The CEO was fed up. If she got one more complaint about the VP of Operations she was going to fire him. It was obvious when he was in a bad mood because he yelled at his people and slammed doors. The team was easily upset and often distracted which affected their productivity. The outbursts from the VP influenced how the team dealt with customers. Clearly, the ripple effect of the VP’s bad moods negatively impacted the company’s bottom line.
Human behavior is like an iceberg. We see how people behave but we don’t always understand what drives the behavior. Using Emotional Intelligence is like putting on your scuba gear to check out what is hidden beneath the surface. Once you know which emotions are influencing your behavior, you can use those emotions more effectively.
What is EQ?
Emotional intelligence (EI), also known as Emotional quotient (EQ) and Emotional Intelligence Quotient (EIQ), is the capability of individuals to recognize their own emotions and those of others, discern between different feelings and label them appropriately. EQ can be used to guide thinking and behavior, and manage and/or adjust emotions to adapt to environments or achieve one’s goal(s).
In his book Primal Leadership, Daniel Goleman cites research indicating that leaders whose styles had a positive emotional impact on their teams generated measurably better financial results. Teams with higher engagement have lower turnover, above average productivity, higher customer loyalty and higher profitability.
Ways to Improve
Below are some ways in which you can cultivate and increase your EQ:
This is the ability to label, recognize, and understand your own emotions. Self-awareness requires us to tune in to our feelings and not avoid our negative emotions such as anxiety, fear, and sadness. Recognizing our own emotional states and how they affect our thoughts, behaviors, and decisions is the key to cultivating self-awareness.
- Emotional regulation.
Emotional regulation has to do with our ability to control strong emotions by not acting on raw feelings in an impulsive or destructive manner. Developing the ability to sit with unpleasant feelings and to give ourselves the time and space to decide how we may alleviate or reduce negative feelings cultivates self-confidence. Emotional regulation also helps us develop the ability to consider various solutions to a particular situation or problem. Not reacting solely to an emotionally charged state results in better decision-making outcomes.
When we empathize with others, we develop deeper, more intimate relationships. Empathy is the ability to recognize how and why people feel the way they do. Empathy allows us to anticipate how our actions and behaviors influence other people as well as our own. Developing empathy skills enhances our experiences, relationships, and general understanding of ourselves, other people and the world around us.
- Social skills.
This is a very broad term. In general, having strong social skills means having the ability to communicate in a clear, concise, and courteous manner. In a nutshell, good social skills are the summation of all of the components of EQ: self-awareness, emotional regulation, and empathy.
If you want to positively impact your bottom line, find a coach or trusted advisor who can provide assessments and suggestions for improving EQ for yourself or someone on your team.