EQ (Emotional Quotient) is one of the many focus areas for leaders today and it is widely believed that EQ far outstrips IQ as a measure of a leaders’ success. This is particularly the perspective of the RocheMartin organisation and their Emotional Capital Report (ECR), that I am accredited to run with my clients. Working in the IT sector, I often come across people who are technically brilliant and some who are also very good with people, but the latter is often lacking or not even a consideration for the individual. Despite aspiring to be charismatic and highly empathic leaders they still do not see the value in themselves acquiring or working their emotional Intelligence muscles.
Often the term Emotional Intelligence becomes synonymous with empathy and the ability to build rapport with people. It does, however, also include self-awareness, self-knowledge, self-control, resilience and optimism, which all, in equal measure, are essential skills for today’s leader. As we move from Leader to facilitator who engages with their team to create the strategy together, it is essential that the leader develop skills that are not just related to their expertise. I have seen far more success in the execution of a vision, when the team feel they part of the creation of it, they are able to connect better with the words and therefore engage in the process of making it happen. Amy Brann, Neuroscientist and Coach, in her book Engaged states if you engage a team, the motivation and management, that we have spent so much time in the past delivering, are self generating.
Roche Martin’s (rochemartin.com) 10 competencies draw from Goleman’s view of Emotional Intelligence and include:
- Relationship skills
These competencies work together, if for instance, someone is very straightforward but has low empathy there is a risk that they are blunt and upset people, likely unwittingly. If they have low Self-knowing and high Self-control they may well be unaware that there Self-control is preventing them to connect with colleagues, and often their colleagues will sense that they are holding something back. By being prepared to assess your EQ and acknowledge the gaps, you can start to build up awareness and gain the support required to develop these skills.
So, whether you are a CEO of a start-up wishing to grow into a more mature organisation, who needs to inspire a team, engage with suppliers, partners and shareholders or a leader of a small team of analyst then absolutely it is a must. If you are a leader in a large organisation where relationship building and empathy skills are key, then again it is a must. Which organisation is not crying out for people, often women, who can develop collaborative teams, inspire talent and optimistically take an organisation forward? For any organisation, even if these are not skills of the leader it is essential that at least someone on the board has these skills. I would argue, however, if you want to gain followers then the CEO, as the head honcho, is the obvious choice…