Do you labor under the Illusion that IQ drives effectiveness? For most roles, IQ and technical skills are important entry-level requirements. But, once you rise to the level of managing and leading, Emotional Intelligence, or EQ, is what sets you apart.
No doubt, IQ may predict whether you’re capable of handling the cognitive challenges associated with your position. Emotional Intelligence, on the other hand, is more predictive of whom, among a group of smart, talented, top-notch professionals, in a technically demanding field, will be the strongest and most effective leader.
In his groundbreaking research with 188 large corporations, Daniel Goleman found leaders with high Emotional Intelligence were 20% more productive and profitable than their counterparts. That’s a substantial difference – a difference that will get you noticed, valued and rewarded!
Research also shows that, at all job levels, Emotional Intelligence is twice as important as your technical and cognitive skills.
Here are 5 practices that will help you strengthen your emotional intelligence – a set of personal skills identified as key drivers of outstanding performance. Integrating them into the way you think and behave will differentiate you from the masses – that large group of average performers – and make you stand out like a star.
- First, recognize your own moods, emotions and drives. Understand their impact on you and on others. Avoid outbursts and narcissistic behavior. The ultimate goal is to make others feel good about themselves. Focus on that instead of yourself and you’ll get more out of them.
- Think before you act. Control disruptive, negative impulses. Understanding what triggers negative reactions in you is the first and a very important step in reigning in behavior that could be working against you.
- Demonstrate drive and commitment to achieve, and the ability to maintain optimism in the face of adversity.
- Treat others in the way they want to be treated. Empathize with their feelings. Respect their perspective. If that’s a challenge for you, you’re not alone. But it’s important because the ability to see things from another’s perspective is increasingly key for leaders in today’s work environment.
- Lay the groundwork for mutually satisfying relationships, broaden your base of influence, and establish a solid network by developing rapport and ease of dialogue across diverse groups. Find common ground and build from there.
Master these practices and you’ll also enhance the level of trust on your team, feel more connected to the people you work with day-to-day, and you’ll convey expectations with clarity, confidence and compassion.
Yes. Intelligence, vision, initiative, strategic planning and a willingness to take risks continue to be required. But, for stellar levels of productivity and profitability, understanding yourself and others, working well with everyone around you and leading change effectively – all components of Emotional Intelligence – are your golden keys to success.
For more on this well-researched and documented concept, read Daniel Goleman’s Harvard Business Review article titled, “What Makes a Leader.”