Emotional Intelligence

Why EQ is Important

Emotional Intelligence (EQ) is a skill that is becoming increasingly indicative of success in the workplace. Not only is EQ applicable in the workplace, it is also important in school. According to Daniel Goleman, children with high EQ’s get better grades, make better life choices, and are more successful in their careers (Kadane, 2017).

Issues to Be Solved / Expected Outcomes

Without EQ, leaders are unable to communicate and cooperate with their team members. A higher EQ shows a person’s ability to empathize with others and be cognizant of their behaviours. Without EQ, individuals would only look out for their own interests and disregard others. Leaders who are emotionally intelligent are able to create safe and collaborative environments where team members feel comfortable with questioning the status quo and innovating. EQ is also important when it comes to change management, because leaders can anticipate how their team members will react, and plan for it more effectively(Keith, n.d.).

Theories

The concept of EQ emerged in the 1990s, and it is the ability to understand the emotions of oneself and others through:

  • Relationship Management – working with others’ emotions
  • Social Awareness – perceiving others’ emotions
  • Self Management – regulating your own emotions
  • Self Awareness – understanding your own emotions

Higher EQ enables individuals to become better team players through the consideration of others. The ability to be aware of and regulate your own emotions as well as the emotions of others also allows people to become more effective leaders (Northouse, 2016). For example, Servant Leadership is a style that emphasizes looking out for the followers needs and interests. Organizations that want their managers to empower and develop their employees to reach their full potential should focus on EQ training (Northouse, 2016).

Evidence 

Several Fortune 500 CEOs are prime examples of leaders with high EQs. Warren Buffett, who is relationship driven and tells his employees to run their companies as if they were to own them for 100 years more. Jamie Dimon from JPMorgan Chase claims that “a lot of management skills are EQ because management is all about how people function” (Conley, 2011).

Implementation

Different people have different EQ’s, but it can be developed in anyone with practice (Freedman, n.d.).

  1. Take an EQ self assessment and become aware of your strengths and areas of improvement
  2. Monitor your Body-Mind-Heart several times per day
    • What are you physically doing? (ex: smiling, clenching fists)
    • What kind of thinking are you doing? (ex: analytical, distracted)
    • How do you feel? (ex: anxious, bored, excited)
  3. Practice realistic optimism
    • Acknowledge any doubts that you have
    • Think of opportunities to solve your worries
    • Remember the Power of Yet, where you put “yet” at the end of pessimistic sentences (ex: “I cannot make this work, yet”)
  4. Respecting and empathizing with others’ perspectives
    • Understand that everyone will have their own ideas and opinions and it is not always up to you to judge the validity of their thoughts
    • Try to look at the situation from their side and understand why they may be thinking a certain way
    • Distinguish whether you are disagreeing based on the facts or other factors such as personal relationship
    • Treat others with respect, even if you are in disagreement
  5. Think about the end goal, not just your goals
    • When you’re thinking about the short term, you are usually more focused on your own needs
    • Try to think about the bigger picture and find an integrative solution that will benefit both sides

Please check out this site for more information about emotional intelligence, and how to develop it.

References

Kadane, L. (2017, May 04). EQ vs IQ: Why emotional intelligence will take your kid further in life. Retrieved March 25, 2018, from https://www.todaysparent.com/kids/kids-health/eq-vs-iq-why-emotional-intelligence-will-take-kids-farther-in-life/

Keith, R. (n.d.). SELECT PERSPECTIVES BLOG. Retrieved April 08, 2018, from http://www.selectinternational.com/blog/why-is-emotional-intelligence-an-important-leadership-trait

Conley, C. (2011, October 02). The Top 10 Emotionally-Intelligent Fortune 500 CEOs. Retrieved April 08, 2018, from https://www.huffingtonpost.com/chip-conley/the-top-10-emotionallyint_b_911576.html

Freedman, J. (n.d.). Practicing Emotional Intelligence. Retrieved March 25, 2018, from http://www.6seconds.org/

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