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2015 18BehaviorsofEmotionallyIntelligentPeople|TIME

B U SIN ESS C A R EER S& WO R K PL A C E

18BehaviorsofEmotionallyIntelligent
People
Travis Bradberry / Inc. April 28, 2015

Emotionalintelligenceisahugedriver
ofsuccess

Whenemotionalintelligence(EQ)first
appearedtothemasses,itservedasthe Getty Images
missinglinkinapeculiarfinding:people
withaverageIQsoutperformthosewith
thehighestIQs70percentofthetime.
Thisanomalythrewamassivewrenchinto
thebroadlyheldassumptionthatIQwasthesolesourceofsuccess.

Decadesofresearchnowpointtoemotionalintelligenceasbeingthecriticalfactorthat
setsstarperformersapartfromtherestofthepack.Theconnectionissostrongthat90
percentoftopperformershavehighemotionalintelligence.

Emotionalintelligenceisthesomethingineachofusthatisabitintangible.Itaffects
howwemanagebehavior,navigatesocialcomplexities,andmakepersonaldecisionsto
achievepositiveresults.

DespitethesignificanceofEQ,itsintangiblenaturemakesitdifficulttomeasureandto
knowwhattodotoimproveitifyourelacking.Youcanalwaystakeascientifically
validatedtest,suchastheonethatcomeswiththeEmotionalIntelligence2.0book,but
unfortunately,mostsuchtestsarentfree.So,Iveanalyzedthedatafromthemillion
pluspeopleTalentSmarthastestedinordertoidentifythebehaviorsthatarethe
hallmarksofahighEQ.WhatfollowsaresuresignsthatyouhaveahighEQ.

You have a robust emotional vocabulary.


Allpeopleexperienceemotions,butitisaselectfewwhocanaccuratelyidentifythemas
theyoccur.Ourresearchshowsthatonly36percentofpeoplecandothis,whichis
problematicbecauseunlabeledemotionsoftengomisunderstood,whichleadsto
irrationalchoicesandcounterproductiveactions.

PeoplewithhighEQsmastertheiremotionsbecausetheyunderstandthem,andtheyuse
anextensivevocabularyoffeelingstodoso.Whilemanypeoplemightdescribe
themselvesassimplyfeelingbad,emotionallyintelligentpeoplecanpinpointwhether
theyfeelirritable,frustrated,downtrodden,oranxious.Themorespecificyour
wordchoice,thebetterinsightyouhaveintoexactlyhowyouarefeeling,whatcausedit,
andwhatyoushoulddoaboutit.

Youre curious about people.


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Itdoesntmatteriftheyreintrovertedorextroverted,emotionallyintelligentpeopleare
curiousabouteveryonearoundthem.Thiscuriosityistheproductofempathy,oneofthe
mostsignificantgatewaystoahighEQ.Themoreyoucareaboutotherpeopleandwhat
theyregoingthrough,themorecuriosityyouregoingtohaveaboutthem.

You embrace change.


Emotionallyintelligentpeopleareflexibleandareconstantlyadapting.Theyknowthat
fearofchangeisparalyzingandamajorthreattotheirsuccessandhappiness.Theylook
forchangethatislurkingjustaroundthecorner,andtheyformaplanofactionshould
thesechangesoccur.

You know your strengths and weaknesses.


Emotionallyintelligentpeopledontjustunderstandemotionstheyknowwhattheyre
goodatandwhattheyreterribleat.Theyalsoknowwhopushestheirbuttonsandthe
environments(bothsituationsandpeople)thatenablethemtosucceed.HavingahighEQ
meansyouknowyourstrengthsandhowtoleanintoandusethemtoyourfulladvantage
whilekeepingyourweaknessesfromholdingyouback.

5 HORRIBLE HABITS YOU NEED TO STOP RIGHT NOW

Chris PecoraroGetty Images

Do Not Email First Thing in the Morning or Last Thing at Night The former scrambles
your priorities and all your plans for the day and the latter just gives you insomnia, says
Ferriss, who insists email can wait until 10am or after you check off at least one
substantive to-do list item.

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Youre a good judge of character.


Muchofemotionalintelligencecomesdowntosocialawarenesstheabilitytoreadother
people,knowwhattheyreabout,andunderstandwhattheyregoingthrough.Overtime,
thisskillmakesyouanexceptionaljudgeofcharacter.Peoplearenomysterytoyou.You
knowwhattheyreallaboutandunderstandtheirmotivations,eventhosethatliehidden
beneaththesurface.

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You are difficult to offend.


Ifyouhaveafirmgraspofwhoyouare,itsdifficultforsomeonetosayordosomething
thatgetsyourgoat.Emotionallyintelligentpeopleareselfconfidentandopenminded,
whichcreatesaprettythickskin.Youmayevenpokefunatyourselforletotherpeople
makejokesaboutyoubecauseyouareabletomentallydrawthelinebetweenhumorand
degradation.

You know how to say no (to yourself and


others).
Emotionalintelligencemeansknowinghowtoexertselfcontrol.Youdelaygratification
andavoidimpulsiveaction.ResearchconductedattheUniversityofCalifornia,San
Francisco,showsthatthemoredifficultythatyouhavesayingno,themorelikelyyouare
toexperiencestress,burnout,andevendepression.Sayingnoisamajorselfcontrol
challengeformanypeople,butNoisapowerfulwordthatyoushouldunafraidto
wield.Whenitstimetosayno,emotionallyintelligentpeopleavoidphrasessuchasI
dontthinkIcanorImnotcertain.Sayingnotoanewcommitmenthonorsyour
existingcommitmentsandgivesyoutheopportunitytosuccessfullyfulfillthem.

You let go of mistakes.


Emotionallyintelligentpeopledistancethemselvesfromtheirmistakes,butdoso
withoutforgettingthem.Bykeepingtheirmistakesatasafedistance,yetstillhandy
enoughtoreferto,theyareabletoadaptandadjustforfuturesuccess.Ittakesrefined
selfawarenesstowalkthistightropebetweendwellingandremembering.Dwellingtoo
longonyourmistakesmakesyouanxiousandgunshy,whileforgettingaboutthem
completelymakesyouboundtorepeatthem.Thekeytobalanceliesinyourabilityto
transformfailuresintonuggetsofimprovement.Thiscreatesthetendencytogetright
backupeverytimeyoufalldown.

You give and expect nothing in return.


Whensomeonegivesyousomethingspontaneously,withoutexpectinganythingin
return,thisleavesapowerfulimpression.Forexample,youmighthaveaninteresting
conversationwithsomeoneaboutabook,andwhenyouseethemagainamonthlater,
youshowupwiththebookinhand.Emotionallyintelligentpeoplebuildstrong
relationshipsbecausetheyareconstantlythinkingaboutothers.

You dont hold grudges.


Thenegativeemotionsthatcomewithholdingontoagrudgeareactuallyastress
response.Justthinkingabouttheeventsendsyourbodyintofightorflightmode,a
survivalmechanismthatforcesyoutostandupandfightorrunforthehillswhenfaced
withathreat.Whenthethreatisimminent,thisreactionisessentialtoyoursurvival,but
whenthethreatisancienthistory,holdingontothatstresswreakshavoconyourbody
andcanhavedevastatinghealthconsequencesovertime.Infact,researchersatEmory
Universityhaveshownthatholdingontostresscontributestohighbloodpressureand
heartdisease.Holdingontoagrudgemeansyoureholdingontostress,andemotionally
intelligentpeopleknowtoavoidthisatallcosts.Lettinggoofagrudgenotonlymakes
youfeelbetternowbutcanalsoimproveyourhealth.

You neutralize toxic people.


Dealingwithdifficultpeopleisfrustratingandexhaustingformost.ButhighEQ
individualscontroltheirinteractionswithtoxicpeoplebykeepingtheirfeelingsincheck.
Whentheyneedtoconfrontatoxicperson,theyapproachthesituationrationally.They

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identifytheirownemotionsanddontallowangerorfrustrationtofuelthechaos.They
alsoconsiderthedifficultpersonsstandpointandareabletofindsolutionsandcommon
ground.Evenwhenthingscompletelyderail,emotionallyintelligentpeopleareableto
takethetoxicpersonwithagrainofsalttoavoidlettinghimorherbringthemdown.

You dont seek perfection.


Emotionallyintelligentpeoplewontsetperfectionastheirtargetbecausetheyknowthat
itdoesntexist.Humanbeings,byourverynature,arefallible.Whenperfectionisyour
goal,yourealwaysleftwithanaggingsenseoffailurethatmakesyouwanttogiveupor
reduceyoureffort.Youendupspendingtimelamentingwhatyoufailedtoaccomplish
andshouldhavedonedifferentlyinsteadofmovingforward,excitedaboutwhatyouve
achievedandwhatyouwillaccomplishinthefuture.

You appreciate what you have.


Takingtimetocontemplatewhatyouregratefulforisntmerelytherightthingtodoit
alsoimprovesyourmoodbyreducingthestresshormonecortisol(insomecasesby23
percent).ResearchconductedattheUniversityofCalifornia,Davis,foundthatpeople
whoworkdailytocultivateanattitudeofgratitudeexperienceimprovedmood,energy,
andphysicalwellbeing.Itslikelythatlowerlevelsofcortisolplayamajorroleinthis.

You disconnect.
TakingregulartimeoffthegridisasignofahighEQbecauseithelpsyoutokeepyour
stressundercontrolandtoliveinthemoment.Whenyoumakeyourselfavailabletoyour
work24/7,youexposeyourselftoaconstantbarrageofstressors.Forcingyourself
offlineandevengulp!turningoffyourphonegivesyourbodyandmindabreak.
Studieshaveshownthatsomethingassimpleasanemailbreakcanlowerstresslevels.
Technologyenablesconstantcommunicationandtheexpectationthatyoushouldbe
available24/7.Itisextremelydifficulttoenjoyastressfreemomentoutsideofwork
whenanemailwiththepowertobringyourthinking(read:stressing)backtoworkcan
dropontoyourphoneatanymoment.

You limit your caffeine intake.


Drinkingexcessiveamountsofcaffeinetriggersthereleaseofadrenaline,whichisthe
primarysourceofafightorflightresponse.Thefightorflightmechanismsidesteps
rationalthinkinginfavorofafasterresponsetoensuresurvival.Thisisgreatwhenabear
ischasingyou,butnotsogreatwhenyourerespondingtoacurtemail.Whencaffeine
putsyourbrainandbodyintothishyperarousedstateofstress,youremotionsoverrun
yourbehavior.Caffeineslonghalflifeensuresyoustaythiswayasittakesitssweettime
workingitswayoutofyourbody.HighEQindividualsknowthatcaffeineistrouble,and
theydontletitgetthebetterofthem.

You get enough sleep.


Itsdifficulttooverstatetheimportanceofsleeptoincreasingyouremotionalintelligence
andmanagingyourstresslevels.Whenyousleep,yourbrainliterallyrecharges,shuffling
throughthedaysmemoriesandstoringordiscardingthem(whichcausesdreams)sothat
youwakeupalertandclearheaded.HighEQindividualsknowthattheirselfcontrol,
attention,andmemoryareallreducedwhentheydontgetenoughortherightkindof
sleep.So,theymakesleepatoppriority.

You stop negative self-talk in its tracks.


Themoreyouruminateonnegativethoughts,themorepoweryougivethem.Mostof
ournegativethoughtsarejustthatthoughts,notfacts.Whenitfeelslikesomething

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alwaysorneverhappens,thisisjustyourbrainsnaturaltendencytoperceivethreats
(inflatingthefrequencyorseverityofanevent).Emotionallyintelligentpeopleseparate
theirthoughtsfromthefactsinordertoescapethecycleofnegativityandmovetowarda
positive,newoutlook.

You wont let anyone limit your joy.


Whenyoursenseofpleasureandsatisfactionarederivedfromtheopinionsofother
people,youarenolongerthemasterofyourownhappiness.Whenemotionally
intelligentpeoplefeelgoodaboutsomethingtheyvedone,theywontletanyones
opinionsorsnideremarkstakethatawayfromthem.Whileitsimpossibletoturnoff
yourreactionstowhatothersthink,youdonthavetocompareyourselftoothers,and
youcanalwaystakepeoplesopinionswithagrainofsalt.Thatway,nomatterwhatother
peoplearethinkingordoing,yourselfworthcomesfromwithin.

ThispostisinpartnershipwithInc.,whichoffersusefuladvice,resourcesandinsights
toentrepreneursandbusinessowners.Thearticleabovewasoriginallypublishedat
Inc.com.
2015TimeInc.Allrightsreserved.

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