EQ Does it Really Matter?

A manager that never lets his temper get out of control, one with complete trust of their team, always speaks kindly, listens to their team, is easy to talk to and always makes careful informed decisions.

These are qualities of someone with a high degree of emotional intelligence.

For leaders, having emotional intelligence is essential for success. After all, who is more likely to succeed – a leader who shouts at his team when he’s under stress, or a leader who stay in control, and calmly assesses the situation?

According to Daniel Goleman, an American psychologist who helped make the idea of EQ popular, there are five main elements of emotional intelligence:

  1. Self-awareness
  2. Self-regulation
  3. Motivation
  4. Empathy
  5. Social skills

The more that you, as a leader, manage each of these areas, the higher your emotional intelligence. So, let’s look at each element in more detail:

  • Self-awareness – If you’re self-aware, you always know how you feel. And you know how your emotions, and your actions, can affect the people around you. Being self-aware when you’re in a leadership position also means having a clear picture of your strengths and weaknesses. And it means having humility.  So, what can you do to improve your self-awareness?  Assessments are probably the fastest and easiest way to determine, who you are.  If you’re interested, let me know.  I have a fantastic Leadership Assessment that includes EQ.
  • Self Management – no verbal attacks, no rushed or emotional decisions and not compromising your principles and values.  Staying in control of yourself!  Holding yourself accountable (no excuses, no blaming).
  • Motivation – working toward your goals.  This means that you set goals.  What drives you to do what you do?  Usually if you’re motivated – you’re optimistic about your future and have an optimistic outlook.
  • Empathy – can you put yourself in “their” shoes, see it from their perspective?  Being able to do this will earn you respect and loyalty among your team.  Not only recognize their point of view but respond to it.  There is a difference between empathy and sympathy.  Empathy means you see and understand not necessarily that you agree.
  • Social skills – this means you’re a great communicator, you can get your team excited about new ideas and you’re good at managing change.  Conflict resolution is also part of being a good communicator.  It means that you can hear and understand both sides while working out a compromise.
DefinitionCharacteristic
Self-AwarenessThe ability to recognize and understand your moods, emotions, and drives, as well as their effect on othersSelf confidenceRealistic self assessmentSelf deprecating sense of humor
Self-RegulationThe ability to control or redirect disruptive impulses and moodsThe propensity to suspend judgment to think before actingTrustworthiness and integrityComfort with ambiguityOpenness to change
MotivationA passion to work for reasons that go beyond money or statusA propensity to pursue goals with energy and persistenceStrong drive to achieveOptimism even in the face of failureOrganization commitment
EmpathyThe ability to understand the emotional makeup of other peopleSkill in treating people according to their emotional reactionsExpertise in building and retaining talentCross-cultural sensitivityService to clients and customers
Social SkillProficiency in managing relationships and building networksAn ability to find common ground and build rapportEffectiveness in leading changePersuasivenessExpertise in building and leading teams

In most leadership roles 33% of the job is based on technical skills while 67% is left to EQ skills.

So, does EQ really matter?  Well, in my experience most of the problems are directly related to EQ not the technical.  Sure sometimes we just hired the wrong person, or did we?

What’s your EQ? 

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