Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Emotional Intelligence

There are dozens of management theories about what makes a great leader great.

If we can learn something from each of these, then surely that helps our own development towards becoming a better leader.

The concept of “social intelligence” has been around since the 1920s, but it wasn’t until 1995, when Daniel Goleman wrote “Emotional Intelligence”, that this theory was applied to leadership and organisational performance.

Emotional intelligence grabbed the headlines as the scientific evidence quoted by Goleman suggested that only 20% of a leader’s success is down to IQ with the rest down to EQ (as emotional intelligence is often called).

People high on emotional intelligence demonstrate a number of characteristics….
  1. They’re articulate and engaging…
  2. They’re good team players…
  3. They create positive work climates… It has been reported that Fred Goodwin, the ex CEO of RBS, was authoritarian and cultivated a climate of fear in the corridors of his Edinburgh HQ. Authoritarianism is the antithesis of emotional intelligence….
  4. They know themselves well…
  5. They’re good at coping…
  6. They’re responsive and empathic…
  7. They are very self controlled…
Some of these characteristics are deep seated and hard to develop – such as an ability to deal with stress – but the starting point in developing emotional intelligence is through increasing self awareness.

Research by the Centre for Creative Leadership has found that the primary causes of derailment in leaders are those low in emotional intelligence, particularly in handling change, not being able to work well in a team and poor interpersonal relations.

What examples have you of working with emotional intelligent leaders? Do you agree that EQ beats IQ hands down every time? Which of the EQ characteristics do you think is most important?

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