Emotional Intelligence and Leadership

More than anyone else, the boss creates the conditions that directly determine people’s ability to work well. ~ Daniel Goleman, Primal Leadership

Ever wonder why those with fewer obvious skills climb the professional ladder while some of the most brilliant, well-educated people aren’t promoted? Chalk it up to emotional intelligence (EI).

When the concept first emerged in 1995, EI helped explain why people with average IQs outperform those with the highest IQs more than two-thirds of the time. I see this in the work I do coaching executives. Some of the brightest seem to be lacking when it comes to emotions.

In the United States, experts had assumed that high IQ was key to high performance. Decades of research now point to EI as the critical factor that separates star performers from the rest of the pack.

People have been talking about EI (also called EQ) ever since psychologist Daniel Goleman published the New York Times bestseller Emotional Intelligence in 1995. Everyone agrees that emotional savvy is vital, but we’ve generally been unable to harness its power.

Many of us lack a full understanding of our emotions, let alone others’. We fail to appreciate how feelings fundamentally influence our everyday lives and careers.

Goleman has brought out another book, The Brain and Emotional Intelligence, which helps explain more. It turns out the emotions are an intricate part of decision making. We don’t realize how much of an influence they have over every day planning and interacting. People with injuries in the emotional center of the brain retain their intelligence or IQ, but are unable to function well when they lack emotional connectivity.

Research by the TalentSmart consulting firm indicates that only 36% of people tested can accurately identify their emotions as they happen. Two-thirds of people are typically controlled by their emotions but remain unskilled at using them beneficially.

Lack of emotional intelligence is a prime reason people engage a coach.

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