Can You Really Improve Your Emotional Intelligence?


HBRWho wouldn’t want a higher level of emotional intelligence? Studies have shown that a high emotional quotient (or EQ) boosts career success, entrepreneurial potential, leadership talent, health, relationship satisfaction, humor, and happiness. It is also the best antidote to work stress and it matters in every job — because all jobs involve dealing with people, and people with higher EQ are more rewarding to deal with.

Most coaching interventions try to enhance some aspect of EQ, usually under the name of social, interpersonal, or soft skills training. The underlying reasoning is that, whereas IQ is very hard to change, EQ can increase with deliberate practice and training.

But what is the evidence? For example, if you’ve been told you need to keep your temper under control, show more empathy for others, or be a better listener, what are the odds you can really do it? How do you know if your efforts will pay off, and which interventions will be most effective?

Nearly 3,000 scientific articles have been published on EQ since the concept was first introduced in 1990, and there are five key points to consider.

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More on EQ
Overview
eBook | Want a Better Job?
Infographic | Who’s Got the Highest EQ?
Sample Report
Video | Why EQ?