Conversations Podcast: People Smarts

It has been said that success is much more a result of one’s emotional quotient (EQ) than one’s intelligence quotient (IQ). One could say that having “people smarts” is one of the number one ways to predict future success, whether in academia, relationships, parenting, or career.

Emotional intelligence is defined by Psychology Today as, “the ability to identify and manage your own emotions and the emotions of others. It is generally said to include three skills: emotional awareness, the ability to harness emotions and apply them to tasks like thinking and problem solving, and the ability to manage emotions, which includes regulating your own emotions and cheering up or calming down other people.”

The ability to be emotionally intelligent, to be able to accurately interpret and work with the emotional state of the people around you, is an exceptional skill that not everyone possesses.

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How People Smarts Can Help Your Worklife

Having people smarts enables you to succeed in almost any line of work, while always being able to build positive relationships with those around you. But don’t mistake people smarts for networking or schmoozing. That association lends an air of insincerity. A person who is emotionally intelligent is often also extremely sincere. People with emotional intelligence make wonderful leaders, excellent employees, exceptional life partners, and wonderful parents.

And while these “people smarts” don’t come naturally to everyone, they are skills that can be learned.

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How to Develop People Smarts

How? By paying attention. By listening more than you speak. By looking people in the eye and really taking in what they say. And by consistently showing empathy and compassion.

Who have you known in the workplace who had really great people smarts? And on the other side of the coin, how did it affect the work culture when someone in leadership lacked emotional intelligence?