Emotion provides a great
bridge to becoming a quality leader because it creates good habits, but
regulating the emotion is important as well. Exhibiting raw emotion is
unhealthy in all relationships, and managers need to model high “EQ”
as part of leadership development.
In 1997, Hay/McBer
Research and Innovation Group did a study on the success of salespeople within
a large national insurance company, and they found that the leading sales
generators were self confident, showed initiative, and had empathy. Those
emotionally intelligent people benefited greatly, securing policies with an
average worth of $114,000 compared to their low EQ counterparts who only
averaged $54,000. That is a huge deficit for those who are not emotionally
skilled, and a big difference in tax bracket.
A 1999 study conducted by
The McClelland Center at a manufacturing plant found decreases in lost-time
accidents and less grievances after supervisors trained in emotional
competency. The results found by the research division at Hay Group showed that
EQ training produced production results that year that exceeded expectations by
Clearly, employees are
more productive and feel better about themselves and their jobs when their
leaders are reliable, rational problem-solvers, trustworthy, empathetic,
supportive, and genuinely likable.
people find success because they make great leaders, who excel in employee
relationships, and easily adapt to new challenges, shifting environments, and
varying personalities. They listen and consider staff feedback, they
communicate effectively with their peers and subordinates, and they collaborate
to accentuate their strengths and the people they lead, so that no one’s
weaknesses are on display.
In addition, leaders with
emotional intelligence do not look to sabotage anyone or any situation, even
when someone on their team is difficult, and that is because they do not hold
grudges or even entertain the idea of bitter grievances. In fact, leaders with
high EQ have the ability to neutralize toxic people in a healthy way, so that
They are also valuable
because they bring in customers, and they keep the client relationships solid
through consideration, empathy, respect, and harmony.
Emotional intelligence is
powerful. People with high EQ make an average salary that is $29,000 more a
year than the emotionally weak. They are among every company’s top performers.
They get more work done with fewer resources. They are healthier in their
personal lives, and that health has a positive influence on their work lives.
They get more sleep, they have more energy, and they have a wider network of
business associates and friends.
If your EQ needs some
work, there is plenty of hope. The brain is highly adaptive organ, and as you
practice any new skill, your mind builds bridges to it, so that you can get to
your destination easier in the future. In time, the new path becomes so clear
that healthy habits form. It is important for you to model EQ, so it becomes a
part of shop culture.
In other words, train
your brain to reach for rational solutions, instead of highly charged emotional
decisions, which are hardly decisions at all.
On the other hand, you
cannot learn to have a higher “IQ” because your intelligence quotient
has nothing to do with the amount of
knowledge you gain as you mature, but rather how quickly you adapt and learn,
and that is hardwired into your brain. Therefore, you are stuck with your IQ,
but your EQ can grow stronger through diligent effort and ambitious training.
In much the same way that
we feel heat when we touch a hot stove in order to avoid further injury,
emotions keep us in check, so that we do not walk precariously into bad
situations. In addition, we can enjoy the good events that occur during the
course of the day because positive feelings guide us there.
In all purposes, emotion
is a response system that coordinates physiological and cognitive changes in
our personal atmosphere into an understandable experience of moods and
The other end our
discussion about emotional intelligence is the “intelligence” part,
which society simply defines as “the aggregate or global capacity of an
individual to act purposefully, to think rationally, and to deal effectively
with his environment.”
Given that definition,
and what we know about emotion, work is required to align the two, and that is
why “emotional intelligence” has become a phenomenon. It is such a
simple idea, but so hard for most people to practice and put it into operation.
We know that emotion
serves a purpose and keeps us out of harm’s way by alerting us of possible
dangerous situations and characters, but we must tame our survival instinct to
mesh with a modern world. In other words, we must evolve our emotions to match
our current stage of evolution. At one point in human history, our emotional
instinct built our intelligence, and now that we are highly intelligent, we
must use intelligence and rationality to build stable emotions.
These things are very
different from you IQ, which measures intellect, and there is no connection
between EQ and IQ, according to research. In other words, you cannot evaluate
your EQ by simply knowing your IQ. There is no correlation.
Furthermore, IQ is not
flexible. It is static. EQ can move. Traumatic events in our lives can shape
our emotional intelligence in a negative way, and the opposite is true as well.
If we are mentally and physically healthy because of positive events, our
emotional health improves.
Some individuals are
instinctively healthy in all phases of their life, and do not allow negative
events or people to intrude upon their emotional health. However, sometimes
fate decides your physical and mental health because of genetics, or because you
experienced trauma in your life. In these cases, you must learn to become
emotional healthy in order to become emotionally intelligent.
The bottom line essence
of emotional intelligence is focusing your attention in one direction, and that
direction is general happiness, which carries all other goals along with it. To
find general happiness, you must learn and practice the traits that define
emotional intelligence, and science tells us that we can improve our EQ.
involves the effective communication between the emotional side of your brain
and the rational side of your brain.
Your senses enter the
brain through the limbic system, and emotions generate here before they ever
enter the part of our brain that produces rational thinking. Our first instinct
is to react to the sensation in an emotional way because the sensation and all
of the emotion that comes with it has not entered our intellect yet. This
occurs in this order to protect us from dangers in our environment, and is most
commonly referred to as a human’s flight-or-fight response.
response is a purely physiological reaction to a PERCEIVED threat that
instinctively makes humans want to fight to protect themselves or run from the
hazard that is front of them. However, that perception is not always the
reality, and people with a high EQ understand when they are in real danger and
when their body PERCEIVES real danger. If you want to improve your emotional
intelligence, you must learn the difference.
Neurologists use the word
plasticity to describe the mind’s adaptive nature. Adaptation comes from
experience and practice. Although our IQ remains the same, and IQ predicts our
ability to adapt and learn, practice of anything reshapes our ability to do
things better. The amount of practice needed to learn a new skill depends on
IQ. Some individuals will require more emotional intelligence training than
other people, but anyone with enough persistence can learn a new skill because
of the brain’s plasticity.
Billions of neurons line
the path from the limbic system to the brain’s rational centers. With each new
day of emotional practice, cells connect and rewire in partnerships that create
growth. This allows practiced behavior to become predictable behavior. The habits
that form through predictable behavior can be both good and bad, depending on
what you practice.
In the case of
emotional intelligence, practicing good emotional habits will lead to a higher
EQ, and destructive responses will fade to gray and then go missing over the
course of time.