Understanding feelings pays. Managers with a strong emotional intelligence (EQ) earn about $29,000 more per year than their colleagues without emotional radar.
What is emotional intelligence?
According to a seminal paper written by psycholgists Peter Salovey and John Mayer, emotional intelligence is “the subset of social intelligence that involves the ability to monitor one’s own and others’ feelings and emotions, to discriminate among them, and to use this information to guide one’s thinking and actions.” In essence, it is the ability to be empathetic to the wants and needs of your employees and customers, and the capacity to communicate effectively and rationally; an indispensable tool for any ambitious executive. So how can you beef up your emotional intelligence? Practice makes perfect. According to Dr. Christine Gindert, an organizational psychologist out of Munich, Germany, you can learn emotional intelligence, but that is not enough. You must train this ability in your daily work routine and refine it.
Though emotional Intelligence is extremely important, one must be genuine in their interactions. Without authenticity, emotional intelligence is meaningless. People are primarily skeptical beings, and if your coworkers and/or customers doubt your authenticity, then your so-called emotional intelligence will seem fake and perhaps manipulative. In order to avoid this, you have to walk the talk. Actions speak louder than words, so make sure that your actions are in line with what you say to retain an authentic air, and make sure to implement the 12 habits of a genuine person.
The 12 Habits of Authenticity
According to Travis Bradberry, co-author of the best-selling “Emotional Intelligence 2.0“, the 12 habits of genuine people are:
- Genuine people don’t try to make people like them – they are who they are, and they are comfortable in their own skin. Not everyone is going to like you, and that’s ok.
- They don’t pass judgment – Genuine people actively listen to others, and try and understand what makes them tick before forming opinions. Being open-minded makes one more approachable, and thus more sought out for advice and counsel.
- They forge their own paths – Genuine people march to the beat of their own drum. If their opinions are unpopular at first, that’s ok. They know who they are and are confident in their choices.
- They are generous – Both emotionally and with their time and resources. Genuine people want everyone to succeed, not just themselves, so they’re always willing to share resources and knowledge.
- They treat everyone with respect – From the CEO to the secretary, everyone is treated fairly and with respect by genuine people.
- They aren’t motivated by material things – Though genuine people may have the latest and most expensive gadgets, they don’t need them to be happy. A genuine person’s happiness comes from within and from simpler pleasures, such as friends and family.
- They are trustworthy – Genuine people don’t waste their time with gossip, if you go to them for advice your conversation will be kept confidential.
- They are thick-skinned – Genuine people can take criticism and aren’t deterred by failure. They see these as opportunities for betterment, and are constantly improving.
- They put away their phones – Again, this goes back to active listening. Genuine people will listen when in a conversation, and will not glance away at their phone from time to time.
- They aren’t driven by ego – The motivator of a genuine person is the betterment of all around him/her. They don’t need their ego stroked, as they are confident in themselves.
- They aren’t hypocrites – Genuine people practice what they preach. If they expect certain things of others, they’re doing those things themselves as well.
- They don’t brag – Genuine people don’t have the need to brag, as they believe their accomplishments will speak for themselves. And, let’s be honest, a person who is constantly bragging about themselves is most often just insecure.
The Take Away
Emotional intelligence is nothing without a genuine and authentic personality to back it up. Genuine people know who they are, and are comfortable in their own skin. They’re logical while also being able to be empathetic and trusted by those around them. The path to a higher EQ, and therefore a higher salary, starts by being genuine to those around you, actively listening to their ideas, wants and desires, and implementing the 12 habits of genuine people. That extra $29,000 is just around the corner, what are you waiting for?