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We are all familiar with the concept of our Intelligence Quotient or IQ, but have you ever tested your Emotional Intelligence?

Emotional Intelligence (referred to as EI or EQ), is a growing field of research and you should be interested in the findings because it can have a direct impact on you personally and professionally. Many of us would agree that having a high IQ doesn't necessarily equate to greater success. Researchers wanted to know why; what is the "x-factor?"

Emotional Intelligence is the ability to identify, assess and control the emotions of oneself, of others and of groups. It's how you process what you see and then further what actions that you take. For example, do you have the self-awareness to recognize when you are stressed or do you live in a constant state of anxiety? Someone with a more developed EQ is aware of the triggers of stress, but more importantly, is able to take specific actions to minimize the impact of the stress. From the social perspective, do you write-off a client as lazy or uncommitted if they have not shown up for the last week of workouts? Or do you empathize with your client as there may be a personal situation causing them to get out of their routine.

EQ incorporates the intangibles; and the research is finding that these x-factors are critical markers of success. EQ covers many aspects of our personal and social lives including empathy, time management, anger management, relationship building, conflict resolution, problem solving, self-esteem, negotiation skills, and so on. Unlike your IQ, and even your personality to a certain extent, EQ is developable; which is great news, because as you can see, EQ may just be more important than IQ!

We are in an industry that is centered on relationships. The better you can relate to and empathize with others, the likelihood of maintaining longer and more meaningful client relationships works in your favor. Furthermore, research shows that those with a higher level of EQ earn on average $29,000 more per year than their lower EQ peers.

For more information on Emotional Intelligence, I recommend the book Emotional Intelligence 2.0 by Travis Bradberry. There are also online tests to test your EQ and you can have your team do so as well. You'll only better serve your clients, yourself and our industry.

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