Emotional intelligence is all the rage these days.
There is a plethora of articles on the subject but do many people really understand what Emotional Intelligence means?
Initially, one might think it’s being sensitive to other’s emotions. Or, perhaps, it means not being so emotional and using one’s intellect instead. So, what’s all the fuss about? Believe it or not Emotional Intelligence, or EI as the pros call it, is actually primarily about communicating and relating to one another.
According to Multi-Health Systems Inc. (MHS), EI is “A set of emotional and social skills that collectively establish how well we:
· Perceive and express ourselves (spoken and body language)
· Develop and maintain social relationships
· Cope with challenges`
· Use emotional information in an effective and meaningful way. It is one of the biggest predictors of success in life and work.”
MHS developed the Emotional Quotient Inventory 2.0 assessment (i.e. the EQ- i 2.0) which measures an individual’s emotional intelligence. Why is that important? Because you use EI every day with each encounter you have with another individual. In fact,
Emotional Intelligence also impacts Performance.
47% of Variation in managers' performance scores is predicted by EQ. The higher the EQ the higher the performance ratings.
76% of variation in organizational engagement scores is predicted by EQ. Managers with higher EQ listen to their employees and work to understand and address their needs.
10.5% Is the difference in performance scores between highest and lowest-engagement workplaces. Since the #1 reason employees leave a job is their boss, it follows that having a higher EQ makes the boss more approachable, a better listener and more concerned with the overall well-being of the employee.
The wonderful thing about Emotional Intelligence is that unlike your Intelligence Quotient (IQ), EI can be developed! But how?
First, taking the EQi 2.0 assessment is a great place to start. The results will help by highlighting areas related to EI and communicating that are already a strength as well as indicating areas that may not be getting you the responses you expect when working with others.
Second, learning to understand how the individual you are communicating with needs to hear information is key. My husband and I are a great example. He receives information and processes it in his head first and then checks in with his heart. He analyzes things, separates the different elements and then puts them in order that works for him.
Me, I’m a heart person. I process the information from an emotional standpoint first, how does it make me feel, how will it make others feel, how will they respond? Then I put that information into a more logical process in order to deal with it.
So, if I’m making an appeal to my husband or laying out an issue, do I utilize my natural tendency to start with my heart, or do I appeal to his mode of processing, his head? Of course, I try to make my “pitch” follow logic as much as I can so that he can process the information faster and clearer than if emotion was present. Good communicators do this everyday and are more effective at leading and persuading others as a result.
In summary, Emotional Intelligence is about being smarter with feelings of both the sender (you) and receiver (your friend, spouse, boss, coworker, etc.) More aware. More intentional. More purposeful.
Using this approach to communicate with friends, family, coworkers, direct reports and bosses, etc. will significantly increase your ability to connect on the same level, understand others, persuade others and reach better conclusions.