Have you ever heard someone refer to EQ, or emotional intelligence? It’s the ability to be aware of and understand emotions—yours and others—and many organizations embrace leaders with high EQ. You can develop your own EQ and use it to succeed as a learner and a professional by identifying, evaluating, discovering, controlling, and expressing emotions.
Below we outline the five categories of EQ from Psych Central and discuss how understanding these will help you during your path toward certification.
Self-awareness is the ability to recognize your own emotions, strengths, weakness and values, and how they have an impact on others. By developing the ability to recognize your emotions, you can learn how to manage them. Knowing your emotions and capabilities will help you understand how to balance the demands of CPA studies before starting your path to certification.
Self-regulation is managing your emotions. While controlling when you experience emotions may not be possible, you can influence how long an emotion will last and how you react to it. Part of managing emotions is understanding what signals you send before you express negative emotions (for example, tapping a finger might be a sign that you are getting impatient), so you can have a strategy for how to listen to your signals before you lose your cool. Redirecting disruptive emotions and adapting to changing circumstances will help you to think rationally before responding. Knowing how to successfully manage your emotions will help you take responsibility for the results of your CPA studies.
Try this: When you are calm, prepare a list of things (like going for a walk) that help calm you, so you can refer to it when needed.
Motivation is focusing on clear and attainable goals and maintaining a positive attitude. You can learn to think more positively, even if you are naturally more positive or negative. Reframe negative thoughts by thinking about your long-term goals, celebrating little milestones, and setting realistic expectations of yourself. Knowing how to motivate yourself will be important to master during CPA studies.
Control: social skills
Developing and controlling social skills is crucial to success. While everyone is busy and distracted, building and maintaining healthy and productive relationships is essential to gaining higher emotional intelligence. Your ability to collaborate with others will benefit you in the long term as it will become easier to establish common ground and build networks. Knowing how to use social skills to develop relationships during your CPA studies will help you work with others toward shared goals and get the most out of discussions, workshops, and group work.
Empathy is the ability to understand how someone may be feeling or why they’re reacting a certain way, though this is only possible when you have achieved self-awareness—you can’t understand others until you understand yourself. The more you can relate to someone, the better you will become at working with them and coming to an agreement. Knowing how to empathize during your CPA studies will help you better relate to your groupmates and colleagues.
Being aware of the strengths and weaknesses of your emotional intelligence will help you manage the stress and emotions you encounter as a learner. For more information and resources on developing your EQ, visit talent grow and Mind Tools.