Emotional Intelligence

Think back to the best leader you ever worked with. What was it that made them so memorable?

Now think of your least-favourite leader. Ask yourself the same question – why do you remember them in a bad light?

Chances are good that neither the best nor the worst earned that title in your mind through their technical skills on the job. The qualities that you remembered with each of them were most likely related to emotional intelligence.

I’ve always been intrigued by the idea of emotional intelligence (EQ) as a key to success. I recently took a certification training for the EQ-i 2.0 assessment tool, and it made me even more interested in EQ. The two most interesting parts of EQ for me are:

  • EQ effects your life at work no matter what your position, and it impacts your personal life too.

  • EQ continues to increase during your lifetime, and it’s a quality that can be developed.

As part of my recent training, I did an assessment of my own EQ. Some of the results were surprising, including the information that assertiveness is a trait I where I could use some development.

Now that it’s been brought to my attention, I see opportunities to practice assertiveness almost every day. That means that I’m developing a new area of EQ that will serve me well in the future.

EQ doesn’t just apply to leaders – it benefits everyone in a workplace. Qualities like Interpersonal Relationships, Flexibility, and Problem Solving are beneficial for individual contributors as well. In fact, if you start developing your EQ before you move into a leadership role, you’ll have a much greater chance for success.

I’ve always been a big believer in the power of self-awareness. The EQ assessment tool gives you self-awareness in black and white, right there on the page. Sometimes it shows us things we wish we didn’t have to admit, but having that knowledge is the first step to growing.