Recognize the difference between IQ and EQ (emotional intelligence). Understand how your own emotions influence your decisions and behaviors. Learn how to increase EQ.
- It's the CEO who knows how to remain calm and poised in the middle of a crisis. It's the manager who can deliver feedback in a way that inspires rather than breaks the spirit. It's the sales director who consistently exceeds her goals by authentically communicating with her clients. That's what emotional intelligence looks like in action. It's often the overlooked set of skills you need if you want to make the shift from manager to leader. So let's take a closer look at the components of emotional intelligence and explore specific ways that you can incorporate these valuable skills.
Let's begin by defining the concept. Emotional intelligence, or EQ, is not related to our IQ or the technical skills we learned in school. EQ is about how we bring those skills to the table. It's the intangible side of the equation. I'd like to share a few examples of EQ to paint a better picture for you. Emotionally intelligent people understand their own emotions and how those affect their decisions and behaviors. They know how to read others and respond in a way that recognizes their needs and concerns.
People with high EQ are great listeners. They reserve judgement, and they go out of their way to consider others' points of view. They're approachable and open. They're fair and responsive. They have developed a high stress tolerance. They're decisive but also flexible when things change. If a product fails or a deadline moves up, high EQ people don't ruminate over it. They know how to put things in perspective and move forward.
The point is, EQ is extremely valuable for leaders and their organizations. People with emotional intelligence possess the intangible skills that allow them to work much more effectively at a higher level to influence, connect, engage, and inspire. Research shows that EQ is the hidden difference between those who move up within an organization and those who don't. Think about this. Companies hire people based on their tangible or functional skills, but they fire people based on their lack of intangible skills, their lack of emotional intelligence.
EQ is a leadership imperative. Here's the good news. While your IQ remains relatively stable, you can actually increase your EQ. That means you can take action right now to help expand these leadership-boosting skills. I have three suggestions for you. Become more self-aware. To enhance your EQ, be persistent about increasing your self-awareness. Self-awareness will help you understand how your emotions and moods impact the way you make decisions and how you react to others.
The fact is, your personality, approach, and beliefs dictate how others experience you. Knowing this, you'll be equipped to adjust your natural set points to better influence and impact others. Manage your reactions. Practice impulse control so that others see you as calm, poised under pressure, and resilient. Remember that your body language and tone speaks volumes about your demeanor. Be the person in the room who can put things in perspective and pursue goals despite obstacles and setbacks.
Be intentional about your interactions. Work to put others at ease. Know when it's time to push an idea forward versus hold back. Be open to the thoughts and perspectives of others. Find ways to genuinely connect with the people around you. One way is to pay attention and try to read emotional responses, which allows you to adjust accordingly and have more effective communications. Emotional intelligence matters. Its value can't be overstated.
So if your goal is to make the successful transition from manager to leader, EQ is the essential foundation you need.
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- Looking and sounding like a leader
- Increasing your emotional intelligence
- Becoming a thought leader
- Expanding your strategic scope
- Viewing challenges with a fresh lens
- Improving your decision-making skills
- Cultivating conditions for team success
- Building meaningful connections