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HR - The Human Touch

By Sudhir Dhar 21-Apr-2011 | 12:51

Emotional Quotient or EQ is a measure of a person’s emotional intelligence. A person’s awareness of his/her own feelings and emotional triggers, those of others around him/her and the ability to respond appropriately to them, based on what the situation and social norm requires rather than what personal emotions dictate. It is about knowing when and how to express emotion in any situation, and equally importantly, about recognizing emotional triggers and controlling them.

In contrast, Intelligence Quotient (IQ) defines the level of intelligence an employee possesses to understand, interpret and implement one’s knowledge in varied situations.

In his book Emotional Intelligence, Daniel Goleman has described emotional intelligence as the wide array of competencies and skills that drive leadership performance. The book outlines four main constructs upon which EQ is measured:-

  • Self-awareness – Awareness of one’s own emotions and the ability to recognize their impact.
  • Self-management – Control over one’s emotions and impulses while adapting to changing circumstances to bring about the desired positive outcome.
  • Social awareness – Ability to sense and understand others emotions and expression of the same within social norms.
  • Relationship management – Inspire, influence, and facilitate development even while managing conflict.

EQ can be learnt and developed so that it becomes a tool, a skill set. Some roles, especially as you climb higher up the corporate ladder, require a higher EQ. Leadership roles, management level roles and particularly customer-centric roles place a high premium on a strong EQ. Handling difficult situations and difficult people maintaining one’s own equilibrium and controlling volatile situations with the right attitude is the true mark of a leader. It is reflective of his/her high EQ. It is important to assess this perspective of EQ during a selection process.