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Do We Actually Get Better With Age?

If your emotional abilities aren’t in hand, if you don’t have self-awareness, if you are not able to manage your distressing emotions, if you can’t have empathy and have effective relationships, then no matter how smart you are, you are not going to get very far. -Daniel Goleman

Well, in a way... yes. Emotional Intelligence is the ability to sense, understand and effectively apply the power and acumen of emotions to facilitate higher levels of collaboration and productivity, and is often cited as the fundamental difference in superior decision making and performance. And unlike IQ, EQ actually increases over time. That means that while our general level of intelligence is somewhat locked in at birth, we have the ability to increase our emotional intelligence throughout our lives.

This ability is attributed to the fact that unlike intellect, emotional intelligence actually has to be developed through practice. Because these skills are developed over time, it makes sense that Baby Boomers would naturally have a much higher emotional intelligence rating than that of Millennials or Gen Z. Does this mean that everyone is destined to wait out this process, and hope that they will develop these crucial skills over time? Not necessarily. These skills can be increased at a significantly younger age- through awareness and practice.

The first step in increasing your EQ is to uncover exactly where you are currently in your emotional development. This can be done by taking an EQ evaluation, which measures 4 intrapersonal emotional intelligence factor, such as self-awareness, self-esteem, self-motivation & self-management. It also measures 4 interpersonal emotional-social factors, such as social awareness, empathy, social motivation & social management. Knowing where you fall on the EQ Index does more than just prepare you to better interact with your coworkers or loved ones, it can be a defining factor in increasing your successfulness at work.

Taking control of our emotional intelligence may be the number one way you can begin to build the path for future success at an early age. According to the Center for Creative Leadership, 75 percent of careers are derailed for reasons related to emotional competencies, including inability to handle interpersonal problems; unsatisfactory team leadership during times of difficulty or conflict; or inability to adapt to change or elicit trust. And the more we begin to rely on technology for the answers at work, the more our personality will become a defining factor in our path towards professional growth. Take control of your future success today, by better understanding the traits that propel you on your journey.

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