There's been quite a bit of talk surrounding the topic of emotional intelligence, or EQ. What is emotional intelligence? What's different about people who have it from those who don't?

According to Psychology Today, EQ is comprised of three things: the ability to accurately identify your emotions and those of others; the ability to utilize emotions and apply them to tasks; and the ability to manage and control your own emotions and those of another person.

Curious to find out how emotionally intelligent people live their lives differently than others? Here are five habits of very emotionally intelligent people.

1. Self-awareness

Although this doesn't seem like a habit you can actually practice, actively being self-aware takes a lot more work than people think. While overthinking is never a positive activity, it is a good idea to take a few moments each day to think about what we're doing and the effect it has on others. It is important to learn ways to improve the way we go about our daily work and relationships so that our impact is positive, not negative.

2. Empathy

This is by far the key to understanding the emotions of others and ourselves. Often, when we form connections with people, it is due to the fact that we share a common emotion. Regardless of whether or not we are bonding over love, hate, or anger, it's important to note that being able to read another's emotions is key to knowing how to react in that particular moment.

3. Be easygoing

While a bit of perfectionism is good for creating quality work, too much of a good thing can sometimes be our downfall. Work on accepting that things don't always go the way we plan. Know that life often happens as it's meant to--so let go and trust the journey.

4. Stay curious

It can be easy to get jaded very early on, but one of the best ways to succeed is simply to continue long after everyone else has given up. This aspect of tenacity applies to curiosity, too. Don't lose your wonder for life--you'll have everything to lose if you do. Stay curious, and the things you'll learn will help your emotional intelligence grow.

5. Find a balance

Don't put in too much time at work, but don't neglect it altogether. Discover the perfect balance between your professional and personal life so that you know when to include or separate emotions, as well as how to best use them in each setting.

Why You Need Emotional Intelligence to Run a Business
Published on: Apr 28, 2016