How EQ could enhance your salary!

Why one particular year-old study could inspire you to work on your EQ! 

We recently saw a Guardian career piece pop up as a recommended read. The piece claimed that EQ (AKA ’emotional intelligence’ or ‘EI’) could be ‘the secret to a high salary’.

In order to reach this conclusion, the Amercian study explored students’ emotional intelligence and then tracked their career path over the coming decade. As you can gather from the above, the students with the greatest EI also had higher incomes.

How EQ increases earnings…

Essentially, the salary effect is achieved by understanding how others are feeling and then using this to ‘accurately motivate and influence their behaviour’. Although the idea of influencing others may sound sinister, it can also be highly positive.

The research showed that people with high emotional intelligence make many friends in their work, allowing them to tap into a wider knowledge base, which boosts their performance (and salary!).

It also proved positive from a people management/mentoring perspective, as high EQ workers are more attuned to the needs and feelings of others. Helping employees and mentees feel ‘heard’.

How is emotional intelligence actually defined?

You’ll find a full definition here. Really, it comes down to being self-aware and able to identify and help manage emotions – both your own and those of others.

Wondering how high your EQ is?

There’s no single specific EI test. However, Pyschology Today offers a fairly comprehensive free emotional intelligence test. They predict this takes around 45-minutes to complete. At the end of it, you then receive a percentage score and a brief overview; without so much as entering a name or email address. Anyone wanting to receive a full report with advice can then pay around $10 for it.

This isn’t to say everyone’s onboard with the EI-salary connection…

If you take another look at the original Guardian article, you’ll see it’s received over 90 comments. Many of which are highlighting the successes of people with questionable emotional intelligence levels!

There’s certainly truth in this, however, what’s the harm in working on your own EQ levels? Even if it doesn’t immediately (or ever directly!) increase your income, it offers many benefits.

Forbes discusses some of these.

Further reading for furthering your emotional intelligence!

  1. In a separate Forbes post, they share 5 ways to develop your EQ.
  2. Medium has an interesting question-filled article to help you to work towards a greater score.
  3. Balance also shared 9 useful steps.

One final EQ tip…read more and read differently!

Don’t only read the research and news articles that strike you as immediately relevant to your life. Get in the habit of seeing what’s happening in the world, and what other demographics are saying and feeling.

Recruitment news makes for a perfect example! There are so many studies which highlight what matters most to employees and employers, what professionals fear or strive for, the similarities and differences between different groups, and the steps we can all take to reach our goals. We publish many such stories on our News blog. Why not pick a post that you wouldn’t usually read and spend some time considering the emotions experienced by the news item/study subjects, how you feel throughout, and how you would express yourself in the given situation?

Get in the habit of doing this often and let it extend to the audio and social media that you also consume.



Psychology for career success!

Understanding some simple aspects of social psychology could make all the difference to your job search. Not to mention your future career success and relationships!

Today we’ll explore two such elements: the type of confidence you should aim to display at work, plus how the ‘liking gap’ could already be affecting your career.

Psychology essentials: the ‘right’ sort of confidence

Our first focus comes from Thrive Global, quoting research from the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. Arianna Huffington founded Thrive Global to help people boost their personal and business performance while avoiding burnout.

What we learned from this piece:

  • Perceived confidence is at the root of success. People choose to work with those they deem more confident. This is because a sense of confidence “increases our belief in someone’s competence.”
  • However, this isn’t to say that over-confidence wins. In fact when confidence appears unfounded, and actions don’t reflect words, it actually has the reverse effect. In this case, people choose to work with those who appear “more cautious but realistic”. You could say that this is the real takeaway from the article. But you’d be missing one major point…
  • Confidence (whether unfounded or not!) always wins when it is communicated through nonverbal cues as opposed to spoken means.

Nora Battelle, the post’s author, goes on to explain why. It all comes down to the fact that the nonverbal indicators don’t make any precise promises. Meaning one infers confidence without the risk of letting anyone down.

This can prove powerful at every stage in our careers. Knowing how to project confidence non-verbally can boost your interview success and make people want to work with you more often. This, in turn, could lead to further promotions and ongoing career opportunities. So how do you display this confidence?

Battelle shares 4 non-verbal psychology basics in her post. While these may not be new to you, you may observe new benefits from employing them!

Psychology essentials: are you victim of the liking gap?

How often do you meet someone new and come away convinced that they don’t like you? Perhaps you feel you didn’t show yourself in the best light, causing their first impression to be less than favourable?

Well, according to another team of psychologists hailing from Cornell, Harvard, Yale and the University of Essex, this is by no means uncommon.

In fact, when we meet someone new…

  • They actually tend to “like us and enjoy our company more than we assume.” They also come away with fewer negative impressions than our post-conversation ruminations would leave us to believe.
  • Furthermore, it’s normal for people to believe that they like their conversation partners more than they like us. This is the ‘liking gap’, as reported by Stylist.

So what does this have to do with careers? Potentially a lot, for those worst affected. After all, how keen are you to put yourself forward to those that you feel perceive you negatively? Will you willingly seek out that person and spark up another conversation, share an idea or volunteer for a project? Could you be put off from returning for an interview, already negatively predicting the outcome?

This is a powerful message to keep in mind at every stage of your job search and career. Re-read this post every time you find yourself dwelling on first impressions and that person you’re convinced didn’t warm to you!

Used together, these insights could be just what you need to boost your self-belief ready for your next round of interviews. We’re fascinated to hear your thoughts on these psychology findings; you can always keep in touch via TwitterFacebook and LinkedIn.

Further reading: