It used to be a college education was enough, and then you would learn a few job skills and be on your way. People often stayed in the same job, much less career, for their entire working life.
In todayís fast-paced workplace, the college education is just the beginning, and you must continually learn new skills. And what can you expect of your college education?
If it was a good one you will have learned how to think, how to apply the things youíve learned, and not how to USE your knowledge. You would not have just stored up an accumulation of facts.
As S. W. Kimball said, ďReal intelligence is the creative use of knowledge, not merely an accumulation of facts.Ē
So how can you pick up where your academic learning left off? Many individuals are finding Emotional Intelligence (also called EQ) to be the missing link. Studies are showing that EQ is more important to your health, happiness and success than your IQ, and the good news is Ė it can be learned. Itís generally accepted that your IQ is fixed at or near birth, but your EQ can be developed over your lifetime, with outstanding results.
Emotional Intelligence has broken down something rather mystifying Ė such as ďthe creative use of knowledgeĒ and ďcommon senseĒ and ďpeople skillsĒ into a set of practical competencies that can be learned. I work with people all the time who start developing their emotional intelligence and experience immediate positive results in their life.
Emotional Intelligence allows you to make use of what you know, in the sense of academic subjects. After all, Iím sure you know people who are very intelligent and well-educated who are not very successful at work or in relationships. They are lacking some skills that allow them to manage their own emotions, or to understand others, or to work well in a team environment, or to put into practice what they know. These are all Emotional Intelligence competencies.
How do you start filling in the gaps? Start by taking an Emotional Intelligence assessment ( http:/ inyurl.com/z94t ). This will tell you where your strengths and weaknesses are. And remember, the good news with EQ is that if you test low in ďresilience,Ē for instance, all you need to do is start learning it! Start EQ coaching.
Itís crucial to understand that Emotional Intelligence is not something you can learn alone, or simply by reading a book. It involves social and emotional skills, and these must be put into practice with appropriate feedback. Itís good to take a course on the Internet that outlines the theory and tells you the vocabulary Ė which is really reframing things youíre aware of Ė but it makes it clearer. Then work with a coach to guide the process.
Improving your Emotional Intelligence will bring you benefits in every area of your life, at any time. It is broadly applicable and a very practical tool for life skills that seem to have been left out in our formal educations and even at home. Researchers did not start studying this field until about 10 years ago.
If someone has ever told you Ė or someone you love Ė you donít know how to get along, or why canít you be more friendly, or you donít have good common sense, or you lose focus Ė these are all things you can learn in improving your Emotional Intelligence. Or if there are areas you know you could improve in, which is probably true of all of us Ė leadership, Intentionality, resilience, or flexibility Ė why not give Emotional Intelligence a try?
Emotional Intelligence involves knowing your emotions, understanding them, using them, and ultimately regulating them, and only when you can do this for yourself, can you apply this to others. And if you stop and think about it, most of the things that come up at work involve emotions, not just the work process. We all know how to do the work; itís doing it with others, and managing ourselves and others, thatís the challenge, yes?
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