Although there are an array of factors involved, generally the key component of ‘success’ comes down to interaction and relationships with other people. Success is not achieved alone. So to answer the question of ‘why?’ straight out of the gate; those with high levels of emotional intelligence connect with people on a deep, unconscious level. People with high EQ have the ability to read how a person is feeling, use their own emotional self-management to adjust their communication and deliver a message that resonates with the whole person and not just their logical minds.
People will work harder, stay longer, be more tolerant, be more honest when they feel understood, appreciated, listened to and if they feel their input makes a difference. This is what leads to success.
Although research was being done by Peter Salavoy and John Mayer in 1920’s and 30’s it was the release of Daniel Goleman’s book in 1996 “Emotional Intelligence” – Why it can matter more than IQ, that people have become more aware of this subject. That doesn’t necessarily mean they’re aware of what it is…
So what Is Emotional Intelligence?
According to Daniel Goleman , “Emotional Intelligence (EQ) is defined as the ability to identify, assess, and control one’s own emotions, the emotions of others, and that of groups.”
Wikipedia says it like this;
Emotional intelligence can be defined as the ability to monitor one’s own and other people’s emotions, to discriminate between different emotions and label them appropriately and to use emotional information to guide thinking and behaviour.
The case for emotional intelligence
EQ gives you the ability to be able to motivate yourself and persist in the face of frustrations; to control impulse and delay gratification; to regulate your moods and keep distress from swamping your ability to think; to empathise and to hope.
In the fields I have studied, emotional intelligence is much more powerful than IQ in determining who emerges as a leader. IQ is a threshold competence. You need it, but it doesn’t make you a star. Emotional Intelligence can.
Stephen Covey, Author of 7 Habits of Highly Effecgive People
Research by the Center for Creative Leadership found that the primary causes of executive derailment involve deficiencies in emotional competence.
This was also supported by the research done by the Carnegie Institute of Technology that showed that 85% of our financial success was due to skills in “human engineering”, to communicate, build relationships, negotiate and inspire people to want to follow. They found that only 15% was due to technical ability. In other words, people skills or skills highly related to emotional intelligence were crucial skills.
Results of a McClelland study showed that after supervisors in a manufacturing plant received training in emotional competencies such as how to listen better, lost-time accidents decreased by 50% and grievances went down from 15 per year to three. The plant itself exceeded productivity goals by $250,000.
Let’s Make a Few Things Clear…
- EQ does not mean “being nice” but rather, for example, confronting someone with an uncomfortable but consequential truth they’ve been avoiding.
- EQ does not mean giving free rein to feelings – “letting it all hang out” Rather, it means managing feelings so that they are expressed appropriately and effectively, enabling people to work together smoothly toward their common goals.
- EQ alone won’t get you places, you do need some IQ but research continues to produce results suggesting that EQ will take you further, will enable you to be more successful than someone with similar or even higher IQ but without the same level of EQ.
Emotions Drive People and People Drive Performance
You think about it – People prefer to do business with a person they like and trust than someone they have doubts about, even if what is on offer is a better product or lower price.
The higher up the organization the more crucial emotional intelligence abilities are. Naturally the impacts of their decisions and behaviours are greater, felt throughout the entire organization.
The same principles apply in all areas of life, whether at work or in relationships. Everyone wants to be around people who are easy to get along with, supportive, likeable, honest and trustworthy. We want to be beside people that do not get upset easily and can keep their composure when things do not work out according to plan.
Self-awareness – The first thing that is essential for any degree of emotional intelligence is self-awareness. People with a high degree of self-awareness have a solid understanding of their own emotions, their strengths, weaknesses, and what drives them. They are neither overly critical nor unrealistically hopeful; these people are honest with themselves and others. They are aware of their emotional responses, can label them, and recognize how their feelings impact them. They are clear about their goals and values and where they are going in life. They are confident yet aware of their limitations so less likely to put themselves in situations where they will fail. They are comfortable talking about themselves in a frank open manner.
Ability To Self-Regulate Emotions – We all have emotions and they will affect us. Quite frankly if we didn’t have emotions we wouldn’t be human. People who are good at self-regulation, however, are able to manage their emotions so they can make rational decisions and motivate themselves, even in stressful situations.
Either you Learn to Manage your Emotions or They WILL manage you.
People who self-regulate have the ability to wait until their emotions pass, allowing themselves to respond from a place of reason, rather than simply reacting to feelings. The signs of someone who is good at self-regulation are reflection, thoughtfulness, and comfort with ambiguity, change, and not having all the answers.
Recognising and Understanding Emotions in Others – Empathy is another important aspect. Someone who has empathy will have an awareness of the feelings of others and consider those feelings in their words and actions. This does not mean that they will tiptoe around or be unwilling to make tough decisions for fear of hurting someone’s feelings. It simply means that they are aware of, and take into consideration the impact on others. They are willing to share their own worries and concerns and openly acknowledge other’s emotions.
Managing Relationships with Good Social skills – Social skill is another area of emotional intelligence that is important in the workplace. To have good social skills requires a high level of all the other skills already mentioned, as well as the ability to relate and find common ground with a wide range of people. It goes beyond just friendliness and the ability to get along with others.
Having excellent social skills allows them to be good team members as they are great at making connections, networking and uniting people.
Can EQ be learned?
The good thing is EQ can be learned. If you get clear on what Emotional Intelligence is, measure your ability as to where you are and if you are committed to change then 100% yes you can increase your EQ.
If you’d like to find out more, get in touch. We use EQ-i2 and EQ 360° diagnostic tools to determine your EQ, from there guiding you through the results and how they can be effectively put to use in your own success journey.