“Identify your problems but give your power and energy to solutions.” ~Tony Robbins
I recently encouraged you to take immediate steps to fulfill your agenda and reach for success. Rather than wait for New Years Eve and new resolutions, I took the position that we need to start now and feel a sense of accomplishment as we enter the period of holidays, parties and inevitable endings. Now, I want to give you the most important tool of all to reach your objective and gain the success you crave. It is called your Emotional Intelligence (E.I.). It’s like your I.Q. (Intelligence Quotient), but it relates to and measures emotional maturity and just how in touch with yourself you are. It plays a huge role in my coaching and is often the tipping point.
There is a big difference between I.Q. and E.I. While it’s pretty clear that you are born with a certain level of intellect, the same is not true of your emotional intelligence. It is something you can learn; it can grow. And, as you learn and as it grows, you are going to feel better about yourself and achieve higher levels of success. Your leadership skills will improve and, with that, your self-esteem and self-awareness.
Let me give you an example. I have two cousins who work for a Fortune 500 company. One has been made CEO, making about $500,000 annually; the other is stuck in her dead end job, making about $70,000. Both are smart, capable, tough, outspoken and visionaries in their own right. So, what made the difference? Why is one skyrocketing and the other at a dead end? My answer to this quandary is that the CEO has a much higher level of Emotional Intelligence.
What exactly is Emotional Intelligence? The concept was enunciated by Daniel Goleman of Harvard Business School. He found that while traditional leadership qualities, such as intelligence, toughness, determination and vision, are necessary for success, to be a true leader more is needed. That additional “stuff” that makes one person out shine another, that makes one a CEO and another a drone is E.I. The importance of E.I. to success and leadership cannot be minimized. According to Goleman, E.I “is the sine qua non of leadership. Without it, a person can have the best training in the world, an incisive, analytical mind, and an endless supply of smart ideas, but he still won’t make a great leader.”
According to Goleman, and supported by research, truly effective leaders are distinguished by their self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy and social skill. In short, it’s not just about being smart and knowledgeable. It’s also about knowing how to apply what you know in a meaningful way, and in a way that brings others along with you.
The definition of each component of E.I. follows:
- Self-Awareness: The ability to recognize and understand your moods, emotions and drive, as well as their effect on others.
- Self-Regulation: The ability to control or redirect disruptive impulses and moods. The propensity to suspend judgment, to think before acting.
- Motivation: A passion to work for reasons that go beyond money or status. A propensity to pursue goals with energy and persistence.
- Empathy: The ability to understand the emotional makeup of other people. Skill in treating people according to their emotional reactions.
- Social Skills: Proficiency in managing relationships and building networks. An ability to find common ground and built rapport.
Here’s an example of E.I. in action: While working with an executive client, I observed that he was a passive and absent listener. He appeared to listen, but it was unclear whether he actually heard or internalized what I was trying to convey. He would nod, say he understood and said “yes” to my inquiries about his level of involvement. Saying “no” or admitting that he needed more information or a deeper explanation never happened. What a beautiful coachable moment. I had to explain to him how it impacts others, both his peers and subordinates, when he is not engaged and actively listening. It took a few sessions but he got it! Now, he is a better listener and, thus, a better leader. He can say, “No.” This makes him more effective and more respected because he is actually engaging.
He has applied two of the basic E.I. principles. First, he self-regulated by controlling his impulse to let his mind wander and protect himself from true interaction. Second, he developed some empathy, some understanding of what others need from him.
I’m not saying that this epiphany created an overnight success. But, it did create awareness and a platform on which to grow and change. This, with work and a conscious effort, resulted in greater overall success and a much improved sense of self-worth.
This post provided you with a start in increasing your E.I. by outlining its basic components. It’s something to think about. How would you assess your own E.I.? Do you have what it takes to become a great and effective leader, or are you lacking here and there? At Clear Intentions International, we have taken the concept of E.I. further and created a coaching technique that facilitates breakthroughs in the areas mentioned above. It is called Neuro Emotional Coaching®, and, it brings to you the best of both worlds, E.I. and I. Q. Our coaching is rooted in neuroscience and its implication for emotional intelligence and leadership. We can assist you with not only the assessment, but also the ability to grow your E.I. and change your response to circumstances. In weeks and months to come, I will share with you more information on how to improve self-awareness and self-regulation, two key components to increase your E.I. and, thereby, achieve your goals of greater success.