You may have heard of EQ, short for emotional intelligence, and IQ, short for intelligence quotient, but you likely aren’t familiar with RQ: Relational intelligence, or the skill of navigating relationships well.
RQ is becoming increasingly important because every single area of your life is inevitably impacted by the people in your life.
As an EQ researcher who has coached thousands of people, I’ve found that our spiritual, physical, financial, emotional and professional progress is tethered to who we allow to be in our lives.
RQ is the ability to discern if someone should be a part of our lives and what place they should occupy, and then align them accordingly. It also gives you insight into whether you are putting too much or too little effort and time into a relationship.
The first step is to define your relationships, and there are four categories to consider:
We shouldn’t feel the same way in our friendships that we feel, say, on the job, where we are simply exchanging skills. In other words, if you don’t contribute your talents or abilities at work, then there wouldn’t be any relationships.
But the relationships we have with the people we call our friends should not be transactional. They are the one place where we’re able to be our authentic selves. With friends, we should be able to say: “This is who I am, and I don’t have to try to be someone else.”
This doesn’t mean you don’t grow or evolve. It just means that acceptance is at the very core of your intimate relationship.
Associates are often confused with friends. But a person’s RQ is what enables them to recognize the difference.
You assign someone to the associate category when there hasn’t been enough time, interest or desire to develop the kind of connection required for friendship. It’s a relationship where a person doesn’t prefer to, for whatever reason, engage any deeper than the surface.
Maybe there’s a lack of chemistry or very few shared interests. Maybe there are character inconsistencies that make you feel unsafe around them.
Something else to keep in mind: Even if you consider them to be a generally “good person,” anyone who would harm or disregard you for an opportunity are associates at best.