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What Is Emotional Intelligence (EQ)? Why It’s Key to Career Growth

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Career growth. We all want it.

Whether that’s a new role, responsibilities, or management opportunities, you know the skills you need to acquire to reach the next rung.

But what if skills aren’t enough? Consider this:

People are changing their careers more than ever; some say as much as five to seven times in a lifetime.

And with the rise of artificial intelligence and other technologies, the hard skills you’re racing to learn might just become obsolete.

But there’s something else to focus on … Emotional intelligence.

It’s the ability to have a deep awareness of your own emotions — and the emotions of others — and use this information to guide your thinking and actions.

Research shows a person’s emotional quotient (or EQ) can be a more effective indicator of potential success than their IQ.

Not to mention all the other studies that show a correlation between EQ and qualities like leadership potential, employability, health, happiness, and even success with relationships.

Thanks to research from psychologist Daniel Goleman, there are five categories of emotional intelligence:

Self-awareness, the ability to understand your effect on others, play to your strengths, and admit your weaknesses.

Self-management, being able to control your impulses and avoid acting rashly.

Motivation, having the innate passion to challenge yourself and remain optimistic when the going gets tough.

Empathy, not just listening to those around you, but really trying to understand their point of view.

And social communication, the ability to manage relationships and productively express your emotions.

It’s obvious these are all great attributes to have, but what do they have to do with career growth?

While new skills may only translate from one position to the next, emotional intelligence transforms you for the long haul.

If you’re feeling stuck in your career, consider EQ. No matter your next move, it’ll distinguish you as an effective leader.

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