Emotional Intelligence: An indicator of bottom line results
According to Harvard Business Review, Emotional Intelligence accounts for 90% of the difference between average and star performers in top tier firms.
Firstly we must examine the term Emotional Intelligence. Emotional intelligence is not being nice to everyone. It is not agreeableness. It is not cheerfulness. It is not happiness. It is not calmness. It is not neutrality. Such qualities, although important, have little to do with intelligence, little to do with emotions, and almost nothing to do with actual emotional intelligence.
Emotional intelligence can be broken down into five key areas:
Self-awareness: A simple and effective example of self-awareness is somebody who knows they are not good at keeping to deadlines, and so plan ahead. People who are self-aware play to their strengths, and admit to their shortcomings. People who see themselves clearly, who see their capabilities and shortcomings clearly, also see their companies clearly. They are more equipped to judge capabilities in themselves and others, know that their knowledge is not infinite and are not afraid to ask for help or receive feedback.
Self-regulation: The ability to control and monitor impulses, to manage and regulate emotions and to alter them in accordance with a given situation. A good self-regulator will pay attention to task, persist when it becomes difficult, demonstrate flexibility and be confident that additional effort will lead to positive outcomes.
Motivation: People who are motivated are driven to succeed beyond expectation, optimistic, and eager to be stretched, challenged and to grow. Those who set the bar high for themselves will set the bar high for the whole company.
Empathy: This means having the ability to perceive the feelings of other people and how they see the world. Listening attentively to understand someone’s point of view, you take interest in their concerns. Because of your awareness of others, you are able to express yourself so you can be understood. Leaders with this competency are skilled at finding ways to collaborate with people from a range of backgrounds. They also can accurately “read” the feelings of the people around the conference table. Executives with high empathy are better able to keep employees engaged, while employees with empathy provide customers with the very best experience.
Social Skills: In a work context this is often categorised as friendliness with a purpose. People who score highly on social skills are better at building and leading teams, more adept persuaders in that they are able to read when they should go in with an emotional plea or appeal to reason and logic. They are also better collaborators.
The traits that make up emotional intelligence listed above can be identified via valid and comprehensive psychometric assessment, and thereafter harnessed and honed. For today’s leading companies Emotional Intelligence is not a nice to have, it is a need to have.