There’s still lots of confusion about the true definition of Emotional Intelligence (EQ). Everyone knows what IQ is, and it’s fairly easy to determine anyone’s level of IQ merely by taking a written test. The “old school” train of thought is the higher the IQ, the more successful that person will be in life. This sounds very logical, but how do you explain why someone with the highest GPA and SAT scores might find very little success in their professional career, while another person with “low” test scores and no advance degrees quickly climbs through the ranks? The answer is Emotional Intelligence.
First, a definition of EQ. The simplest and easiest way to define EQ is “emotional control”. It’s the one thing all of the top performers I train are really good at – understanding and controlling their emotions. And not just understanding and controlling THEIR emotions, but also OTHERS emotions. In my years of training top performing sales people, I’ve found the following traits to be synonymous with them all.
- They don’t allow their emotions to be hijacked
Top performers don’t allow the people around them to dictate their emotions. They always have a very thorough understanding of their surroundings and are always aware of the people they spend time with. High EQ individuals understand while they can’t control the emotions of others, they do have 100% control of their own emotions. They don’t allow anyone to dictate how they think. Their thoughts are their own and they have complete control over how they feel at all times.
- They’re not addicted to the approval of others
High EQ individuals understand not everyone is going to like them. They prefer to be liked, but at the end of the day, they could care less. They understand the approval from others has nothing to do with their own success. Average performers (and the vast majority of the population) have a constant need to feel “accepted” and “approved” by EVERYONE. It unfortunately prevents a lot of people from stepping outside their comfort zone and doing things that would bring them the results they constantly dream about. They think things like “what if everyone laughs at me?” or “what if I fail?”. High EQ individuals don’t need the approval and/or acceptance of others. They’re confident in their abilities, whether others approve or not.
- They’re not afraid of rejection
After working with, and training sales people for the last 20+ years, this is probably one of the top “success killers” I see. It’s the fear of being told “NO”. Average performers take an emotional hit when they’re told no by a prospect. They question their own abilities and begin to think negatively about their skill set, or personality, or salesmanship. Top performers don’t allow rejection to doubt their abilities. They understand the more times they hear “No”, the closer they are to a “Yes”. In our mental toughness training, we call this “systematic desensitization”. High EQ people are experts at “systematically desensitizing” their brains to rejection. They constantly put themselves in uncomfortable situations until their brain stops seeing it as a threat, and starts seeing it as a game.
- They understand the power of logical thinking vs. emotional thinking
Understanding the difference between these two types of thinking is not just extremely useful in the workplace; it’ll also bring benefits to your personal life. Top performers are masters at separating their emotional thoughts from their logical thoughts when making decisions. Here’s the issue with 99% of humans (not just salespeople): They allow their current emotional state to get involved with their decision making. This can be catastrophic in the workplace. Top performers understand the CRITICAL importance of making decisions based on logic; not emotion. This is not to say emotion has no place in the decision making process. It most certainly does. The secret is to understand that emotion and logic are inversely related. So as you get more emotional, you become less logical. As you become more logical, you become less emotional. The average person makes decisions in the heat of the moment when emotions are high, and in business this almost always ends in lost sales and poor results. High EQ individuals assess the statistical data in front of them (logic), consider how their decision will affect the people around them (emotion), and make their decision accordingly.