I’ve been wanting to learn more about Emotional Intelligence (EQ) for a long time. Last month I finally took the EQ certification with David Cory of EITC here in Calgary. It was three days of exploring the topic of EQ – what is it, why is it important, how does it affect us at work?
I wasn’t surprised to learn how important EQ is for success at work (and in life). What did surprise me about the training was how much we explored our own EQ. As one of my fellow participants said, “I didn’t know we were going to have to talk about ourselves the whole time!”
That’s the best part about EQ – we all have it. We’re all aware that some things come easier to us, and other areas are where we struggle. We all know – for the most part – that there are ways we can improve our EQ. That’s the other great part – it’s something that we can actually develop. It’s not like IQ, where you pretty much have the brains you have. With EQ, you can work to develop and strengthen areas that are important for you.
Two of the most interesting things I learned in the training:
- You often use your strengths to compensate for your weaknesses.
- No matter how self-aware you are, you might still have blind spots.
For example, you may be strong in Interpersonal Relationships and “weaker” in Assertiveness. Once you’re aware of this, you may realize that instead of becoming more assertive, you’ve been using your interpersonal relationships to get what you need. This is fine, but you might want to develop a bit more assertiveness so you don’t always have to use just one method to make things happen. It might strengthen your position as a leader too.
I put “weakness” in quotation marks because although it’s easiest to refer to lower scores that way, in the EQ world we don’t think of lower areas as weaknesses. We just think of them as things you don’t do as well right now. That can always change depending on your focus and your circumstances.
One of my lower scores was in the area of Stress Tolerance. Now, I thought I was really good with stress. After all, I’ve spent part of the last two years learning how to use yoga and meditation to help others deal with stress. However, the questions relating to Stress Tolerance are around keeping calm under pressure and dealing with stress without getting too nervous. I answered truthfully based on how I feel inside, but people who know me might say I’m very calm under pressure because that’s what I show outwardly. The phrase “duck on water” comes to mind – calm on top, legs paddling fast underwater!
Exploring EQ as it relates to work success and leadership is fascinating. I plan to spend most of 2019 digging deep into the topic, both on my own and with my clients.
I’m happy to have a coffee or a phone call to talk about EQ, so if you’d like to learn more, contact me directly. Watch for more info about an Introduction to EQ session that I’ll be hosting in Calgary later in January.