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When Emotional Intelligence (EQ) was first discussed, it served as the answer to a puzzling finding: that people with average IQs outperform those with the highest IQs 70% of the time. This anomaly questioned the broadly held assumption that IQ was the sole source of success.

Decades of research now identify Emotional Intelligence as being the critical factor that sets star performers apart from the rest of the pack. The connection is so strong that 90% of top performers have high Emotional Intelligence.

Despite the significance of EQ, its intangible nature makes it very difficult to know exactly how much you have. Travis Bradberry, a leading researcher into Emotional Intelligence and the co-author of ‘Emotional Intelligence 2.0’ analysed the data from over 1 million people and identified the behaviours that are the hallmarks of a high EQ. These behaviours fall into four key areas.


  1. They are aware of their emotions and control them, rather than merely accepting them
  • All people experience emotions, but very few control them appropriately.
  • People with high EQs master their emotions. They can identify their emotions accurately as they occur (only 36% of people can do so) and they make rational and appropriate choices about their subsequent behaviour.
  • They also know who ‘pushes their buttons’ and the environments (both situations and people) that enable them to succeed.
  • They don’t hold grudges.
  • If you have a firm grasp of who you are, it is much more difficult for someone to say or do something that really ‘gets to you’. Emotionally intelligent people are self-confident and open-minded, which creates a pretty ‘thick skin’.


2. They put other people, rather than themselves, at the centre

  • They are curious about people. This curiosity is the product of empathy, one of the most significant gateways to a high EQ. The more you care about other people and what they’re going through, the more curiosity you’re going to have about them.
  • They are genuinely interested in people.
  • They give without expecting anything in return.


3. They listen, learn and keep moving forward

  • Emotionally intelligent people let go of their mistakes but do so without forgetting them. They learn from their mistakes rather than dwelling on them.
  • They don’t set perfection as their target. Human beings, by our very nature, are fallible. When perfection is your goal, you’re always left with a nagging sense of failure that makes you want to give up or reduce your effort.
  • They thrive on change.
  • The more you ruminate on negative thoughts, the more power you give them. Most of our negative thoughts are just that—thoughts, not facts. Emotionally intelligent people separate their thoughts from the facts in order to escape the cycle of negativity and move toward a positive, new outlook.


4. They stop and appreciate

  • They stop and be grateful. Research shows that this improves mood and significantly reduces the stress hormone cortisol.
  • They take regular ‘time off’ and ensure that they disconnect from their work.
  • They have enough sleep. When you sleep your brain literally recharges, sorting through the day’s experiences and storing or discarding them so that you wake up alert and clear-headed.
  • They drink less coffee (oh dear, this is a challenge for me!)


How do you measure up in each of these four key areas? What are your strengths? Which aspects challenge you and how will you respond to these challenges?

How does your IQ compare with your EQ?

Do some of your people have an IQ that far exceeds their EQ?

What will you choose to do to improve your EQ or theirs? You essentially have three choices:

  1. Increase your knowledge about EQ without actually doing anything differently
  2. ‘Chip away’ at improving your EQ
  3. Fast-track the improvement through practical coaching


If you want to accelerate your EQ you will choose option three and we can help you to improve your EQ significantly in just 3 hours, by introducing you to 4 simple, but powerful, techniques. If you are curious about how, please call us on 1300 085 248 or send an email to