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Heart, mind, money: Emotional intelligence for financial success

MAYA HAYAKAWA

People have always relied on the Intelligence Quotient (IQ) to predict how successful one can be as an employee, investor, business man and even student. But this is changing.

Surprisingly people with average IQs often outperform those with the highest IQs 70 per cent of the time. Research shows emotional intelligence as a common factor that separates stellar performers from the rest.

DEFINING EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE

Emotional intelligence, as quoted by a Harvard theorist is “level of ability to understand people, what motivates them and how to work co-operatively with them”. In other words, emotional intelligence without a doubt affects how we manage behaviour, navigate through social complexities and make personal decisions to achieve positive results.

Having emotional intelligence gives you an edge towards attaining financial success. Below are some of the key attributes of emotional intelligence and how they have a direct impact on your financial success.

SELF-AWARENESS

This relates to one’s ability to accurately perceive their own emotions as well as being conscious of them as they occur.How often have you passed out on a business opportunity because of your paralysing fears, your feelings of inadequacy and lack of confidence?

How often have you made a business decision, or a critical financial decision in the ‘heat of the moment’? You can avoid making emotional decisions if you are aware of them. Self awareness will also help you replace negative emotions with ones more helpful to the journey towards financial success.

SELF-REGULATION

Self regulation is closely related to your self awareness. You definitely cannot self regulate if you are not self aware. Self regulation is the ability to monitor and control your behaviour, emotions or thoughts and altering them in accordance with the demand of the situation.

Having the ability to control uncomfortable emotions, most commonly anxiety, fear, and panic can help you keep track of your financial goals. How can you control disruptive impulses? Do you have a mechanism to check yourself?

What steps do you take in making a decision? Do you trust yourself to make financial decisions? Do you hold yourself accountable for the financial decisions you make? How flexible are you?

The path towards financial success is not smooth all the time, there are speed bumps, hazards, and unpredictable twists and turns. When these challenges come, are you ready to change and adapt or will you throw in the towel?

MOTIVATION

This is probably one of the most researched attributes when it comes to success. How is one able to keep themselves motivated enough to achieve their goals? Many theorists have alternative ideas on what motivates one towards their goals.

Regardless of what the scholars say, what’s more important is what motivates you? What do you want? How bad do you want it? Why do you want it? How committed are you? What do these financial goals mean to you?

What initiatives have you taken for you to reach these goals? Are you optimistic? Are all your efforts worthwhile? These are all important questions to ask yourself as they keep you hungry, passionate, determined and driven for you to act on your strategy and make things happen!

EMPATHY

Every financial transaction has some sort of interpersonal aspect to it. No financial transaction can be made without having some kind of personal interaction with another individual, and a lot of empathy is required for you to build a good relationship with others.

Having this social awareness allows you to quickly pick up emotions of other people, which in turn helps you understand what is going on, and what their needs are.

The basic principle of having a successful service or product is rooted in identifying needs. Having empathy helps you find these needs, whether it’s for a client, a business partner, an investor, or even a community, which in the end plays a huge role in you accomplishing your financial goals.

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