Emotional Intelligence (EQ) is the aspect of intelligence that governs self-knowledge and social adaptation. It’s the ability to perceive and manage one’s own and others’ emotions.
It involves competences such as emotional self-awareness, self-regard, empathy, assertiveness, interpersonal skills, stress tolerance, flexibility and optimism.
A short while ago I was told about two separate incidences of senior executives who, in a meeting with their team members, declared that they didn’t have high EQ…
Had one of them not inferred, to his team members of all people, that it was a badge of honour, and had the other senior executive not said he “didn’t think EQ mattered much”, I wouldn’t have been as perturbed.
These two executives are clearly not giving vital credence to the vast research and substantial evidence that informs us that leaders without a healthy amount of EQ have a massive negative impact on their direct and indirect team members, motivation, team-spirit and productivity—and thereby the success of the organisation.
Time and time again, studies during the last 10-years have shown that high EQ leaders perform way better than low EQ leaders.
What Happens When Leaders Don’t Have High EQ?
Let’s face it, we’re emotional creatures—so we’d better channel our emotions properly and express them appropriately, or get ready to wear the repercussions.
(Please “don’t shoot the messenger” here.Remember, I’m here to help).
When you as a leader are emotional—especially when your emotions have “got you”—there will be serious consequences, with your team members in particular but also with others with whom you interact.
Just a handful of some of the likely consequences will be:
- You’ll develop a bunch of “head-nodders”—people who pretend to agree. Your team members won’t speak out—which makes developing a collaborative, high-performing culture impossible. Being candid is too hard for your team members—after all, dealing with a low EQ boss is nerve-wracking stuff.
- Your team members won’t show much initiative. Why would they put an idea forward when they’ve been shot-down previously?
- The relationships you form, conceivably in all areas of your life, lack honest-to-goodness authenticity and a rock-steady connection—which probably isn’t surprising if your behaviour itself is far from rock-steady. Again, intimidation sets in for all but the foolhardy.
- Turnover of your valued team members will be way too high. Of course it’s your valued team members who don’t have much trouble unearthing “better roles” elsewhere. I’m sure you’ve heard it before, “People join an organisation—and leave their boss.” (This particular consequence is extremely prevalent—and so costly!)
- You won’t know the impact of your behaviours. Your team members are likely to sit in self-protective mode. They’ll probably hallucinate that, if they give you feedback on how they perceive your behaviours, they’ll need to prepare for your emotional reaction, perhaps followed by other undesirable ramifications.
- Your promotion prospects will be damaged. Low EQ isn’t easily hidden I’m afraid, and it undoubtedly puts blemishes on your professional outlook.
- You’ll probably know, in the still of the night, that you aren’t skilfully managing your relationships or your emotions. And, if you’re candid, it probably disturbs you quite a bit, not to mention the stress that you experience because you’re not handling things as well as you think you should.
High EQ is clearly a critical competency for a leader. If you don’t have it, or if you’re not certain if you have it, you unquestionably need to take steps to change things!
Your Leadership Call To Action
EQ, unlike IQ, is a skill. It’s predominantly a learned competency. With focus and determination, you can grow it. Ain’t that good news.
Those who are coached in EQ competencies have a roadmap for exemplary leadership. For example, one of the numerous studies about EQ and leadership (CCL) found that eight emotional subscales (including self-awareness, stress tolerance and empathy) predicted high performance in leaders 80% of the time.
Helping executives, leaders and teams grow their EQ is my major specialty. Growing EQ competences feature in all of my Executive Coaching, Leader Coaching and Team Coaching programs at some point or other.
Just email me to arrange a complimentary chat if that’s something that you want to investigate.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Carolyn Stevens has worked with leaders for more than 25-years—hundreds of them.
She’s supported leader after leader (including those who previously struggled to confront the difficult, let alone persuasively deal with the it) flourish—and become confident, courageous and impressively influential.
Carolyn is authentic and results-oriented. She draws on an eclectic array of approaches, tools and techniques to suit the situation.