What is the difference between emotional intelligence and common sense?

The popular sitcom, ‘Big Bang Theory’ features a character, Sheldon Cooper. He’s a prodigy, a genius, and a hyper logical thinker. But Jim Parson’s character lacks one key life skill. Anyone who watches the show knows that Sheldon is socially unskilled. He cannot grasp basic humour, understand sarcasm, or connect with others on their level (because he lacks empathy). In short, Sheldon has a lot of common sense, but very little emotional intelligence.

It’s just a show, but there are really people out there who are socially at a disadvantage. They may have been born with a knack for common sense, but are forced to work at their emotional intelligence daily. There are many fundamental differences between common sense and emotional intelligence. In some cases, the two can be viewed as mutually exclusive. However, it is safe to say that both common sense and emotional intelligence can coexist in the mind of a human being.

Before we look at the characteristic differences between IQ and EQ, let’s first explore the technical differences. These will help you understand the two different types of intelligences in terms of how they are defined as well as how they are measured.

 

  1. How they are tested

Your IQ is tested by standardised tests which measure your problem solving abilities and your mathematical proficiency. Emotional intelligence is also tested through standardised questions which are today becoming more and more refined to accuracy. However, these tests aim to put you in hypothetical situations with other people. IQ tests focus on problems, while EQ tests focus on social situations.

 

  1. How they are scored

After you’ve taken an IQ test you will be given a score. This is your IQ and may slightly vary depending on your age. However, it’s a score that will likely remain the same throughout your life. EQ tests score you on various categories. These may include (but are not limited to) honesty & trust, leadership skills, conflict resolution, self image, anger management, change/stress adaptability, and assertiveness. An overall score may be given for an EQ test, but the various categories are more likely to carry individual weight for the person or company giving the test.

 

  1. How they are defined

Common sense is the ability to view a situation from a logical standpoint and come up with a solution that best suits you. Emotional intelligence is the ability to view social situations from the perspective of other people and come up with a solution that best suits everyone involved.

 

It’s a lot more interesting to look at common sense and emotional intelligence in terms of how they show forth in people. For now, we’ll look at seven different characteristics of emotional intelligence and how those compare to common sense. The easiest way to do this is to take social examples and hypothesise how someone with high emotional intelligence will react differently to someone with high intellectual intelligence.

 

  1. A co-worker arrives at work with a dejected demeanour and relays a problem to you regarding a family member
  • Common sense: In this situation, common sense dictates that there is a problem, and that the person who has the problem has brought it to you for the purpose of coming up with a solution. You will likely tell the person what they should do in order to fix the situation, or prevent it from happening again. In doing this your intentions are good, but more often than not, the person with the problem is looking for support rather than advice.
  • Emotional intelligence: Someone with a high EQ will approach the dejected co-worker with the intention to provide comfort. You will display empathy about the situation and focus more on the person than the problem itself. Because the co-worker didn’t explicitly ask you for advice, your focus will not be on solving the problem, but rather on allowing him or her to vent their frustration. You will then likely let them know that you are there to listen if they need a shoulder to cry on in future.

 

  1. You get into an argument with your colleague about a task that you allegedly did not perform properly
  • Common sense: In a situation where work conflict arises, your common sense will usually tell you to defend yourself. When listening to your colleague’s argument, you will only hear the accusations behind the words. When these accusations are highlighted in your mind, you will prepare a counter argument in your mind to defend your position. In your mind, your job, reputation and pride are at stake; and they must be defended at all costs.
  • Emotional intelligence: If you have a high EQ, you will be more inclined to listen to the other side of the argument without focussing too hard on the accusations. Instead, you will try to understand your colleague’s concerns and address them one at a time in a calm manner. In so doing, you will relay your side of the argument; but only as far as it goes to relieve his or her anxiety. Throughout the entire discussion you will attempt to remain calm. You will also ask your colleague questions pertaining to his or her argument so that you have a full understanding of their position in the matter.

 

  1. You meet someone new at a social event and they tell you about their job
  • Common sense: The common sense side of a new encounter can often end a relationship before it even has a chance to begin. You may be tempted to listen to the other person’s job description for the sake of telling them yours. This conversation will then conclude in you both knowing what the other person does. Perhaps one of you will comment on what you know about the other’s job. But ultimately, the conversation will hit a dead end, and despite some common ground, you will not have anything more to talk about.
  • Emotional intelligence: Instead of simply exchanging information between you and the new acquaintance, you will aim to fully explore their conversational contribution. When they tell you about their job, you may ask more questions about it. “Is this the job you have always wanted to do?” will lead to a more interesting exchange of what job the person saw themselves doing when they were a child. It may open the door to the job they actually aspire to do in the future. At the very worst, the person will answer that they love their job, and will continue talking about it to you with excitement.

 

  1. You are the manager at a company and your team is under performing
  • Common sense: The common sense part of your brain may prompt you to take control of your team and direct them into a more productive pattern of work; but how you do this may not be as effective as what you’d like. Taking charge of the situation and deciding on everyone else’s behalf what the team should do differently will probably come naturally to someone who’s inclined to a dominant style of common sense thinking.
  • Emotional intelligence: An emotionally intelligent leader will seek to gather input from everyone involved. If this is you, you’ll take an approach of discussion, asking questions rather than telling everyone what to do. Leaders have a human quality to them that gets recognised by those under them. Emotionally intelligent people seek to be relatable to their team members and will make the solution to a problem a team effort.

 

  1. After five years of working in the same office, you learn that within a week your company will be moving to new premises
  • Common sense: People who thrive on common sense are usually not fond of change. Because of their resistance to change, they tend to struggle adapting to new environments and new challenges. If you found yourself in this situation, you would probably take weeks or even months to adapt to the move. It would cause you some anxiety and you would see it as a disruption rather than a fresh start.
  • Emotional intelligence: However, if you adapt quickly, an office move may seem more to you like an adventure. The opportunity to start fresh in a new environment may excite you. In your eyes, change means growth; which is why you progress with a smile on your face during and after the move. Adapting comes easy to you and a few days haven’t even passed before you feel right at home at the office’s new premises.

 

  1. Your roommate has failed to tidy the house for three weeks in a row
  • Common sense: Those of us who are hyper logical thinkers will often attempt to impose that logic onto others. In a case such as this one, you will likely try to ‘teach’ your roommate to carry out his or her duties without having to be told. This can often lead to conflict because the person you’re living with is a scatterbrain, someone who is whimsical, or simply nothing more than a forgetful individual who doesn’t see cleaning as a priority.
  • Emotional intelligence: On the other hand, if you think emotionally (or empathetically), things such as tasks and duties will not bother you as much. If dishes need to be washed, you’ll do them yourself—regardless of whose turn it is. In the same way, however, you will stick to your own duties if there are any assigned to you. In your mind you’d like to keep things as amicable as possible between yourself and your roommate, and therefore silly little arguments will not get headway with you. To put is simply, the relationship is more important than the duty.

 

  1. A client of yours was invoiced three weeks ago but has still neglected to pay you
  • Common sense: Logically you will feel the need to use hostile means to force someone to pay you. After all, that seems to be the only language some people understand. Common sense will probably tell you to list this client with debt collectors, and perhaps even threaten them with legal action if they don’t pay you on time. In the process of doing all this, you will cause a disconnect between yourself and the customer. He or she will perceive themselves as your enemy and will probably not do business with you again. Worse than that, they are likely to disregard your request because of your hostile approach.
  • Emotional intelligence: An emotionally intelligent thinker will realise that threats will only make matters worse. First of all, you want to avoid alienating your client. Second, don’t want to get the client’s back up. You therefore opt instead to appeal to your client’s sense of humanity, explaining to him or her how important the money is why it’s important that it gets paid on time. This will result in the client being retained and will make future payment delays less likely.

As we can see, emotionally intelligent people react to people in accordance with their emotions. People with common sense react to problems, with very little consideration for the person involved. This is the fundamental difference between common sense and emotional intelligence. Those who recognise emotions in others will be more adept in solving personal dilemmas, while those with high intellectual intelligence will look to solve the problem separate from emotion or empathy.

 

Both emotional intelligence and common sense have a place in our lives. Again, the two should not be viewed as mutually exclusive—despite their vast differences. Instead, a balance should be cultivated by those who are already blessed with high IQs. If emotional intelligence and empathy are rare traits in your personality, remember that even the Sheldon Coopers of the world can learn to play well with others.

 

 

14 Habits of Emotionally Intelligent People – by Copley Sutton

 

If you’re on a journey to develop your emotional intelligence, it helps to observe others you perceive as having a high EQ. How do you spot these individuals? Are they giving off signs that you can pick up on and follow? The following 14 habits are typically practised by people who have a high EQ. Once you notice them, you can adopt these same habits into your own life and develop your emotional intelligence over time.

Emotional intelligence is a crucial recipe for career success!

  1. Maintaining your relationships

You’ll notice that emotionally intelligent people are not in relationships solely for what they can get out of it. Instead, they maintain those relationships on a give-and-take principle. It’s what they can offer others rather than what they derive. Other people’s needs come first, which is why people with high EQs will go out of their way to cater to the needs of others.

If you’re someone who only gravitates to your acquaintances when you need something, those individuals will start to become sceptical about your intentions as a so-called friend. Aim rather to cultivate your relationships on an ongoing basis. Make time for those you want in your life and show them that your care is unconditional. The result will be real friendships that can be called upon when you need them.

 

  1. Seeing the other side of an argument

Emotional intelligence is all about empathy. This means that people with a high EQ are constantly trying to connect with others by understanding how & why they think the way they do in certain situations. One side of this is listening to another person’s argument for the purpose of understanding. What most people do instead is defend themselves and focus on their side of the argument rather than the other person’s.

This is one of the best customs you can teach yourself. Get into the habit of becoming a better listener. Not for the sake of responding, but for the sake of hearing the person out. Once the other party feels as if they’re being heard, you’ll be amazed at how open they’ll become to your side of the argument.

 

  1. Ask questions

Emotionally intelligent people ask questions of the people they are speaking to. They take an interest in others because they want to find a connection. Despite what you may think, this is not about finding common ground and forming a connection based on that. It’s about finding out what makes other people tick. What do they believe, why do they believe it, and how do their beliefs define them?

If you want to form deeper connections with people, ask them about themselves. They will appreciate your interest in them. Rather than this becoming a formality, focus on taking a genuine interest in people you speak to. When they reveal something about themselves, dig deeper to find out what makes them who they are. You’ll often find that relevant questions open up a whole new area of a person’s character.

 

  1. Giving constructive praise & criticism

How is it that some people can give criticism and not be seen as condescending when doing so? Their secret lies in a healthy balance between criticism & praise. It’s a tricky balance that doesn’t come naturally for most people, but those who have mastered it are respected leaders—whether they are in leadership positions or not.

Do you find yourself only giving criticism, even when it’s constructive? If it’s often not taken well, you may find that a healthy dose of praise is also needed. Regularly pointing out people’s positive points gives you the leverage and respect you’ll need when you are forced to point out the negative. If you fail to balance these two sides of the scale you will likely be viewed as overly critical, and won’t get much out of the people you work or live with.

 

  1. Mastering your emotions

A whole chapter could be written about recognising emotions in others. For now, however, let’s look at recognising emotions in ourselves and dealing with them appropriately. Anger, fear & sadness can often display themselves in destructive ways. This doesn’t have to be the case though. People with high emotional intelligence recognise feelings as a part of life and don’t allow those feelings to rule them.

The first step to this is recognising the emotion as soon as it rises. From here, you can ask yourself why you are feeling that way. If it’s something you can change or fix, you’ll be better equipped on an emotional level to do so. If it isn’t something you can change, you will reach a point of acceptance a lot quicker.

 

  1. Think before you speak/act

Following on from point five is the ability to stop and think before you act on an emotion. Many people find this difficult to do—especially with anger or fear. Much of the bad decisions made in life are a result of fear, anger or sadness. It takes an emotionally strong person to recognise these emotions and ponder on the reality of the situation before they act.

Instead of being reactive to emotions, learn to accept and embrace them as natural reactions of the brain. From this vantage point you will find yourself making wiser choices that aren’t impetuous or destructive to the situation. The solution to problems always become clearer the more you distance yourself from the situation that caused them.

 

  1. Focus on the positive

Folks with high EQs have a natural disposition of positive thinking. They realise that focusing on the negative hinders their ability to move forward and accumulate more positivity in their lives. These people are generally happier because they’ve accepted the aspects of their lives they are unable to change. Instead, they move forward with the aspects they can change and make the best of every situation regardless of the challenges they face.

If this type of thinking doesn’t come naturally to you, don’t fret. It takes a lot of practice before a positive habitual thought pattern overcomes a negative one. Actively work towards this and expect it to take some time. Remember that positive thinking isn’t the process of suppressing your emotions and hiding them with a smile; but rather accepting the good with the bad and not letting negative circumstances bring you down.

 

  1. View change as an opportunity for growth

Sudden change can rattle the best of us. Emotionally intelligent people have a knack for adapting to change quickly and joyfully. The main reason for this is because they see every situation as an adventure that will teach them something about themselves. Emotionally intelligent people live by the mantra, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.”

Each situation in your life is an opportunity for personal growth—you just have to see it that way. Instead of being afraid of change, embrace it as a growth opportunity and adapt to each aspect of that change as best you can. This will create some level of discomfort, but that discomfort will make you more resilient the next time change comes along.

 

  1. Don’t rely on others to motivate you

People with a high EQ are self-motivated. They don’t need someone else to push them into making changes or pursuing growth. That’s because they believe that whatever they put in, they will eventually get out. Instead of living and working with a sense of entitlement, emotionally intelligent people owe it to themselves to pursue their dreams and work hard in achieving them.

This way of thinking takes a certain level of drive & ambition. Can you look at your own life and decide that working towards your goals is worth it? Emotionally intelligent people do this every day and you can too. Adopt a mindset of success and drive yourself on a daily basis to take one step closer to a better, richer and more successful life.

 

  1. Don’t be too proud to say you’re sorry

To err is human. When mistakes happen it’s important to not only learn from them but to also move on from them. This cannot happen unless the mistake is recognised and owned up to. Emotionally intelligent people will never shy away from their mistakes. They have no problem showing others that they have made a mistake—but more importantly, that they’ve learnt from that mistake.

If you find it difficult to apologise for your mistakes, resolve in your mind that doing so is beneficial to you. Chess players only get better when they lose games. Making mistakes is life’s way of teaching us lessons that we can carry into the future. Making mistakes is an unpleasant part of growing & maturing. If you’ve messed up, admit it, apologise, and move forward.

 

  1. Determine your passions and determine your path

People who play to their strengths are not only more successful, but they are happier too. It’s one thing to learn new skills and work towards exercising them. But it’s another to go against the grain and convince yourself to do something that you were never meant to do. Emotional intelligence means understanding your passion and making that passion a part of your daily life.

Those aspects of your life that get you up in the morning are your passions. They may be your kids, your hobbies, or your ambitions. Have you set goals for yourself and integrated these passions into those goals? This is something emotionally intelligent people do. They live their goals out every day and allow their passions to drive them forward.

 

  1. Fill the gaps

Those who have high emotional intelligence are natural team players. Being a team player has its function not only in the workplace, but at home too. When someone has a need, a person with a high EQ will automatically step forward and fulfil that need. This can be as simple as helping an elderly person carry something heavy, or assisting someone with a task they don’t have time to do.

If you’re more inclined to clean the kitchen than the person you live with, do it without expecting them to. If someone at work keeps forgetting to fill the coffee machine, do it yourself. Emotionally intelligent people get satisfaction in serving others and performing tasks that benefit them and everyone around them. It’s not always easy, but it’s a lifestyle worth adopting.

 

  1. Be courteous

Saying ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ cost nothing. But more than simple courtesy, displaying general and/or deep appreciation is a trait that indicates a high EQ. Individuals who are well mannered and courteous appreciate the effort it takes for someone to do something for them. This, again, signifies a level of empathy—seeing it from someone else’s perspective. In addition to being courteous, emotionally intelligent people are also usually punctual; because they are loathe to keep people waiting unnecessarily.

If someone means a lot to you, you’ll be surprised at how satisfying it is to tell them so. Being someone who expresses appreciation also puts you in a position to offer constructive criticism when the time calls for doing so. People who recognise you as someone who is appreciative of their efforts are more likely to accept criticism as constructive rather than seeing it as condescending.

 

  1. Don’t take it personally

Finally, because people with a high EQ are on a journey to grow and improve, they are more likely to accept criticism of their own actions. Instead of becoming overly defensive of their actions or demeanour, they consider the criticism a chance to see themselves through the eyes of others. This looking into the mirror encourages their already-present efforts for self reflection.

 

Try not to be someone that people avoid criticising. Closing yourself off from the opinions of others will only perpetuate your negative aspects and make you blind to how others see you. Instead, aim to improve yourself by accepting criticism. Remember that you don’t have to agree with everything people have to say about you, but being open to listen is a sure sign that your emotional intelligence is on its way up.

 

How does EQ affect career success?

Today, thousands of companies use EQ tests to determine how well new applicants will fit into their respective companies. Why does emotional intelligence hold such a strong influence over the hiring process? The answer to this question will help you to understand how your own emotional intelligence is affecting your work progress. If you’ve been struggling to make headway in your career, wouldn’t you want to know if your EQ was the reason? It may well be, and here’s why.

People with high EQ work well in teams together

Emotional intelligence is directly related to relationships

The fact that your emotional intelligence will affect how well you work with other people is inescapable. Developing a high EQ will enable you to recognise different personalities, and help you deal with each one effectively. Emotionally intelligent people relate well to others. Whether you work on your own, or within a team, you will eventually have to deal with other people in order to be successful at your career. Working well with others is directly related to job success, as we’ll soon discover.

 

As the saying goes, “It’s not what you know, but who you know.” In many ways this is true. Many people who are good at their jobs don’t progress in their careers because they struggle with relationships. A good relationship with your superiors and you colleagues can go further than good work ethic. Are you someone who wants to progress further in your current career? If you’re someone who needs to work on your emotional intelligence, this should be enough of a reason to get started.

 

Goal setting

Setting short term, mid term & long term goals is a habit practiced by people with emotional intelligence. Goals give you something to work towards. If they’re on your mind at all times, you naturally take small actions to achieve them—sometimes even subconsciously. While it may be obvious to some how this can positively affect your career, let’s investigate it a bit more thoroughly in the context of a work environment.

 

People who set career goals are always doing small things to reach them. Let’s look at someone who sets a mid term goal of being promoted within two years. They will take on extra tasks. Other times they will ask to be a part of meetings or new projects. At all times, these individuals work more efficiently, because the goal drives them to do so. This ultimately results in career success. It also gets them noticed by their company’s superiors, because they come across as focused & ambitious individuals who are going places. It’s all about moving forward as opposed to remaining stagnant.

 

Turning conflict into productive discussions

Conflict has halted many careers. It can get in the way of a promotion, and even cause you to quit your job or lose it against your will. Learning how to constructively handle conflict is the best way to overcome this danger and rise above it. Emotionally intelligent people have a knack for turning conflict into something more constructive. That’s because they have a desire to recognise the opinion of others. They have a way of thinking that includes the other person’s point as valid and worthy of exploration.

 

Because confrontational people appreciate feeling as if they’re being heard, conflict resolvers tend to handle them well. Imagine a work colleague complaining to you about something you’ve done. If you’re an individual with a high EQ, you will listen to the person’s point of view and aim to resolve the situation to the satisfaction of you both. You will also be good at conveying your own point of view without it seeming as if you’re drowning out theirs. This is what conflict resolution is all about—validating the other party’s opinion and being empathetic enough to take their feelings into account.

 

Adapting to change

Change will happen in any work environment whether we like it or not. Some people crave change, while others try to avoid it at all costs. Change is usually just another word for growth, and not being able to grow will hinder your career. A good way to develop your emotional intelligence is to learn how to embrace change. This is easier for some than others, but those who succeed in this mindset alteration often succeed in life.

 

Consider the stress and uncertainty involved when a company restructures itself. Employees may have to move offices, tackle technology challenges, and learn to initiate new tasks. Emotionally intelligent people can feel the same level of stress as the next person, but handle it very differently to a person who hates change. Individuals with a high EQ will refrain from complaining, and get on with what they have to do—no matter how many problems they encounter.

 

Owning up

Human beings are naturally defensive, especially when we think our jobs are at stake. When we make mistakes, our automatic response is to justify or defend the mistake. This is often a detrimental direction to take because it causes a lot of frustration for those affected by the mistake. In the end, more damage than good is caused by a defensive attitude to mistakes. This attitude deviates from a team mentality. Instead, it focuses solely on one person and his or her defense.

 

One of the most pleasant aspects of an emotionally intelligent person is their ability to own up to their mistakes and apologise for them. Because they are empathetic to other people, they immediately see how their actions have affected others. This leads them to admit to their mistakes and take responsibility for them. When a person takes this course of action rather than the former, superiors feel settled in the fact that the mistake will not happen again. On the other hand, defending your mistake makes people think that you haven’t learnt from it; but will instead make it again.

 

Natural born leaders

A popular sentiment doing its rounds on the internet lately is that there’s a big difference between being a leader and being a boss.  This is so true. Leadership books and seminars are a billion dollar industry across the globe. The question on everybody’s minds is, “What does it take to be a good leader?” Some say it’s natural talent, while others claim that leadership skills and be acquired over time. The answer probably lies somewhere in the middle; but what we do know for certain is that emotionally intelligent people make great leaders. Let’s look at why this is the case.

 

First of all, good leaders are good communicators. They can give instructions without seeming condescending or arrogant. Second, people respect natural leaders because they are easy to connect with on their own level. These leaders are not seen as above their team, but alongside them. Third, leaders possess the ability to resolve conflict among others. Most importantly, leaders have their team’s best interests at heart; which wins them the respect and loyalty they need to get things done.

 

Honesty, trust, work ethic

Work ethic seems to be on the decline. Punctuality has also become a rare practice among many people. This may stem from a lack of empathy. When people are more self focused, they have no qualms about making others wait. Trust, honesty and work ethic all fall into the same category when it comes to career-orientated EQ. Emotionally intelligent people make a point of being at work on time. They are trustworthy individuals and have no problem delivering on their promises at work.

 

Workers who are reliable in these three aspects of work are often successful at their jobs. They are the ones who pick up the slack when others are either off sick, late for work, or simply lazy at their jobs. Work ethic invariably leads to promotions, incentives and/or salary increases. For this reason, emotionally intelligent people have an edge over the rest when it comes to career success.

 

Dealing with emotions constructively

Owning and dealing with an emotion will serve you well in your career. It’s a skill that has been mastered by those with high emotional intelligence. People with a high EQ know how to recognise an emotion without letting it take them over. From there, they are able to deal with it effectively without disrupting their work. Being in control of your anger, despair and fear is the secret to productivity. It allows you to separate yourself from irrational feelings and remain professional in any situation.

 

Let’s look at a quick example. A colleague has sent you a rude email about a project that hasn’t yet been received. Your initial assumption is that he will communicate this to your superior and gossip about your alleged incompetence to others in the office. This fear needs to be recognised immediately and subsequently dealt with. Someone with a low EQ may react to the email prematurely without thinking it through first, thereby causing more damage than good. However, an emotionally intelligent person will gauge the situation, and respond in a mature way that diffuses the unpleasantness.

 

Growth and development

Continually moving forward is a key ingredient to overall success in life. If you aren’t growing as a person, you will stay where you are and fall into a rut. Emotionally intelligent people have recognised that career development is not up to anyone else other than themselves. They also know that personal development influences their careers. That’s why people with high EQs continually aim to improve themselves in small ways.

 

People are creatures of habit. Those who realise this have created positive habits in their lives such as exercise, healthy eating, mind stimulating activities, and organisation strategies. A messy person may argue a predisposition to messiness, but an emotionally intelligent person will try to improve this area of his or her life. Someone who is disorganised or overwhelmed at work, should—for their own sake—recognise it as a negative aspect of their life. From here they can do something such as keep a journal to try and improve on this. This personal growth attitude is what separates successful people from the rest.

 

A simple case of being happy

Happy people are productive workers. When you have job satisfaction, it enriches your life and creates a snowball effect of success between your personal life and your career. That’s because you’re continually improving yourself, cultivating relationships with the people around you, and retaining a general positive attitude. Emotionally healthy people spread their happiness to others. Your colleagues and your superiors will want to be around you when you’re known as a positive, vibrant, caring person.

 

The opposite is also true. Negativity can spread like a virus. People who come to work and complain about their personal and work lives are likely to remain stagnant in their careers. They blame external factors and other people for their problems, and struggle to embrace these problems as challenges that can be overcome. The remedy for this negative culture is positive, emotionally intelligent people. They have an uncanny ability to dispel negativity and counter it with a positive attitude—resulting in a generally positive work culture. That’s why workers with a high EQ are more likely to achieve job success, and that’s why managers want these people in their respective companies.

 

A journey worth taking

The good news is that these points, while they are predispositions in some, can still be cultivated in those for whom they don’t come naturally. This is certainly worth doing, as we’ve seen thus far. Leadership skills, empathy and emotional health can and should be developed for the sake of your career and your personal life. This developmental process is an ongoing journey that takes years for some, and a lifetime for others to achieve.

 

Now that you know how emotionally intelligent actions directly affect your career success, take the journey to improve on the points you struggle with. The result may surprise you. As your EQ develops and grows, people will begin to see a difference in you. Your superiors will begin to notice you, and your productivity is sure to improve. More than that, however, you will find your life and career more fulfilling—whether in your current job or your next one.

 

 

7 reasons to date a copywriter – by Christel Coetzer

There’s an inaccurate picture of copywriters: hermits holed up 24/7/365 in lofts with typewriters. You’ll be pleasantly surprised if you get to know writers in South Africa and abroad. You’ll discover that these people are remarkable beings who might just be the best date you’ll ever have. It may even end up with a happily ever after!

 

  1. Copywriters are interested

Your local magazine is filled with information South African copywriters created from scratch. Where did they come up with the facts and ideas to give you an interesting read? They researched the topic! Their research is fuelled by an intense love and need for information on diverse topics. So whatever you may want to share with him or her will be listened to with riveted attention. You’ll never feel you’re speaking to the walls!

 

  1. Copywriters are interesting

The other side of the coin about craving information is South African writers also have a lot of information. You’ll always have a new topic to discuss, because copywriters write about every subject you can imagine. You can look forward to interesting conversations about fashion, technology or politics, instead of hearing the same dreary work issues every day.

 

  1. Poetry

Let’s face the truth: we don’t live in the day of Shakespeare where your other half regales you with sonnets and plays. That doesn’t mean the talent has died out though. A few individuals will still surprise you with an expressive letter or note on your pillow. And South African copywriters have all the skills to put these together. Your Romeo or Juliette may be sitting behind a computer!

 

  1. Copywriters can communicate well

It may have been a while since you’ve met people who can accurately communicate and even sort out a conflict situation. Many people lack communication skills and emotional intelligence. Copywriters use words daily to describe objects and deliver accurate messages. This talent decreases the chance of misunderstanding during a conversation with you. Choose clarity–choose a copywriter.

 

  1. Copywriters are creative

Excitement and interesting moments make a relationship much better. For writers in South Africa creativity is part of their daily routine. Copywriters’ words create images in people’s minds and it can be your privilege to receive these creative ideas daily! In the way descriptive words decorate a written piece, a meal created by a copywriter is garnished and tantalising to all your senses. Don’t settle for dull; there’s so much more out there!

 

  1. Copywriters talk to your soul

Copywriting isn’t only about reporting facts. Good copywriters know how to figure out what people think. They connect with people’s hearts, needs and dreams. This means your emotions and dreams matter to the copywriter you date. He or she knows how to find out what’s going on in your soul and how to meet its desires.

 

  1. Copywriters will make you famous

Are your dreaming of having 15 minutes of fame? With a copywriter in your life this is totally possible. Copywriters are active on the most powerful force in our day; the internet. Being a passionate partner, he or she will most likely report on the joys and moments of your relationship; whether writing about it on a blog or working it into a story. Whether your name or a pseudonym is used you can be sure aspects of your life will reach the world out there!

 

So what are you waiting for? Wipe the stuffy image of South African copywriters from your mind and get ready for a very interesting experience. Copywriters bring many good characteristics to the table; not only superficially but aspects that give you an interesting and lasting relationship. And copywriters are easier to meet than you think, because they hang out in coffee shops rather than lofts!

5 tips to improving your writing talent – by Christel Coetzer

It’s the most awkward position I find myself in. I saw myself as one of the up and coming South African writers who has some knowledge and skill. And then, after years of blogging and correcting other people’s mistakes, I find myself in a new writing environment. Furthermore, I find my knowledge and skills are actually limited, and I make such silly mistakes! The hunter becomes the hunted!

 

Totally teachable

Shall I retreat into an “I-can’t-do-anything-right” hole? It won’t bode well for my budget. It will also not assist me in getting anywhere in future. So let’s hunker down, face the failure-fears and actually learn something. Because the cliché is—once again—absolutely true. One is never too old. And there’s a myriad of skills you and I can add to our repertoire.

 

Hateful habits

As South African copywriters, we tend to get stuck in habits. Using terminology the international audience don’t use or identify with, can diminish the quality of your article. The only way to get out of these habits is to realise what they are and start eradicating them. I repeat words such as “that” over and over. I write ‘you are’ instead of the much more reader friendly “you’re”. Some of it may be school teachers’ residue, but guess what? You’re allowed to be short and sweet!

 

Pesky poetry

I’m a poet at heart. I can rhyme about any topic you throw at me. But unfortunately this does not make me a good copywriter. Including too many metaphors and poetic themes to a piece which is supposed to inform the reader, does not bode well for me getting more copywriting work. It may have impressed my teachers, but the multitudes out there do not listen to Shakespeare for entertainment. They are in need of facts and they want them fast.

 

Lazy Lizzy

For years I only ever worried about the grammar of written pieces around me. Never did I really focus my attention on the words which were being produced by me. And I bravely—though with my head hanging—admit how lazy I have become. I’m a member of the aspiring writers in South Africa who want to make an impact with words. For this goal to be reached, I’m supposed to use the best grammar and punctuation. I’ve seen however how lazy I am for activities such as using hyphens and semi-colons. In the right places they turn ordinary sentences into beauty. I sidestepped opportunities to place them in the correct spots (and instead mainly used them for smiley faces in text messages. There is so much more to them!

 

Ever elaborating

When one simply writes for yourself you easily forget your words may actually be read and heard by others. As soon as you apply yourself to copywriting, you receive feedback about sentences being too complicated. And then you read the sentence again. Aloud. And you think “What was I thinking?!” South African copywriters have to make their statements as simple as possible to assist the reader in quickly realising the goal for each sentence and paragraph, instead of having to dissect it to get to the true meaning.

 

But mistakes do not make me a bad writer. Making adjustments makes me a better writer. As a copywriter it’s such an honour to be part of a group of South African writers that share knowledge and thoughts through the written word. It’s essential to keep to the basics and make is as easy as possible for every reader to grasp the current message. As with so many aspects of life, less is more.

CSC South Africa is Hiring!

Hit the ground running with your marketing career!

A young woman wearing glasses peers over a tall stack of books.

Copley Sutton Copywriter is searching for a dynamic young writer with a passion for words and an eye for detail. This position is a three month internship with the possibility of permanent employment thereafter. It’s best suited to a student or former student who is looking to enter the copywriting/marketing arena.

 

OFFER:

R6 000.00pm for the first three months with full time training provided.

R12 000.00pm as entry level salary thereafter if you meet all of the training requirements.

So if you want an opportunity to enter one of the fastest growing industries in South Africa, contact us now at copywriter@copleysutton.co.za

6 Important Reasons Why Your Business Needs an eBook

Ever been at a social event and been asked what you do? South Africa is full of people who own their own businesses, and if you’re passionate about yours, you always get a thrill out of explaining it to someone. Being online is the digital equivalent of being at a social event. Today, it’s important to have a summary of what your company offers—in case someone asks. That’s what eBooks are for, and here are six reasons why your company needs a South African eBook writer.

 

  1. eBooks are quick, simple ways to explain your company

Do you have the idea that an eBook is a long drawn out book? That’s not necessarily true. eBooks can be short, punchy documents packed full of exciting images, catch phrases and bits of information. Look at it as a product catalogue, but one that garners the interest of its readers.

The best eBooks don’t contain loads of boring facts about your company. Good eBook writers know how to make your product or service look exciting—and they know how to get readers excited too. So if you’re looking for a way to give your potential customers quick& simple ways to learn about you, then contact some eBook writers in South Africa for a chat.

 

  1. eBooks distinguish you from the competition

Even if your company doesn’t need much of a description, it’s still important to let people know that you’re the best at what you do. If you have a particular set of features that sets you apart from your competitors, why not let potential customers know about it?

There are some great South African eBook writers out there who know how to make your company shine brighter than the rest. So if you’re looking to increase sales, expand your reach, and snag some new customers, then get a company eBook out there TODAY!

 

  1. eBooks make great free gifts for potential customers

There’s a step-by-step process involved in obtaining information on the internet. It looks something like this.

  • Ben has a question
  • Ben Googles for the answer
  • Ben finds a bunch of resources that promise to answer his question
  • He comes across a free eBook with a summary of the info he needs
  • He downloads the eBook by providing his email address
  • Ben is now the ideal candidate for receiving regular updates about the information he was originally interested in
  • Eventually, Ben will trust and buy from the company that provided him with the information

As you can see, an eBook is a great way to market to people who are already interested in your product or service. An eBook wins you real sales leads and email addresses of people who won’t see your marketing efforts as invasive or ‘spammy’.

 

  1. eBooks distinguish you as an industry leader

When you provide helpful information to the public, you immediately garner their trust. They will see you as an entity with answers—one that cares enough to share those answers with those who have questions.

This is an important reason to get hold of eBook writers on an annual basis for a revamp of your information. Set yourself up as an authority in your field and let people know that you are the most trusted brand in your industry.

 

  1. eBooks are packed full of links

A great way to provide links for your website and your affiliates is to pack them into your eBook. This is a book that is actively advertising your company, so also people to redirect themselves to your website if they happen to find what they’re looking for.

Every time your link is clicked on, your visibility increases on Google. eBooks are excellent SEO tools because they increase your website’s chances of being visited more often. So be sure to direct your potential customers to your site, since that’s where they end up buying from you.

 

  1. eBooks let you paint a thousand words with pictures

Good eBook writers will understand the importance of images amongst the content. Pictures can draw the eyes to pertinent information, and even explain many facts much quicker and better than words can.

Graphs and statistics are also important elements in eBooks. Give your clients logical reasons in the form of percentages and statistics as to why they should use your company. This not only garners loads of trust, but also lets them know that you know what you’re talking about.

 

Copley Sutton is an experienced eBook writer from South Africa. He will take your content and display it in an easy-to-understand way that keeps readers enticed while learning about your company. Contact him now on copywriter@copleysutton.co.za

The need for Afrikaans copywriters

The Afrikaans community as well as Afrikaans marketing is still a huge force in South Africa. Many international companies have recognised this and begun to market their remote services to Afrikaans people. While the majority of companies will almost always expect Afrikaans people to identify with them in English, the wisest of overseas (and local) companies will utilise Afrikaans copywriting to connect with its market and enlarge its client base.

Copywriting in Afrikaans is as specialised as regular English copywriting. It’s a mixture between being an art & a science—and only the best Afrikaans copywriters can expand your marketing efforts well. For this reason there’s a significant rise in the need for Afrikaans copywriting; not only in South Africa, but across the world.

Even Google has updated its Afrikaans translation application and expanded its Afrikaans vocabulary. While this is still not 100% accurate in terms of sentence forming, more words are now available, much to the delight of Afrikaans copywriters.

If your business is looking to market to an Afrikaans demographic, why not connect with them on their own terms—in their own language? Not one Afrikaans person in South Africa—or anywhere else for that matter—isn’t proud of his or her Afrikaans heritage. Think of the edge you will have against your competition when you communicate with your audience in their home language!

Is it time for your company to get hold of an Afrikaans copywriter? Something to think about, isn’t it?

keepcalm8

How great copywriting can boost your conversions

A visually appealing website might hook your customers, but it’s the copy that gets them to take action. But, many websites, particularly eCommerce websites tend to neglect this element in their design. So what tricks do copywriters in South Africa use to increase conversion rates?

 

  1. Writing for target markets

A good copywriter will ask you questions about the people who are looking for the product or service you offer. This information will be used to determine which of the following four persona types your customers belong to:

  • Logical
  • Impulsive
  • Caring
  • Aggressive

Each personality type responds to the copy you use on your website in different ways. The logical customer is interested in features and details. The impulsive shopper wants to know what you can do for them. The caring customer wants to know how your business benefits others. Finally, the aggressive consumer wants to improve themselves and determine if your company is credible.

When a copywriter has a clear understanding of what motivates your customers, they can use the right language to connect with them. And those connections will increase your conversion rates.

 

  1. Using power words and action words

In the hands of an experienced copywriter, words are weapons. Copywriters know how to use power words to evoke the right emotion from your customers. Power words take your copy to the next level and turn browsers into loyal customers.

But all that emotion is meaningless unless you can convince your visitors to take action. That’s where action words come in. They nudge your visitors towards clicking on the ‘Add to Cart’ or ‘Buy Now’ buttons on your page.

With the right combination of power words and action words, casual browsers are converted into real customers.

 

  1. Formatting information correctly

The way copy is laid out on a page is crucial to capturing the attention of your visitors. Your copy might be engaging, but if you don’t make it easy for visitors to find what they’re looking for, they’ll go off and find a site that does.

Think about the way you scan a website. Your eyes are immediately attracted to bold headlines and subheadings. You instinctively look for bullet points that summarise the main points. New customers don’t want to wade through big blocks of text to get the gist of your offer.

Copywriters know how to format copy in such a way that a visitor can scan your page and find the information they’re looking for without hassle. Your keywords will leap off the page and keep visitors engaged until they’re ready to take action.

 

  1. Telling your brand story

Have you ever heard the saying ‘People don’t buy products, they buy brands’? Well, copywriters know all about this. That’s why they know your copy should reflect your personality.

Your About Us, Mission Statement and Contact pages allow visitors to get a glimpse of the people behind the products. This is where a copywriter can help you to separate your brand from the competition. A good copywriter knows that these pages are the ideal way to communicate your personality and convince visitors to buy from YOU.

 

An experienced copywriter can take your copy from good to EPIC! Don’t miss out on the chance to convert casual visitors to real orders with sloppy copy. Get an experienced copywriter to craft compelling copy and watch your conversions go through the roof.

7 Copywriting tricks for SEO-focused landing pages – by Olivia Colville

A well-crafted landing page can drive more traffic to your website. But visitors have to find your landing page before you can direct them to your website. SEO copywriting is the art of writing copy that helps your content to rank well in searches. This is how copywriters in South Africa get your company in front of potential customers.

online-copywriting-tips-400x200

  1. Attention-grabbing headlines

Without a headline that ticks all the boxes, your visitors won’t click on the link to read the rest of your content. Studies have shown that headlines with a number in the title tend to attract more attention.

 

If you want your whole headline to show up in search results, keep it down to 65 characters or less. Include at least one of your keywords in your headline for best results.

 

  1. Crisp and clear copy

Your visitors are busy people, so keep your content short and sweet. Remove adverbs and use the active voice to hold their attention. Delete unnecessary details and don’t explain the obvious.

 

  1. Answer every question

Don’t be afraid of including as much information as you need to answer all your prospects questions. While your copy shouldn’t be bloated, there’s no limit to the length of your landing page. It may depend on your product or audience, but always take the opportunity to provide visitors with all the information they need to make a decision.

 

  1. Speak to your customer

Don’t be tempted to rattle on about your company or your product. The focus should be on the prospect and what benefits they’ll get from using your products and service. Use the words ‘you’ and ‘your’ before ‘we’, ‘us’ and ‘our’. This is a tip that can be applied to any form of copywriting.

 

  1. Include long-tail keywords

Did you know that 40% of searches consist of phrases made up of four words? Copywriters know that while long-tail keywords may only be searched for every 2 – 3 months, it’s still important to include them.  Your landing page should draw qualified leads to your website. If a visitor has used a long-tail keyword to find your landing page, chances are they’re interested in what you have to offer.

Quick tip: Managing the data of short-tail and long-tail keywords can be challenging at scale. Use a tool like Linkio to keep your various keywords organized.

 

  1. Use the language your customers use

Blog comments, social media sites and product reviews are all places where you can get a feel for the language your customers use. Learn how to speak to them in a language they understand and your landing page will resonate better with new visitors.

 

  1. Make your content original

Search engines don’t appreciate duplicate content. Make sure the copy you use on your landing pages is original and unique. While you can copy style and content, don’t be tempted to copy and paste words directly from another page on your website.

 

If you’re battling to write your own landing pages, consider hiring a South African copywriter with the skill of writing landing pages that deliver. It takes time to produce a well-crafted landing page, but it’s worth the effort. A landing page that’s SEO-focused will drive qualified leads to your website and increase your profits.