Do you operate with a sufficient dose of EQ at work? Do you even know how much EQ you have?
Emotional intelligence (also known as emotional quotient) is essential for life. Some of us naturally have more than others. Some of us think we have it when we don’t. And some of us never think about it, or care.
Here’s the thing: on the professional front, lack of EQ can get you into shit real quick. It can get you fired. It can stop you from getting promoted. It can land you in the media, with coverage that can spiral out of control. This can happen in a flash — all you need to do is utter one wrong word.
On the professional front, the ramifications of an EQ deficit are massive. Think about these recent media stories:
- Manager sacked after sending heartless texts to a mum.
- CEO Vicki Batten likens her ‘toxic’ employees to ‘a cancer’.
- Senator David Leyonhjelm tells Sarah Hanson-Young to ‘stop shagging men’, and calls Studio 10’s co-host, Angela Bishop, a ‘bitch’.
- Triple M sacks Barry Hall after on-air comment.
- Sports presenter Greg Thomson suspended for swearing at guests at a charity event.
Don’t sit and think: ‘Well that’s them … I would never do such foolish things.’ Figure out what you know about EQ and your EQ footprint.
What is EQ?
EQ is your ability to recognise and understand emotions and then use your understanding to make better decisions. It involves sharpening your self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy and social skills.
Here’s what you need to know about EQ
- EQ isn’t fluff stuff. It’s real stuff. We have two minds — one that thinks and one that feels. True leaders get this. They get how emotions play out at work and leverage them for better business results.
- Confidence doesn’t automatically equate to EQ, like many believe. Smarts and experience will only take you so far.
- Being in a leadership role doesn’t automatically mean you have EQ — indeed, being in a leadership role can make it harder to see your EQ deficits.
- Many professionals don’t give EQ much thought, even though it’s a skill that pays big dividends. It also leads to better work-life balance and general happiness and wellbeing. People with high EQ feel good about life.
- Most professionals have never had their EQ professionally measured and so haven’t a clue whether it’s a strength or a weakness.
- Many professionals don’t get that poor performance is often related to lack of, or low doses of, EQ even though heaps of research tell us the vast majority of high performers have high levels of EQ.
The impact of EQ is undeniable and, again, the research is clear. High EQ leads to better productivity, greater efficiency, higher profits, enhanced staff morale, lower churn, a stronger market position and greater innovation. Low EQ is costly and can lead to harassment, bullying, inflexible approaches and a negative impact on staff.
Here’s what to do if you care about your EQ
- Test your EQ. Hook up with an accredited executive coach to test your levels out.
- Commit to developing your EQ through targeted and practical workshops and courses that provide concrete actions. Reading self-help books can give you some great knowledge, but don’t rely entirely on these road maps of generic skills and behaviours.
- Get an action plan. Focus your energy and effort in ways formulated specifically for you and the new behaviours and skills you need to embody.
- Sign up for a workshop but only one that is evidence based, one that draws on global management and leadership research.
- Consider working with an accredited expert career coach who has a Certified Conversational Intelligence credential. This will ensure you use neuroscience to move from conversations that miss the mark, to conversations that trigger trust, growth and innovation and create a new level of engagement and impact.
If you’re interested in building your understanding of what EQ is and determining your EQ levels, contact Kim for a free 30-minute consultation.