Making Of a Leader: How High Emotional Intelligence Helps You Grow
Psychologist David Goleman for several years studied the work of 500 companies to find out which abilities, skills and personality traits of their employees frequently lead to success. This research had an impressive result.
Emotional intelligence is 80-90% of the distinguishing competencies of top leaders. Moreover, the higher you go, the more it matters.
The research proves that the working environment created by the leader affects the company’s business results – profit, productivity, financial performance. Of course, the efficiency of the company is largely determined by economic conditions and the competitive environment, but one-third of it depends on the climate in the organization.
During the study, it turned out that sales volume of the professionals with strong social skills were two times larger compared to other sales employees. Computer programmers are the brightest example of the how strong EQ is related to personal productivity. The top 10% developers’ output is 320% higher compared to other programmers in the company altogether. The good news is that these people were found to be ubercooperative (rather than competitive or manipulative) 🙂
The research showed that a team is productive as long as its members work in amity, unity and mutual coordination. ‘Collective EQ’ can be developed at the group level, in particular, by setting standards of good working atmosphere. Such as:
Team unity – reaching consensus in all respects before moving forward;
Trust among the members;
Spirit of victory: ’We are the champions, my friends!
OK. What is there for me?
There is a belief that human soul is like an iceberg: only 10% of the information is above the water, and 90% – hidden under it. The 10% represent the rational self: facts, numbers, logic, and 90% – the irrational: emotions, feelings, values.
EQ is a tool that allows us to see the whole iceberg. The good news is that EQ level can be developed throughout life, unlike IQ, which is formed by 17 years and remains plus/minus unchanged. To improve your EQ, you have to be ready to invest a lot of time into self-cultivation. The first step towards self-awareness is recognizing your emotions.
The clearer you can identify each emotion, the greater can be your ability to manage own behavior. Keeping your emotion diary for two weeks, recording what you were doing and what you were feeling about it will help you distinguish between different emotions.
Thus, you’ll get to reflect on your thoughts and actions, which will later help you reach a solution to your problems. Writing will help you identify the source of your emotions. As a result, you will get an idea of how other people can manipulate your thoughts and emotions.
Pay special attention to observing your behaviour at stress. How does your body feel when you’re stressed? Are your muscles or stomach tight or sore? Are your hands clenched? How can you describe your typical emotions at stress – anger, irritation, sadness?
The best way to reduce stress quickly is by engaging one or more of your senses: sight, sound, smell, taste, and touch. Each person responds differently to sensory input, so you need to find things that are soothing and/or energizing to you. For example, if you’re a visual person, you can relieve stress by surrounding yourself with inspirational images. If you respond more to sound, you may find a favorite piece of music. If you are kinaesthetic, you’ll benefit from food with an interesting taste, a short walk or any physical exercises – from yoga to powerlifting.
When facing challenges, try to approach them with humor as much as possible. Playful communication helps you get rid of fatigue and relaxes your body. After this, it will be easier for you to recharge and achieve more.
Let’s look at the next steps of emotional intelligence development.
The highest level of EQ provides an opportunity to understand the emotions of others and influence them to mutual (we hope so!) advantage.
When talking to the other person, try to focus on them as much as possible. If you are planning what you’re going to say next, daydreaming, or thinking about something else, you are almost certain to miss their emotional reaction.
Make eye contact. Eye contact can inform the interlocutor about your interest, maintain the flow of a conversation, and help gauge their response. Pay attention to nonverbal cues you’re sending and receiving, such as facial expression, tone of voice, posture and gestures, touch, and your pace in the conversation.
Managing conflicts in a positive or trust-forming way is another important skill of a person with high EQ. Once you have learned how to manage your own stress and communicate while keeping an eye on the other person’s emotional reactions, it will be much easier for you to prevent or sort out conflicts.
The main recommendation in this case is to recognize the situation as strained and to stay mentally in the present, instead of letting out the old hurts and resentments. When choosing your arguments, take a deep breath, think carefully. Allow yourself to forgive, the other person will surely appreciate your spiritual generosity.