We’ve all come across a bad employee at some point in our career. What’s shocking, though, is that many of these people actually had the right degree and qualifications for the job—but those weren’t enough.
In fact, a recent study proved that having strong emotional intelligence (EQ) increases your chances of success more than having a high IQ. In other words, your EQ is actually what determines if you will have a successful career … or not.
As a content marketer who has worked from home every day for the past year (a huge EQ challenge), I hope I can pass on some of what I’ve learned about EQ to help you become a better employee. Below, I’ve outlined four emotion-based questions for you to ask yourself on a daily basis. If you don’t know the answers to these questions, your promotion, salary, and success could be on the line.
1. What is determining how you feel right now?
Fact: People experience emotion throughout 90 percent of their day. That means, more than likely, something is currently affecting how you feel, and more importantly, it’s also affecting how you’re performing.
As a content marketer, your daily routine consists of things like developing content, meeting with clients, managing freelancers, and reporting to executives. You have a long list of marketing responsibilities, and whether you realize it or not, your emotions are sitting in the driver’s seat while you perform all of these activities.
Taking a moment to determine how you feel is like a quarterback huddling up with his team before running the play. Before you dive into your to-do list, ask yourself how you’re feeling. If you can acknowledge the emotions you’re experiencing right now, you’re one step closer to improving your EQ and making it to the end zone.
2. What gets you out of bed in the morning?
Once you’ve mastered your self-awareness, the next level of EQ to consider is motivation. If you’re primarily driven by external motivations (like money and recognition), this is a warning sign that you’re headed toward frustration and burnout.
In contrast, people who are driven by internal motivations (personal accomplishments) have an increased chance of becoming successful. These are the kind of people who are looking for growth opportunities, developing skills, and pursuing goals. They naturally become leaders because they have an internal drive that gets them out of bed in the morning—and coincidentally, they usually end up getting the external rewards, too.
As a content marketer, burnout is a constant threat. Social media feeds are literally never-ending, and project management requires you to keep things moving around the clock. To avoid drowning in your day-to-day, identify what drives you internally and always keep it in your crosshairs.
3. What puts you in a good mood?
In the first section of this post, we discussed your ability to determine how you’re feeling, a.k.a. self-awareness. However, if you know you’re stressed out but don’t do anything about it, how much good does that do you? Not much.
This is why you need to not only acknowledge how you’re feeling, but why you’re feeling that way. Huge difference. The latter gives you the ability to then regulate your emotions and help yourself find normalcy again.
Why is this so important? Emotions have a ripple effect. First, someone cuts you off on your way to work, and then your first meeting goes poorly while you’re replaying the event in your head. Pump the brakes. Don’t let one incident or experience trickle its way into other situations that are completely unrelated.
As a content marketer, being able to regulate your emotions will help you adjust your attitude, tone, and behavior, and will ultimately improve your ability to manage other people.
4. What kind of scenarios do you prefer?
Lastly, the final level of EQ is self-confidence—perhaps the most difficult EQ skill to achieve. The reason this can be challenging is because it requires you to not only know what your strengths are, but to also intentionally create situations that put your strengths on display.
As a content marketer, what are your favorite parts of your job? Make it a personal goal (internal motivation) to develop your niche, gradually doing more of those tasks and less of the others. As you think of the parts of your workday when you’re most in the zone, this could even start illuminating a career path for you—one paved by EQ and success.