How's Your EQ Score?


By Eileen Feretic

Being smart is good, but it's not good enough. To be successful--in work and in life--you also need emotional intelligence (EQ).

A new book, Emotional Intelligence 2.0, provides 66 strategies that can help you increase your EQ. The book even includes a passcode to an online test so you can find out how you score.

It's today's tight job market, it takes more than brains, talent, education and experience to be successful. According to authors Travis Bradberry and Jean Greaves, it also takes four key skills: self-awareness, self-management, social awareness and relationship management.

Their self-awareness strategies include getting to know yourself under stress and recognizing who and what pushes your buttons. Some self-management tips involve visualizing yourself succeeding and accepting the fact that change is just around the corner.

In the social awareness section of the book, the authors recommend watching body language, practicing the art of listening and understanding the rules of the culture game. Strategies for relationship management include being open and curious, taking feedback well and only getting mad on purpose.

IT professionals are often portrayed as being socially awkward--more comfortable with machines than with people. That's an unfair characterization: Many tech pros are very "human-friendly." In fact, more and more IT job descriptions--especially at the higher levels--include a requirement for good relationship management skills.

Just this week, I met with Jeff Kubacki, CIO of Kroll. He's adamant about the importance of IT professional having people skills. "I look for a different type of individual, one with good relationship skills," he told me.

Kubacki added that tech people need to be able to work closely with businesspeople. They also must be able to communicate and "sell" their ideas effectively. "In one sense, my job is a sales job," he said.

I guess we all need to pay more attention to our emotional intelligence. Our jobs could depend on it.