Everyone experiences emotions—happy, sad, angry, afraid, ashamed, etc. Emotions can move you forward or hold you back. Your reactions to others’ emotions can positively enhance a relationship or partnership, or negatively detract from it.
People with high emotional intelligence are able to recognize emotions that surface within themselves and others. Emotional intelligence, also known as emotional quotient or EQ, refers to a person’s ability to identify and understand their own emotions and the emotions of other people.
To your knowledge, have you ever interacted with a person with low EQ? If you have, it’s safe to say the interaction may not have been very pleasant or productive.
Coaching sessions often focus, directly or indirectly, on emotional intelligence. A coach helps a leader surface and recognize the emotions that result in the behaviors that are driving them. A leader who can measure the effectiveness of their behaviors and manage those emotions can create appropriate and productive leadership behaviors for themselves.
The skills involved in most emotional intelligence models include the following:
- Self-Awareness: This is where it begins! Being self-aware. Using your personal power.
- Self-Management: Being in control of your behaviors based on your emotions. Self-regulation.
- Social or Other Awareness: Being aware of others’ emotions. Showing empathy and being service oriented.
- Relationship Management: Leveraging self and others’ emotions to build collaboration, communication, and trust.
Daniel Goleman, author of many books on EQ including Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ, highlights a study that determined people with high EQ have better mental health, job performance, and lives. Goleman states: “In a study of skills that distinguish star performers in every field, from entry-level jobs to executive positions, the single most important factor was not IQ, advanced degrees, or technical experience—it was EQ. Of the competencies required for excellence in performance in the job studies, 67 percent were emotional competencies.”
EQ is about adapting your behaviors and leadership styles to create productive interactions. This is at the core of effective leadership. Everyone experiences good days, bad days, positive moods, “just don’t feel like it” moods, tiredness, low motivation, etc. We are human and mood swings come naturally. And we have the ability to manage how we act on our emotions and how we deal with the emotions of others.
With some coaching and a little practice, anyone can increase their level of emotional intelligence and positively impact their relationships at home and in the workplace.
About the Author
Terry Watkins is a coaching solutions partner with The Ken Blanchard Companies Coaching Services team. Since 2000, Blanchard’s 150 coaches have worked with over 14,500 individuals in more than 250 companies throughout the world. Learn more at Blanchard Coaching Services.