3 reasons Why Emotional Intelligence Matters

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Most of us know what IQ is, and that most of us fall in the average range. IQ stands for Intelligence Quotient. When talking about IQ, we often hear people relate words like “smart” or “stupid.” The fact is that IQ scores are derived from just standardized tests that are meant to measure intelligence. In the original IQ tests, the quotient was calculated by dividing an individual’s “mental age” by their “actual age” then multiplying that number by 100. IQ is great for helping to measure things like knowledge, reasoning, and memory. Although IQ has been the standard for measuring intelligence for quite some time, new research shows that IQ is not the only type of intelligence. The form of Intelligence I’m talking about is called EQ or Emotional Intelligence. Unlike IQ, it’s pretty obvious that emotional intelligence has to do more with our emotions. Furthermore, it’s the ability to recognize, evaluate, and control emotions of both one’s self and others. EQ is harder to measure in numbers because it is a qualitative feature. It is this qualitative reasoning inside of us that recognizes emotions in ourselves and others and guides us to respond. Although this may not seem very important at first, experts have found that EQ plays a very huge role in many parts of our lives. I personally believe EQ should be understood more as it plays a major role in our lives and especially in resolving conflicts, building healthy relationships, and overall success.

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Above all else, EQ helps us resolve conflicts by being able to recognize emotions and using them proactively. You see, there is a big difference between knowing that there is a problem and actually understanding the problem. For example, it is easy for one to look at two people arguing and know that they are arguing, it is pretty obvious. But take that same scenario, add understanding to it and it changes everything. If someone is able to understand emotions, they can not only tell that there is a problem, but they can sense the emotions around them. Being able to sense the emotions is just the start. After recognizing and evaluating the emotions of the two, what an emotionally intelligent person can do is seek to direct the emotions in a proactive way. Since emotionally intelligent people are good at empathizing with others perspectives and feelings, it is much easier to resolve and even avoid conflict. This is an essential skill to have both in one’s personal life and professional life.

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Second, emotional intelligence plays a big role in building better relationships. Being emotionally intelligent automatically makes us better communicators. If you are able to understand and manage emotions, you are more likely to be able to communicate your feelings as well. This can be especially important in more romantic relationships. In fact, a study found that EQ directly correlates with romantic relationship satisfaction. The study reported that there is a “Significant meta-analytic relationship between trait emotional intelligence and romantic relationship satisfaction” (Malouff). It went on further to say that this is “consistent with the theoretical view that emotional intelligence leads to better life outcomes” (Malouff). If we think about it, it all really makes sense. If ones know and understand emotions, it can motivate one to take part in social interactions. He or she knows how to respond and empathize with people and communicate that. Many relationships struggle due to misunderstandings, an unresolved conflict that builds up, and simply not knowing how to express your emotions, feeling, and not knowing how to respond to others emotions and feelings. Emotionally intelligent people understand that allowing others to know your emotions allows them to better understand you. They also understand that trying to understand other’s emotions helps to understand the situation better. In a sense, it adds context and is so key when building relationships.

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Finally, emotional intelligence plays a big role in how successful we will be personally and professionally. Take this quote from Forbes for example: “Of all the people we’ve studied at work, we’ve found that 90% of top performers are also high in emotional intelligence. On the flip side, just 20% of bottom performers are high in emotional intelligence” (Bradberry). Thus, it is possible to still be successful and score low in terms of emotional intelligence, but it does not seem likely. With numbers like this, I think it is safe to say that emotional intelligence, at least to some extent, correlates with higher rates of success. If you still don’t believe that emotional intelligence plays a role in how successful you will be, just take a look at some of these statistics: It is said that “Naturally, people with a high degree of emotional intelligence make more money—an average of $29,000 more per year than people with a low degree of emotional intelligence. The link between emotional intelligence and earnings is so direct that every point increase in emotional intelligence adds $1,300 to an annual salary” (Bradberry). Although correlation does not always imply causation, with numbers like these, more likely than not emotional intelligence not only correlates with success, it causes success. This can be for a number of reasons, such as career choice or performance. In some ways, this can also be related to the communication skills of emotionally intelligent people. People who know how to communicate effectively are no doubt more successful. Furthermore, emotionally intelligent people also understand themselves so much so that they know what they want, and they go after it. A lot of people go to school or work in fields that make them miserable, and a lot of people say it’s because they do not know what would make them happy. Obviously, you are more likely to excel in doing what you are passionate about than doing something that makes you miserable.

Understanding emotions may seem unimportant or trivial but in fact, it is the opposite. It has been shown by experts that emotional intelligence is a better predictor of success than overall IQ. Being emotionally intelligent means that you can accurately recognize emotions and utilize then proactively. It has the power to repair and restore relationships. Thus, it also helps us to build better relationships as a result as well. On top of all this, it’s so vital and important to our success in the workplace and in our personal lives. Being able to navigate conflicts, understand ourselves and other, and communicate effectively all lead to a more successful and happier life. So although IQ is important for many reasons as it measures intelligence quantitatively, EQ is important for measuring intelligence for qualitative features.

 

 

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IS SOCIAL MEDIA KILLING OUR SOCIAL LIVES?

 

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We can say with certainty that social media has completely transformed human interaction. With its recent introduction, social media plays a major role in just about all of our relationships, whether it be personal or business. This phenomenon has both positive and negative impacts; it all depends on how we choose to utilize it. Among the negatives are the fact that online interactions make it difficult to communicate one’s true message because body language, the tone of voice, etc. are lost. Furthermore, social media allows us to create artificial identities that make us comfortable online such that we sometimes isolate ourselves from real-life interactions and relationships. Like anything, there are also positives. These include making relationships more convenient and simplifying long-distance interactions. Social media helps shrink the world and bring people closer together. The most powerful way social media affects social relationships is through being able to build a community. In my personal experience, the positives of social media interactions greatly outweigh the negatives.

With text-based interactions, a lot of context is lost, in that you must depend on mere words to say what you want to say. In face-to-face interactions, you have much more to work with. Your tone of voice and body language say much more than words. Thus, a lot of misunderstandings can arise in written communication. You may say something that can be interpreted in the wrong way because the other person can not see your facial expression, your body language or hear the tone of voice. Although emoticons are intended to help transmit emotion, it may not be taken as seriously or as credible as a “real” emotional expression. I personally have experienced the frustration that comes with the misunderstandings that text-based communications have the potential to create. I will sometimes write a message trying to transmit a positive tone, but the receiver may perceive it as sarcasm. This causes both me and the receiver to become frustrated and may lead to an argument. I have experienced the opposite side of this issue as well. I have misunderstood text messages, possibly because of bias. What I do understand, though, is that these instances could have been prevented if transmitting tone of voice, body language, or facial expression were an option.

For example, my boss messaged me on a messaging app called Slack. He texted me saying something along the lines of “Get those reports to me soon, I’ll be in my meeting in 10.” When I got this message I thought to myself okay, he wants documents and I assume after his meeting which is about an hour so. After fifteen minutes go by, I have a manager in a very angry manner approach me. “What are you doing? The whole meeting is waiting on those reports!” I told him that I thought he needed them after the meeting and did not realize the urgency of his text. Obviously, if he had mentioned this to me in person he would have elaborated more and made sure I got the right message.

The artificial identities we create online can cause deficiencies when compared to a person’s presentation of self. There is no doubt that we act differently online. This holds true for a number of reasons, as psychology suggests. Although this may be good in some instances, it becomes problematic when we begin to feel very comfortable with our “not-so-realistic” online communication skills. This can cause us to become uncomfortable with our “real-life” communication skills. The underlying rationale behind this idea, as I see it, is: with the anonymity of the internet, we are comfortable communicating differently. This different form of communication can be addictive. Sometimes, we begin to isolate ourselves because we are more comfortable online. This can damage our relationships.

I have learned how relationships can be affected by individuals who have isolated themselves, to some extent, from social interactions resulting from their addiction to online relationships. A great example of this comes from a close friend of mine. He is not very social and spends most of his time online, interacting with people on platforms such as Discord. The users he talks to are completely anonymous and so is he. He has expressed that he feels that he is socially awkward, which is why he chooses to take most of his college classes online and refrains from getting a job. He fears social settings because his online skills cannot be applied in person. After having a healthy discussion with him, we came to the conclusion that his online habits have created problems in expressing his true self, and that is why he is so uncomfortable in public.

Now that we have discussed some of the negative effects social media interactions can have, I want to put more focus on the many positive effects. Like I have mentioned, positive and negative effects depend on how we utilize this tool, and I do believe that the positives outweigh the negatives. Social media allows us now to be able to retain relationships much more conveniently than we ever were able to in the past. We can communicate with our colleagues, co-workers, family members, and friends instantly and remotely. In the past, this would require a phone call or physical visit, which is far more time consuming and inconvenient. Because of this convenience, we are able to retain more of our relationships. We feel more in touch with the world as we can send and receives texts, pictures, and videos regardless of our busy lives. This has definitely enhanced our social life. The healthiest way to utilize this benefit is to use social media merely to supplement your real-life interactions. This way social media is merely assisting in cultivating your relationships.

Growing up in a pre-social media era, I certainly see the value in being able to communicate remotely. I have friends and family all over the world that I would not have been able to communicate with if it weren’t for social media platforms. For example, during middle school I moved to Egypt, leaving behind lots of friends. Social media helped me retain the relationships that I had with all my friends and family. The same goes when I came back, I was able to maintain the relationships that I had cultivated during my time in Egypt.

facebook-egypt-slideshow.jpgIn addition to being able to more conveniently contribute to our relationships, social media helps us build a more integrated community. It does this by allowing people to communicate messages to a large number of people, almost instantly. Simple conversations and ideas have sparked into something much more. I have witnessed this firsthand during my time spent in Egypt. I saw the role that social media played before, during, and after the revolution. I followed the conversations and discussions that lead to the creation of events for the protests. These interactions were so powerful that they lead to the ousting of a dictator. This was the first time a lot of people, myself included, saw the power of social media interactions. It truly brings ideas and people together that have the potential to create something great.

As it has proven apparent, social media is a powerful tool. The interactions that have the potential to be made on these platforms are endless and their effects are far-reaching. There is no doubt that it has, and will continue to transform our society. It is a great tool even with all of its drawbacks. I can confidently say that as long as it is utilized responsibly, it has the ability to keep alive our very valuable relationships as well as helping us build a better, stronger community.

 

Millennials? Forget Them, Here Comes Gen Z

Let’s face it, there’s so much focus on millennials nowadays and for a good reason. When we think Millennials there’s quite a bit that probably comes to mind, huh?

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Millennials make up a big portion of our consumer base and up until now, were the youngest generation in our workforce. According to census.gov Millennials represent about 83.1 Million Americans, leading the previous generation of 75.4 Million Baby Boomers. It makes sense that analysts and forecasters have been tracking and sizing them up to catch a glimpse of what the future could hold for us.

With so much coverage on Millennials, it seems that we might just not be looking far enough into the future. Now don’t get me wrong Millennials are important and we need to have a clear understanding of them, but let us not forget about the tribe right behind them. A generation that is not only larger but a bit more mysterious.

That’s right, Gen Z.

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