely deserve it, or clashing with colleagues because of too high self-esteem. In one famous study, students were asked to rate how well they did on a test and then compared their opinions with actual results. It turned out that most of the participants overestimate their abilities. And those who actually showed rather low results are especially prone to this. This phenomenon is called the Dunning-Kruger effect. Do not become a victim of it, try to adequately assess your own strengths and weaknesses.

  1. Swap roles

How often have you had to furiously defend your position or criticize someone else’s opinion just because you thought you had reached the status of the center of the universe? Try to play a game when you – in the role of a lawyer – find arguments in favor of a view, even if it is alien to you. It will take dozens of workouts, but believe me, the result is worth it.

  1. Look for motivation

Think about what drives you to move forward. Bonuses, salary, praise? All these are only external motives, and they, as numerous studies show, do little to help a person in achieving goals. High emotional intelligence relies on internal “drivers”: the desire to develop, moral values, ideas about the meaning of life. You need to find your deepest motivator.


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