Emotional intelligence is a management concept with which you need to be familiar. Social scientists and psychologists have found that managers and leaders who have high levels of emotional intelligence, or a high emotional quotient (EQ), seem to do much better in their managerial and leadership roles than their counterparts who have average or low EQs.
These experts have also found that individuals high in EQ experience more career success, build stronger personal relationships, enjoy better health due to better stress management techniques, motivate themselves and others to achieve greater accomplishments, and have the capacity to trust others and be trusted.
According to these same experts, intelligence as measured by a traditional IQ test seems to have no bearing on managerial success.
History of EQ
The concept of emotional intelligence was made popular in the 1995 book Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ, written by Dr. Daniel Goleman. Since the book’s publication, there have been many articles and books written on the topic. In addition, practically every well-respected management-training program now has a module or two on how to be emotionally intelligent.
IQ, or intelligence quotient, comprises competencies quite different from those of EQ. People high in IQ have great mathematical abilities. They also have extensive understanding of vocabulary and language, test high in abstract reasoning and spatial abilities, and have excellent comprehension skills.
For the most part, IQ level is determined at birth. That is, there is a large genetic predisposition to what one’s IQ will be. Over the years, IQ scores can change, but probably not more than fifteen points on the average. On the other hand, emotional intelligence is a learned behavior. An EQ Score can change dramatically over the years.
Having emotional intelligence basically means that you have emotional smarts. If you can answer yes to the following questions, you probably have high levels of emotional intelligence:
- Can you walk into a room and sense the mood?
- Can you recognize the emotional states of others?
- Do you know when you are becoming emotional and can you control it if you want to?
- Under stressful and chaotic situations, can you evoke positive emotions in others?
- Can you and do you express to others how you are feeling and what your emotions are?
These EQ abilities seem to be very close to the supportive behaviors we mentioned earlier. EQ is a combination of having people skills and knowing a lot about yourself.
The Emotional Intelligence Test
Let’s have a little fun now. Below are ten items that determine EQ levels. For each item, rate your own ability on a scale of one to ten, with ten being the highest. If you want to get an accurate score you will need to be honest.
- When in stressful situations, I find ways to relax.
- I can stay calm when others verbally attack me.
- I can easily identify my own mood shifts.
- It is easy to “come back” after a major setback.
- I have effective interpersonal skills like listening, giving feedback, and motivating others.
- It is easy for me to show empathy to others.
- I know when others are distressed or upset.
- Even when working on a boring project, I can show high levels of energy.
- I just seem to know what others are thinking.
- I use positive, instead of negative “self-talk.”
A score above 85 means you are already emotionally intelligent. A score above 75 means you are well on your way to becoming emotionally intelligent.
EQ and Management
No doubt you can see the connection between EQ and being a successful manager. Managing people is very different from managing tasks and projects. The EQ skills of recognizing your own feelings and the feeling of others; being able to express your emotions appropriately; being self-motivated and getting others to be; and being able to deal with stress, tension, and chaos and helping others do the same mark the excellent manager of today’s workplace.