Why is EQ so important in the workplace?
Updated: Mar 9, 2020
Emotional Intelligence (EQ) is widely acknowledged as more important than IQ in achieving success. Fortunately, EQ skills can be developed, honed and practiced over time.
Emotional Intelligence (EQ) is one of today’s hottest buzzwords. Now recognized by many as more important than intelligence (IQ) in achieving success in work and in life, EQ shows up in many corporate dialogues as something to focus on.
“Business leaders are no longer being defined by their IQs or even their technical skills. It is their emotional intelligence that makes the difference. It is rarely for the lack of smarts or vision. Most unsuccessful leaders stumble because of one simple, fatal shortcoming. The failure is one of emotional strength.” - Forbes Magazine.
While many people talk about EQ, it remains a somewhat intangible concept for most. There are also many self-proclaimed EQ “experts” who aren’t certified as EQ coaches or assessors, further muddying the waters. So let’s set the record straight on EQ – what it is, why it’s important, and how to develop EQ skills for success.
What is EQ?
EQ (Emotional Intelligence) is a set of emotional and social skills that collectively establish how well we:
· Perceive and express ourselves
· Express our thoughts
· Develop and maintain social relationships
· Cope with challenges
· Use emotional information in an effective and meaningful way
I like to look at it as “how you show up” to others – in the workplace and in life.
Why is EQ so important?
With a strong EQ, individuals tend to make better life choices, have better interpersonal relationships, are more successful at work, and make exceptional business owners and leaders. What’s more, businesses that make EQ skill development a part of their organizational culture see greater productivity, improved morale, better results and reduced turnover.
Why? To answer this question, we can look at the four basic principles of EQ.
1) Self-Awareness. When individuals are self-aware, they know what creates an emotional response and can manage situations accordingly.
2) Self-management. Knowing what to do in order to control emotions, and how to use emotions in a productive way, can ensure emotions are used in a positive, constructive way.
3) Empathy. The ability to put oneself in other people’s shoes is a vital skill, particularly for those in a leadership capacity.
4) Ability to build relationships. Understanding how to help others manage emotions – and how to use emotional awareness to navigate, build and maintain positive relationships – is an EQ skill that can transform good leaders into great ones.
Knowing and understanding one's own emotions and recognizing how to use them for positive impact allows individuals to make good choices and create a collaborative, supportive work environment. By developing skills in empathy and emotional awareness, they are equipped to lead with compassion and purpose, and can build teams based on mutual respect and cooperation.
Developing EQ skills for success
Like with most things in life, knowing where you stand helps you determine how to move forward. The same applies to EQ – and this is where the EQ-i 2.0 assessment comes in.
The Emotional Quotient Inventory (EQ-i 2.0) is the world’s leading assessment tool used for assessing emotional and social intelligence. A self-rating tool, it offers an excellent way to understand current emotional competencies. It also provides a picture of how an individual operates emotionally and outlines areas of strength and development based on responses to 133 questions. Scientifically validated, the assessment provides a reliable measure of self-perceived emotional intelligence.
Unlike IQ – which tends to remain relatively static throughout ones life – EQ can always be developed and refined. Through the consistent practice of EQ skills, anyone can develop the ability to use, understand and manage emotions in a positive, constructive way.
As a certified EQ coach, I debrief and coach EQ assessments to help individuals understand their EQ potential and opportunities. Trained by Multi-Health Systems (MHS), I use their tools to identify and assess strengths and opportunities. Plus, as a Certified Professional Co-Active Coach, I also provide coaching to cultivate the EQ skills that need development and offer insights to practice the skills that are already strong. Through the assessment and coaching, I can help your leaders learn, polish and use the EQ skills that will take them to the next level of competence and accountability.