It may or may not surprise you to hear there is much more to quantifying a person’s intelligence than simply their IQ or ACT score. Many factors are involved in determining a person’s intelligence quotient, and a major part of understanding it is to understand that there are separate segments of intelligence to begin with. Since intelligence is much more than just book smarts (it’s also learned skills, behaviors, and emotional intelligence as well), it’s important to look at what makes up the unique blend of intelligence levels in humans. According to recent studies, the largest factor is a person’s emotional intelligence.
High EQ. “What having emotional intelligence looks like is that you’re confident, good at working towards your goals, adaptable and flexible. You recover quickly from stress and you’re resilient. Life goes much more smoothly if you have good emotional intelligence,” says psychologist Daniel Goleman. According to Goleman and a recent HuffPost article, there are 14 indicators of a well-developed emotional intelligence factor.
#1 – A Desire to Get to Know Others. If you’re genuinely curious about other people around you and make an effort to greet them, that’s an excellent sign of emotional intelligence. It is considered to be a “certain degree of empathy” according to HuffPost, and it allows you to stay in tune with your surroundings.
#2 – Being a Great Leader. Natural born leaders usually possess high emotional intelligence. “In his research comparing those who excelled in senior leadership roles with those who were merely average, (Goleman) found that close to 90 percent of the difference in their profiles was due to emotional intelligence rather than cognitive ability,” HuffPost writes.
#3 – Knowing Your Best and Worst Qualities. Another key indicator for emotionally intelligent people is knowing what you’re good at, and what you’re not so good at and openly working with that knowledge. This knowledge allows you to fully analyze yourself and put your best foot forward – confidently.
#4 – Paying Attention Is Key. Learning how to keep your focus – even in the face of distractions – is a huge factor in success (and in emotionally intelligent people). In fact, Goleman says your ability to stay focused is a better indicator of your future financial success than your IQ score ever could be.
#5 – Understanding Your Own Feelings. “Self-awareness is also about recognizing emotions when they arise, rather than misidentifying or ignoring them. Emotionally intelligent people take a step back from their emotions, look at what they’re feeling, and examine the effect that the emotion has on them,” HuffPost writes.
#6 – Everybody’s Friend. It may seem like a simple enough task, but many people struggle with finding ways to truly get along with everyone else around them. Emotionally intelligent people understand and respect that everyone is different, and they are confident enough in themselves to adapt and accept the differences around them.
#7 – You Want to Do What’s Right. If your moral compass points due North, you may be emotionally intelligent. Why? The desire to become a truly better you – an ethically and morally sound individual who empathizes with those around them and strides to make things better in their communities – is a major indicator for emotional maturity.
#8 – Take Time for Others. Emotional intelligence isn’t just about you as a person. It’s also about taking time out of your day to create a better life for those around you as well. It’s a caring nature that works together with selfless actions to not only improve your own life, but the lives of those you’re connected to as well.
#9 – You’re a Good People-Reader. Making the right decision about what to say or what to do next is made a lot easier when you can intuitively decipher the non-verbal clues those around you give off. If you find yourself able to read people’s expressions and body language exceptionally well, you might be emotionally intelligent!
#10 – Picking Yourself Up After a Fall. “When an emotionally intelligent person experiences a failure or setback, he or she is able to bounce back quickly. This is in part because of the ability to mindfully experience negative emotions without letting them get out of control, which provides a higher degree of resilience,” HuffPost writes.
#11 – Knowing Who to Trust. Similar to being able to read facial expressions and body language is the “knowing who to trust” part of emotional intelligence. There’s an innate sense of “good or bad” when you first come in to contact with new acquaintances, and those with high emotional intelligence are the best at picking up on the non-spoken clues.
#12 – Use Your Instincts. “An emotionally intelligent person is someone who feels comfortable following their intuition, says Goleman. If you’re able to trust in yourself and your emotions, there’s no reason not to listen to that quiet voice inside (or that feeling in your stomach) telling you which way to go,” HuffPost explains.
#13 – You’re a Self-Motivator. Being able to drive your own ambitions and goals is crucial to success and another key marker of emotional intelligence. It involves the previously mentioned abilities to focus on a task and also the desire to lead – even if it’s only leading yourself to a specific task at hand.
#14 – Knowing Which Actions to Take and Which to Turn Down. “Self-regulation, one of the five components of emotional intelligence, means being able to discipline yourself and avoid unhealthy habits. Emotionally intelligent people are generally well-equipped to tolerate stress (a bad-habit trigger for many of us) and to control their impulses,” explains HuffPost.
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