How to Improve the Emotional Intelligence of Your Leaders
Emotional intelligence is the ability to manage ourselves and our relationships effectively. Emotional Intelligence (EQ) is also an important indicator when it comes to performance prediction. EQ is responsible for 58% of your performance (Travis Bradberry).
An article from Harvard University also notes that, “in fact, emotional intelligence—the ability to, say, understand your effect on others and manage yourself accordingly—accounts for nearly 90 percent of what moves people up the ladder when IQ and technical skills are roughly similar.”
Emotional Intelligence is also taken into consideration by hiring managers. In fact, 71% say they put a higher value on Emotional Intelligence than they do IQ (CareerBuilder).
So that brings up the question, can the leadership in your organization develop EQ? The short answer is yes.
According to research conducted by Robert J. Emmerling and Daniel Goleman, “the development of social and emotional competencies takes commitment and sustained effort over time...” It is also noted that “a wide range of findings from the fields of psychotherapy, training programs, and executive education all provide evidence for people’s ability to improve their social and emotional competence with sustained effort and a systematic program.”
The Science behind Emotional Intelligence
Our brains have two “operating systems”; one is fast and looks for quick and easy solutions and the other is logical, slow, effortful, and cautious. The quick and easy “operating system” is often irrational and often wrong. Unfortunately, this is the human’s default operating system.
It is important to be able to recognize the effects of these two systems on your thoughts and behaviors because they affect your outlook, mood, and beliefs.
You can learn strategies to control the automatic, default part of your brain; the part that causes you to react with too much emotion when it’s inappropriate and causes you to interpret events in negative ways instead of finding opportunities. It’s important to learn how to develop new, more productive habits through training.
Difference between Personal Competence and Social Competence
Personal competence describes the capabilities that determine how we manage ourselves. The capabilities can be broken down into self-awareness and self-management.
Our self-awareness capabilities include accurate self-assessment, self-confidence, and emotional self-awareness. Our self-management capabilities include emotional self-control, transparency, adaptability, achievement, initiative, and optimism.
Social competence describes the capabilities that determine how we manage relationships. These capabilities can be broken down into social awareness and relationship management.
Our social awareness capabilities include empathy, organizational awareness, and service. Our relationship management capabilities include inspirational leadership, influence, developing others, change catalyst, conflict management, bond-building, and teamwork.
The First Step to Developing Emotional Intelligence
The first step to developing emotional intelligence is to understand yourself. In order to understand yourself on a deeper level, it’s important to take a personality test to begin diving into your self-awareness.
Taking the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) personality test is a great way to start.
The MBTI is designed to “indicate psychological preferences in how people perceive the world and make decisions.”
Training programs exist to help you understand your preferences determined by MBTI and how to apply them into practice and improve your emotional intelligence.
Emotional Intelligence Training
Training on EQ often uses assessments to drive the emotional development for leaders. Once you become self- and socially- aware and competent, applying the concepts for emotional intelligence development is more practical.
Emotional Intelligence training can teach you how to use emotional intelligence for everything from organizational climate to increased profitability. It helps with understanding that it’s not necessarily about keeping emotions out of the workplace but using emotions respectfully for improved performance and increased productivity and results.