by Margaret Graziano

For many people who saw Will Smith slap Chris Rock at this year’s Oscars, it was a shocking and unsettling experience. While there was debate surrounding who was right or wrong, what this moment showed me was how important it is to discuss emotional intelligence. A low emotional quotient, or EQ, can hijack your life and happiness at work.

As humans, our brains are pretty much programmed by the time we turn 30. That programming is guided by our reactions to all kinds of childhood experiences — whether negative, positive, intellectual, spiritual or emotional. By becoming more aware of your thoughts and behavior patterns, you can respond in more rational and measured ways and avoid reactions that can seize control of your life both personally and professionally.