In early October, 2021, Rob and I recorded Mach10 Works, Episode 02: Emotional Intelligence.
If you’d like to see the ten minute video of our conversation, click here: Why Emotional Intelligence Matters
Or, to learn more about Emotional Intelligence, particularly how it can improve work place productivity and sustainability, read the Q&A below.
Q1) What is Emotional Intelligence?
Emotional intelligence (EQ) is defined as “the capacity to be aware of, control, and express one’s emotions, and to handle interpersonal relationships judiciously and empathetically.”
EQ allows you to monitor your own emotions and those of the people around you. It helps you to discriminate between different emotions in order to guide your thinking and behaviour. Someone with a high level of EQ will be able to understand why they feel how they do, and how their emotions can affect other people (think of someone who shouts under stress versus someone who remains calm and collected).
There are 5 characteristics that make up emotional intelligence:
- Self-Awareness: Knowing how you feel and how your emotions and your actions can affect the people around you.
- Self-Regulation: Staying in control despite experiencing varying emotions.
- Motivation: The general desire or willingness of someone to do something.
- Empathy: The ability to understand and share the feelings of another.
- Social Skills: The skills we use to communicate and interact with each other, both verbally and non-verbally.
Q2) How is Emotional Intelligence (EQ) Different from “Regular” Intelligence (IQ)?
Emotional intelligence, or emotional quotient (EQ), is an individual’s ability to identify, evaluate, control, and express emotions. IQ, the intelligence quotient, is used to determine academic abilities. EQ is said to be a better indicator of success in the workplace, with it being used to identify leaders, team players, and people who work best alone.
EQ is used to identify one’s own emotions, evaluate and regulate emotions, perceive and assess others’ emotions, use emotions to facilitate thinking, and understand the meaning behind emotions.
IQ is the ability to learn, understand, and apply information to skills, use logical reasoning, understand words and math, use abstract and spatial thinking, and filter irrelevant information.
Q3) How do you measure emotional intelligence?
EQ-2.0 and EQ360.
Q4) So it’s a little like Myers-Briggs?
Not really. M-B is static and not really actionable, EQ is dynamic and actionable. Unlike M-B, EQ is scientifically validated and reliable.
Q5) Why Does Emotional Intelligence Matter in the Workplace?
As a leader, being self-aware means having a clear picture of your strengths and weaknesses. Being able to self-regulate means acting out of intention, instead of reacting out of emotion (think: having a calm conversation with an under-performing employee versus yelling). When difficult issues come up with the business, these skills allow you to think more rationally and interact with your team calmly.
As an employee, emotional intelligence can help you handle stressful projects, get along with co-workers, monitor your own performance, and stay motivated.
Q6) Why Do Leaders Talk About “Emotions” in the Context of Business?
Emotions drive behavior, therefore by engaging with the emotions of your team you’re more likely to be successful in your interaction. This doesn’t necessarily mean diving into a conversation about someone’s personal life, but can mean changing the tasks of an unengaged employee, watching your body language while delivering criticism, and sharing excitement over a job well done.
Q7) Does Emotional Intelligence Help You Succeed?
Having high emotional intelligence can help you succeed by leading to great effectiveness, improving your empathy and understanding of other people, having a higher ability to work successfully with others, and letting go of the desire to be “right” in favor of finding the best possible solution.
Q8) Is Emotional Intelligence Genetic or Learned?
There isn’t a clear understanding of the link between genetics and emotional intelligence, however it has been shown that individuals have the capacity to develop emotional intelligence given one’s awareness, opportunities, and environment. Many techniques can be learned and practiced to help develop the core aspects of emotional intelligence, these include: self-control, motivation, persistence, and empathy.
Q9) How Can I Improve My Emotional Intelligence?
The best way is to work with a coach and come up with a plan that fits for you. Some people try to fix everything that falls below their personal mean, but working on one or two skills at a time is most effective. Examples…
Q10) Why aren’t technical skills alone not enough to succeed in one’s career?
Our brains don’t differentiate between being at work and not when it comes to experiencing emotions. Meaning, if we are experiencing strong emotions and have to go to work, it can be difficult to put these emotions aside. Knowing what is causing your emotions, and what strategies help you to manage them, will help you not only outside of the office, but in it as well.
People have always had emotional intelligence. It has always been essential in business. Only, nowadays, it is being identified and described as an aspect of people’s minds. This is useful because it helps people get better at it.
People buy from people. People work with people. Being good at relating to people has always been essential in business. People who ignore this aspect of work have difficulties and, worse, understand neither why they are in difficulty, nor how to overcome the problem. So, EI helps people understand why what they do works, and therefore enables them to consciously improve.
Q11) How can employers use EI assessments?
- Performance enhancement
Q12) How can individuals use EI assessments?
- Personal growth
- Performance enhancement
- Happier work life
Q13) Can EI assessments be done virtually?