How Entrepreneurs Can Up Their EQ

Did you know schools like Yale have started to evaluate the emotional intelligence (EQ) levels of applicants- right there alongside SAT scores, grades and extra-curricular activities?

A stat I recently came across states that 90% of high performers score high emotional intelligence levels as well. While that might not surprise you, what steps are you taking today to actively grow your EQ? As we focus on personal and professional development this month, why not hack that stat?

Here are three specific ways you can up your EQ even more:

Grow your emotional vocabulary.

Articulating thoughts, ideas and feelings is our daily social interaction: but what if, like Emotional Intelligence 2.0 author Travis Bradberry suggests, it’s possible to hack into expressing yourself better?

“While many people might describe themselves as simply feeling ‘bad,’ emotionally intelligent people can pinpoint whether they feel ‘irritable,’ ‘frustrated,’ ‘downtrodden’ or ‘anxious,’” he says. “The more specific your word choice, the better insight you have into exactly how you are feeling, what caused it and what you should do about it.”

Can you relate to this? About a year ago, I realized I had three emotions I could identify: I knew when I felt bad, when I felt good and when I was sad. As elementary as it may seem, writer Patrick Allan suggests looking at an emotions wheel or chart next time you have a conversation where you need to express yourself. Personally, having a sheet of emotions tucked in my day planner for a few months helped me communicate to colleagues and family members in a clear, concise manner.

Focus on the positive.

While bad news can’t always be ignored, studies show that people with high EQs consciously focus less time and energy on problems and more time on solutions and how to bring about change.

A single person can’t change all the problems they will encounter over the course of their career. But, what we can do, is identify what’s in our control and how we are uniquely equipped to positively impact the situation. Go deep, and focus your energy on those one or two solutions rather than stretching yourself thin.

Let go of failures.

People with high EQs statistically spend so much time thinking about possibilities, ideas and future action that they leave little to no capacity to dwell on the past. They learn from failures and “fail fast,” quickly applying learnings in order to redirect their actions. “They never see failure as permanent, or as a personal reflection of themselves,” according to Fast Company.

What’s the one failure grating on you today? Let go of it and allow yourself to focus on what’s ahead.