Emotional Intelligence is critical to your effectiveness as a leader. The business where I am currently employed, Ambassador Enterprises, LLC, uses the byline “Relational Effectiveness Drives Organizational Performance” as they so believe in the importance of “EQ” and relationships.
I have found, however, that the most effective leaders are alike in one crucial way: They all have a high degree of what has come to be known as emotional intelligence. It’s not that IQ and technical skills are irrelevant. They do matter, but mainly as “threshold capabilities”; that is, they are the entry-level requirements for executive positions. But my research, along with other recent studies, clearly shows that emotional intelligence is the sine qua non of leadership. Without it, a person can have the best training in the world, an incisive, analytical mind, and an endless supply of smart ideas, but he still won’t make a great leader.
Following is a good graph from the article.
What are you doing to improve your EQ?
Most of us desire to improve our emotional intelligence (EQ) as we know that it is important. At my work, it is considered a critical skill. In fact, one of our mantras is “Relational Effectiveness Drives Organizational Performance“. So, if it is so important, then why does it seem so hard?
According to the Harvard Business Review article “Can You Really Improve Your Emotional Intelligence?” there are five key points to consider:
1. Your level of EQ is firm, but not rigid. We are greatly influenced and formed by our genetics and early childhood experiences. However, you can change, but it requires a great deal of dedication and guidance and unfortunately few people are willing to try.
2. Good coaching programs do work. The author states that a well-designed coaching program can easily achieve improvements of 25% with benefits not only in the workplace but at home as well.
3. But you can only improve if you get accurate feedback. Most of us are unaware of how others see us, especially leaders. So, we need accurate feedback in order to understand how we are truly impacting others.
4. Some techniques (coaches) are more competent than others. There are methods that are better than others, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy and enhancing psychological flexibility and so on. So do some research on the best methods as well as the best coaches.
5. Some people are more coachable than others. You have to want to change and if you are trying to help someone else, they have to want the coaching / change for it to be effective.
Improving our EQ is important to us in almost all the areas of our lives. What are you doing to improve your EQ?
Hope you have a great weekend!
As the leader of your team, most often you are the one directly responsible for the good or bad mood of your team members. Surprising? According to this Harvard Business Review article, “The leader’s mood and behaviors drive the moods and behaviors of everyone else. A cranky and ruthless boss creates a toxic organization filled with negative underachievers who ignore opportunities; an inspirational, inclusive leader spawns acolytes for whom any challenge is surmountable. The final link in the chain is performance: profit or loss.”
Your emotional style sets the tone for those you lead – you have a direct and powerful impact on the mood and behaviors of the ones you lead. I can still remember when I was about to become the commander of an Army unit, the admonishment of my battalion commander. First he said, “Your duties are simple, you are responsible for everything your unit does or does not do.” Then he went on to say that an Army unit eventually takes on the personality of its commander and if I did not like how it was operating, to go look in the mirror for the cause of the problem. The bottom line is that your emotional style will become the emotional style of your team. The researchers call it mood contagion.
What that means is that your emotional intelligence is critical to your success as a leader. It means you have to come to a deep understanding of yourself; your strengths, weaknesses, conflict management style, preferences, tendencies, how you project yourself, and all the other aspects of who you are – good and bad. By the way, you can’t do this alone. You need to take the various excellent personality assessments that are out there and then have a knowledgeable person walk you through what the assessments mean. You need to have a personal 360 SWOT done by those in your life. It won’t be fun, but it will be oh so valuable!
As a leader (actually everyone), you need to learn to manage your inner life. To lead effectively you need to be an authentic person that sets the proper emotional tone for your team. Your emotional leadership sets the tone for your team and is one of the most important factors for the success of your team.
So in what ways do you set the emotional tone for your team? How are you managing your inner life?
Have a great weekend!