Can leaders succeed without Emotional Intelligence?

Emotional Intelligence mind map, business management strategyThis is a question I hear and receive all the time as we are developing leaders.  Owners and CEO’s look for something that helps assure them that they have hired or promoted the right person.  The question of which is more important EQ (Emotional Quotient) the measure of Emotional Intelligence VS. IQ (Intelligence Quotient) the measure of Intelligence.  While both are very important to have real success as a leader and manager of others, EQ is seen more and more as leading the 2 measures.

Why is this and what is Emotional Intelligence?  The Emotional Intelligence model is defined in 5 areas as follows according to Daniel Goleman:

  1. Self-Awareness
  2. Self-Regulation
  3. Empathy
  4. Motivation
  5. Social Skills

We described Self-Awareness in the last blog a bit as that ability to understand yourself, your feelings and reactions to things even in anticipation of them happening.  The next area is Self-Regulation and the control of our reaction to things that may be triggers.  Managing anger, disappointment, failure or fear.  The ability to not let any of these overpower our own will to choose to act in a certain way when needed.  You can see easily the power of this when working with a team and the dynamics of situations that they may throw at you.  Intelligence can help problem solve in certain situations but Emotional Intelligence can far exceed that for the team and the morale of the group.

Empathy is discussed a lot and not always positively. Sometimes it can be seen as being too soft and moving to sympathy, but that is not the correct viewpoint on empathy.  It allows us to listen more intently and understand better other points of view.  Empathy creates in us a real desire to help others and see the situation as they do.

Motivation is not simply money, title or status driven.  Yes, they are important but, there are other types of motivation like intrinsic motivation that focuses on team success or experiential gain and accomplishment.  People with strong Emotional Intelligence are driven to reach their own internal and team goals that may be even harder than the one that drives the bonus.  They will always want to do more and have great initiative.

Lastly is Social Skills but it is in no way the least.   Being able to understand others and build rapport and relationships is critical in leading and managing.  Manager and employee have to be able to connect, listen and communicate effectively for success of their own performance but also the teams and the business.

So, looking back the 5 areas and understanding what they mean you can see why organizations want leaders that are intelligent (IQ), but often fall short of seeking the EQ needs of a great leader.   Ultimately though to truly get the most for the business and the teams.  Leaders with strong Emotional Intelligence are critical to success and typically deliver overall stronger results.  Strong business cultures typically are led by leaders with high EQ.  Highest performing teams are lead by high EQ leaders.  Our businesses are the people and high EQ leaders tend to build relationships that are deeper and get the most out of them.

This is not a topic that can be handled in a single blog we do full and multi-day workshops on Emotional Intelligence and the impact on your company.  Until next time when we will discuss execution.

I wish you success and growth.


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