As a leader your job is essentially to get things done through others—to motivate, persuade, inspire and propel your team members to meet their targets. Right?
And that’s not a big ask when your emotional intelligence (EQ) is up there. Unfortunately the reverse applies too.
That would be why Yale’s School of Management, for example, now includes a check on EQ as a part of its admissions process.
Having high EQ is a big deal these days—thank goodness.
I think of EQ as proficiency in assessing and managing your own and others’ emotions.
So when your EQ is high you’re skilled at:
- Knowing how you’re feeling.
- Effectively dealing with your emotions.
- Accurately sensing how another person is feeling.
- Influencing how they’re feeling.
It’s no wonder having a robust EQ is crucial for your leadership!
Where’s The Evidence For EQ Being A Huge Predictor Of Leadership Success?
Findings of the Center for Creative Leadership tell us that executives derail primarily because of their inability to handle change, work well in a team, and have effective interpersonal relations.
And the global executive search company, Egon Zehnder International, determined that the 515 senior executives they assessed with the strongest EQ stood a better chance of success than those with relevant experience or high IQ.
Also, interestingly, the Carnegie Institute of Technology indicates that 85% of financial success is attributable to what they call “human engineering” skills—your ability to communicate, negotiate and lead.
We’ve got to listen to this stuff, don’t we?
Because your EQ will be having such a huge impact on your effectiveness as a leader, let’s be sure you’re alert to your EQ strengths and vulnerabilities…
Be Alert To Your EQ Strengths And Vulnerabilities
Daniel Goleman authored “Emotional Intelligence” in 1995 and is considered by most to be the master in the EQ area. He believes the nine behaviours listed below will give you a good sense of the strength of your EQ as a leader.
I suggest that you create a sense of scale with the nine items by giving yourself a percentage for each…
- Are you usually aware of your feelings—and why you feel that way?
- Are you aware of your limitations—as well as your personal strengths as a leader?
- Can you manage your distressing emotions well—e.g. recover quickly when you get upset or stressed?
- Can you adapt smoothly to changing realities?
- Do you keep your focus on your main goals—and know the steps it will take to get there?
- Can you usually sense the feelings of the people you interact with—and understand their way of seeing things?
- Do you have a knack for persuasion and using your influence effectively?
- Can you guide a negotiation to a satisfactory agreement—and help settle conflicts?
- Do you work well in a team—or prefer to work on your own?
Remember, EQ is a skill that can be strengthened—and it’s totally worthwhile for you, as a leader, to ensure yours are high enough for you to feel proud of your behaviours in each of the nine areas.
Your Leadership Call To Action
As you reflect on the percentages you allotted to each of these questions, notice which ones are the highest—and which one or two areas would benefit from strengthening.
Will you muster up the courage to have someone who knows you very well give you percentages for each item too? (Don’t show them your percentages until they’ve completed their’s.)
Doesn’t that sound like a bit of useful fun?
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.