Why EQ Works And How It Can Boost Your Business

Intelligence, as measured by IQ (intellectual quotient), was once thought of as a reliable predictor of performance but evidence shows your EQ (emotional quotient) is the superior measure.  Research now shows that people with high emotional intelligence (EQ) enjoy greater success at work than those with a less-developed EQ.

Making a Real Difference for Business

After supervisors in a manufacturing plant received training in emotional competencies, such as how to listen better and help employees resolve problems on their own, lost-time accidents were reduced by 50%, formal grievances were reduced from an average of 15 per year to 3 per year, and the plant exceeded productivity goals by $250,000.
~Psuric & Byham, The New Look of Behavior Modeling

This means that gaining more professional knowledge and experience alone may not be enough to fulfil your career aspirations.  The news isn’t all bad though because EQ can be learned and developed by anyone with the desire to improve.  An elevated EQ will help with your personal and professional life by increasing resilience and lowering stress while lifting your sense of achievement.

“When I compared star performers with the average ones in leadership positions, nearly 90% of the difference in their profiles was attributed to emotional intelligence factors rather than cognitive abilities.”
     ~Daniel Goleman (Leading EQ specialist, researcher & author)

This article briefly outlines 4 areas of EQ so you can see the potential impact EQ has on you and your organisation.  At the end there are some tips to help develop your EQ.

Click here to see an EQ Diagram.

Self Awareness (SA) is the cornerstone of EQ and refers to your ability to recognise and understand your moods, emotions and drives, including motivation.  Mood swings, adverse reactions and being sensitive to emotional triggers, such as feedback, may be indicators of a less-developed SA.  In contrast, even when under pressure, high SA shows in a cool head, confident decision making and responding appropriately in any situation.

Self Management (SM) is the ability to manage your emotional state by controlling disruptive moods and expressing yourself in an appropriate way.  Over-reacting to situations or allowing others to negatively impact your mood and performance are sure signs of low SM.  A developed SM leads to being more adaptable, resilient and self-controlled.  Thinking before you speak (or act!) and having a calming influence on others also go hand in hand with good self management.

Empathy (E) is an awareness of the emotional make-up, thoughts and feelings of others, both individuals and groups.  Poor listening skills, missing non-verbal cues and an unwillingness to consider the views of others are some of the signals of low empathy.  When a person can tune into the emotions and needs of others and successfully ‘read a group’, they are demonstrating high political awareness, a capacity for service and strong empathy skills.

Social Skills (SS) is the ability to manage social situations, relationships and build networks.  Poorly developed SS might show up as aggressive or argumentative behaviour.  Viewing people as ‘objects,’ being critical or needing to control others are also signs of low SS.  People with high SS co-operate with others, work well in teams and can diffuse conflict with ease.  Good leaders need high SS to navigate their followers through change, communicate effectively and create a positive influence.

L’Oreal – A Case Study

At L’Oreal, employees selected on the basis of certain emotional competencies sold $91,370 more than salespeople selected with the company’s old selection procedure did, for a net revenue increase of $2,558,360. Employees selected on the basis of emotional competence also had 63% less turnover during the first year than those selected in the typical way.
~Spencer & Spencer, Competence at Work: Models for Superior Performance

Tips to Develop EQ

When I work with people to develop EQ, I usually start with an EQ assessment to get a measure of the group or individual.  I take this information and then tailor a coaching and/or training programme to grow EQ and lift performance.

While this list of tips is by no means complete, it is a good place to start for anyone wanting to develop EQ.  If you’re serious about reaping the many rewards of a high EQ, then a coach or mentor will be your best option.

  • Regularly review your moods, record them and look for patterns and triggers.
  • Take note of the effect your moods have on your behaviours, interactions & performance.
  • When encountering an emotional trigger, pause and reflect to slow down your response.
  • Actively listen – really listen – to what others are saying.
  • Notice your own body language and the responses this elicits from others.
  • Look for non-verbal signals from others and seek clarification before drawing conclusions.
  • Learn to build networks by joining professional associations and specialist groups.

Please feel free to contact me regarding any part of this article or to discuss ways to develop EQ in your organisation.  The sooner you take action, the sooner you will reap the rewards.

A Business Case for Leaders

Experienced partners in a multinational consulting firm were assessed on the EQ competencies plus three others. Partners who scored above the median on 9 or more of the 20 competencies delivered $1.2 million more profit from their accounts than did other partners – a 139% incremental gain.
~Boyatzis, Presentation to the Linkage Conference on Emotional Intelligence

Warmest regards

Geoff Wake

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