From Aristotle to Dale Carnegie to Benjamin Franklin, some of the most successful people in history understood the importance of emotional intelligence and that having a high Emotional Quotient ("EQ") is essential in managing professional and interpersonal relationships.
According to the Center for Creative Leadership, seventy-five percent of careers are derailed for reasons related to emotional competencies including the inability to handle interpersonal problems; unsatisfactory team leadership during times of difficulty or conflict; or the inability to adapt to change or elicit trust. Other startling statistics include:
70% of the reasons for losing a customer are EQ related; 60 percent of workers report they do not receive recognition for a job well done; 50% of workplace time is wasted because of a lack of trust.
For too long, the focus has been solely on our Intelligence Quotient (IQ), a numeric value that is supposed to define how intelligent we are: our Cognitive Intelligence!
But over the last thirty years or so, there is a lot of focus on Emotional Quotient (EQ), a numeric value that measures how "heart smart" we are.
According to Daniel Goleman, Ph.D., Emotional Intelligence has five competencies: self-awareness; self-regulation; self-motivation; social-awareness and social skills. It is the ability to sense our own emotions and the emotions of others. This makes a lot of sense because how can we possibly be aware of our surroundings if we are first not aware of ourselves. If we are not keenly aware of ourselves, how can we be motivated?
How could we possibly control our own emotions if we can't sense them?
Why is this important? Because there is compelling evidence that says emotional intelligence helps to determine success at work. Whether we are working with clients or colleagues, we need these skills to express ourselves and interact effectively.
Our emotions run high during the holiday season...at office parties, family gatherings, during political conversations, with online purchases and while standing in line with a shopping cart full of toys. How aware are we of ourselves and of others? How well do we control our impulses? Can we afford what we want? Or, do we want what we can afford? Do our emotions run amuck when we lose control?
Right now, my son's world is all about toys-cool toys, toys that have "gimmicks" and do "cool stuff." This is what makes him happy. It's normal for his age and his level of emotional intelligence. As I teach him about the holidays, about being grateful for what we have and the importance of family, it's important that I communicate all of this on his level in a way that captures his emotions and gets his attention. If I fail to speak his language, he will not understand what I'm saying.
These same rules apply to all our business interactions. Our clients and colleagues have a perspective from their own frames of reference. The old adage, we have to come to our senses, is exactly that: sense ourselves, sense others. To quote Goleman again, "in a real sense, we have two minds: one that thinks and one that feels."
Here are two of my favorite quotes on the topic of EQ:
"When dealing with people, remember you are not dealing with
creatures of logic, but with creatures of emotion." - Dale Carnegie
"The ultimate act of personal responsibility at work may be taking
control of our own state of mind." - Daniel Goleman
Happy Holidays to all and may a high EQ be with you this year!