Allison McWilliams, director of mentoring and alumni personal and career development in the Office of Personal and Career Development, writes occasional articles for Inside WFU. This is the third for the fall semester. In each, she shares observations and suggestions with faculty and staff drawn from her professional experience with students.
Research has argued that emotional intelligence, or EQ, can matter up to twice as much as both IQ and expertise in predicting career success. Sounds important, doesn’t it? So what is it and how do you do it? In short, EQ is your ability to recognize and understand emotions in yourself and others and your ability to use this awareness effectively to manage your behavior and relationships. More specifically, EQ has four components:
The great news is that the four key components of EQ are all key components in effective mentoring relationships. To be an effective mentor it is important that you have a deep understanding of self and a honed ability to develop trusting, empathetic relationships with others. By engaging in mentoring relationships, you will continue to develop these skills over time. Effective mentors are always in learning and self-development mode. Effective mentors understand that they are not perfect but a work in progress, constantly looking for ways that they can grow and develop their skills, abilities, knowledge, and talents. Effective mentors share successes as well as failures, create safe spaces for sharing and risk-taking, practice listening and respond well to feedback. As a bonus, by doing so, you role model EQ to your mentees, as well.
Try a few of these tips to develop your EQ: